Treetle.com, a location-based networking platform that enables users to pursue their interests and activities along with like-minded people in their respective cities and neighbourhoods, has launched its services pan-India. The site currently caters to users across 3,400 cities. Besides pan-India expansion, the company is also planning to go global and launch its services abroad by the end of 2012.
Run by Treetle Software Pvt Ltd, the site was launched by in private beta a couple of months ago but at that time, it was only catering to users residing in Bangalore. The company claims that within three months of its launch, the site is running 70 clubs which cover a plethora of interests including biking, flying, animal care and music, among others.
Treetle Software was set up by Pankaj Dugar in August 2011. Earlier, he had worked with companies like Cisco, Infosys, McKinsey, Booz Allen & Hamilton and Oracle. Dugar holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Harvard. The company had also received angel funding in August last year but Dugar declined to disclose the name of the investor or the amount raised.
The site enables people to register and create interest-specific clubs depending on what they like. Once a club is formed, others can join and indulge in activities like discussions and information sharing. One can also organise events and post those on the site but will require the respective club owner's permission for posting. These events can be either free or chargeable (it's up to the organiser to decide).
Treetle also features an events calendar that lists all upcoming events of the club/s of which one is a member. Also, each user must go through a mobile number verification before creating a club, so as to filter out the bogus clubs that may offend others. Treetle offers appreciation points and credit points to all club members which they can award to other members (for instance, as a token of appreciation for organising an event). Users who receive credits points can redeem those for vouchers on the site. NGOs can also form not-for-profit clubs on Treetle and unlike other clubs, they can receive points which can be redeemed for hard cash. But to avoid fraud, NGOs have to provide their banking details for authentication and money transfers. Read here for more information.
Treetle's competitors include niche websites for hobbyists (like photography enthusiasts), Facebook (as FB communities already allow users to send out invites for events) and Meetup, a social networking site that helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities. But unlike Treetle where users don't have to make any initial payment for creating clubs, Meetup follows a paid model.
Watch this space for more on the company.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)