Named in the 60 Genius Brands to watch in 2012 list, Loku.com is an Austin tech startup launched to “reveal what locals care about,” helping to make anyone feel like a local through their contextual search engine helps people find news, deals, businesses and events in a hyperlocal area using an algorithm that defines and ranks local content across the web uniquely.
The user interface is gorgeous, easy to scan, and certainly meets their standards of “helping you live a more local life” whether using a browser, smartphone or tablet. It is interesting to compare trends even in different parts of a city. A quick search of 78701 (downtown Austin) is dominated by fitness, music and arts while 78641 (Leander, a suburb north of the city) is mostly civics and education, both of which are accurate results for those areas.
Loku is now more personalized with a technology “Sherpa” that predicts user preferences and improves recommendations with each use. The site has also added events which is a huge addition for cities that are rich with concerts, happy hours, art openings and the like. Additionally, the company says they now offer weekly instead of daily emails and are giving users more options to control the content.
The website update includes the addition of additional local content including videos, photos, and events to supplement the service’s current news, social media, and dining establishment content. All of the different types of information is streamed together and presented to the user as a mosaic of information. The Loku interface features an integrated map which allows users to focus on an exact area of interest. As the user zooms in on the map, their local content dynamically changes to match the targeted location.
“Our website update furthers our mission of bringing local people together to form deeper bonds of community” said Dan Street, CEO of Loku. “You simply can’t offer a local-focused service without it being hyper-personalized, so we spent the time to build a very sophisticated platform that pulls and uses information from multiple sources. We also greatly expanded the amount of content available on the service, especially the events category, a change which has proved very popular with our user base.”
Photo tour of the new site
Users will see the new redesign, but for now, we got a peek behind the scenes and we are massively impressed with how streamlined and intelligent the system has become in an extremely short period of time.