Bimble raises £1.3m to enable consumers to save ‘placelists’
A new app platform, part of Google’s Digital Accelerator programme, gives you an easy way to collect, remember and share all the places you love.
Co-founders Francesa Howland and Tomi Novak plan to use the angel investment to fuel growth, focusing on building its audience in the UK and New York.
The pair say Bimble is “built for virality”. Placelists can be shared at the touch of a button, anywhere and with anyone, combining great design with practical information, making them more shareable.
Francesca Howland said: “How many times have you discovered or been recommended somewhere to go, only to find that you either forget about it, misplace the pull-out or it disappears into a digital Bermuda Triangle?
“We created Bimble after realising there are thousands of place recommendations shared every day, but no simple way to collect these and pass them on. As we looked more closely at the opportunity, we simply couldn’t believe that no one was doing this already.
“We have spent a year getting to grips with our members and what motivates them. Through the app, you can curate the places that mean something to you, helping you and your favourite people better enjoy the world around you.”
Angel investors in Bimble include Dimitris Panagopoulos, one of the original Net-a-Porter backers, who led the round for Bimble, Rupert Rittson-Thomas and Julian Granville. A third of the investment also comes from female angels committed to backing other female entrepreneurs.
The company will use the cash injection to strengthen marketing and product teams, in addition to further developing the platform and app. Bimble’s extensive product roadmap means it will also be releasing new features to the iOS app every month for the foreseeable future as part of its commitment to building a state of the art, next generation, community media platform.
Named after the charming old English word for “a leisurely walk or journey” (Oxford English Dictionary), Bimble has ambitions to sit on the same stage as those at the technological fore, such as Pinterest and Instagram.
The fledgling business has spent the last 12 months developing its unique placelist technology. Placelists are simple to create and share: like a playlist for your places. Bimble aims to do with places what Spotify has done for music.
The startup, which develops all of its technology inhouse and has already built a community of 60,000 through beta testing, has been selected for the Google Digital Accelerator Programme – an invitation-only partnership where Google partners with selected high potential brands that have large growth goals, a lot of ambition and the potential to grow at scale.
Via the programme, Google’s dedicated App Development team will be made available to achieve Bimble’s growth goals.
The business has also formed a partnership with early-stage tech supporter, easyJet – meaning places featured in easyJet Traveller will be added to the airline magazine’s Bimble page each month making it easy for users to add them to their own lists via a simple click.
Commenting on the investment, Dimitris Panagopoulos said: “My three investment criteria are a belief in the product for being a true innovation, its potential to be globally scalable and my complete trust in the founder.
“I have every confidence in the vision for Bimble and that Francesca will deliver it. Bimble offers us a meaningful, creative and life-enhancing digital community; quite different from the social media platforms of the last 10 years.”
Bimble has been designed to be a wholly positive platform connecting you to others with similar tastes. And because you can connect with your friends, you’re more likely to trust their recommendations as you know it’s from a like-minded person. Francesca argues that “review sites have had their moment, while socially aware, community media will define the next decade.”