The future is built in cities. Cities capture our imagination. They’re centers of innovation, creativity, and exploration, solving the world’s problems, and attracting the most promising minds of our next generation. That generation is reinventing everything from business to politics to culture, and building the ideas that will shape the future of where and how we live.
Millennials are moving to emerging cities more than any generation in history, creating a new demand for local information while rejecting old media models. We’re here to help them keep up, get involved, and make connections that accelerate their vision — and have more fun in the process.
We’re here to help a generation of digital nomads live like they live here.
National brands and local small businesses want to connect with this valuable and influential audience, but the local model is broken. Costs are inefficient, and results are unpredictable. Display and social ads are challenging for local businesses, and often don’t generate deep engagement. National brands work through disjointed networks of local PR/marketing firms to engage in their target cities, with questionable results that rarely last.
We create local digital publications that use multimedia content and community data to engage locals who care about their cities. Our platform lets us understand our users better than anyone else, build loyal communities, and create measurable, meaningful engagement for our cities and our customers.
Since starting in 2015, we’ve launched publications in Miami (The New Tropic) and Seattle (The Evergrey), acquired 10% of our target market as subscribers (ages 25-45, educated, living/working in the urban core), built a rapidly growing business model, and developed a technology platform and growth approach to efficiently launch and gain market position in cities around the world.
Each of our brands creates three things:
- Daily e-mail newsletters— focused on deep engagement with a loyal audience, our newsletters provide a look at the day's local news, a curated planner of local events, and original conversation.
- High-impact social content— we use video and other multimedia to tell stories about what's happening in our cities, in formats built for social consumption, conversation, and sharing.
- Engagement events— we activate our community for in-person experiences we create with local partners, helping our users find ways to get involved and explore.
The business model
We have four channels for using local engagement to create scalable revenue.
- Creative Studio— a service that helps national brands and large local companies create the same kind of engagement we create for ourselves. We deliver multimarket campaigns that use research, custom content, and creative activations to generate awareness and conversion for clients with scalable efficiency. Our major customers include tech companies like Lyft and Airbnb, corporations like Citi, and public institutions like Miami-Dade County and the Curaçao Tourist Board.
- Automated newsletter advertising— our proprietary self-service ad platform lets small and medium businesses buy personalized ads in our newsletters to reach the locals they care about at competitive cost, and automates the process on the backend for our team.
- Membership— subscribers become paid members, giving them access to special content, giveaways, and events.
- Events and E-Commerce— our Community Creators program works with local creatives, whose content, merchandise, and events we market through our local sites. This program helps us tap the engagement value of events in a way that scales more effectively than producing events in-house.
Creating deep engagement through media
The future of media is built on authenticity and trust. We’ve learned that a real connection to community is required to serve the needs of users in growing cities and build valuable engagement. When high-interest topics are networked across cities, they spark national and global conversation.
We create that connection by understanding our communities through research, data, social listening, and content activations; and by crafting publications that have the voice and feeling of the communities they serve. That’s why each of our publications has a unique brand and a small team on the ground.
How we scale local
The model becomes scalable through our platform and our centralized support structure. Because our revenue isn’t dependent on pageviews or traffic, but rather on delivering meaningful engagement among the next leaders of emerging cities, we don’t have to grow content production or content staff to grow our business. We make no money from website display advertising, because it doesn't scale well for local.
We launch new cities with a single editor, supported by our HQ team which provides centralized business development, product and technology, design, creative, and backoffice. Our market launch strategy focuses on acquiring “leading locals”—highly engaged, well-networked subscribers who adopt us early and share us with their friends.
This means we can launch in new cities for less than $150,000, and we project achieving local profitability within the first six months of operation (Seattle, our first expansion, is on track to do it in 8 months). At maturity, our local teams consist of two people: a brand director and a community manager. We’re built to capture and serve a large market share with lean local operations.
As we launch in new markets, the value of our network grows exponentially: helping connect locals across cities, connecting travel and business opportunities; and serving multimarket campaigns to our clients.
What makes us different
Making local content is relatively easy. Driving valuable engagement from it is hard. We have two core competitive advantages to other approaches to local media:
- Our model for understanding local influencer behavior
- Our technology
Our user model
The constrained size of local markets makes engagement more valuable than reach. We designed a process for understanding the behaviors, motivations, media habits, and engagement patterns of curious locals. This process makes us considerably more effective at conversion—connecting our users to the things they care about, and to our customers’ products/services—than typical local media. Many of our campaigns deliver competitive conversion rates (clicks, shares, signups, attendance) to ads in traditional outlets with nominal audiences much larger than our own.
Our process uses qualitative and quantitative data to help us create actionable personas, segment our communities, and build targeted engagement. We use this process for every market we launch, and every project we create.
Technology is a core part of our solution: a platform that enables quick, efficient launches in new markets, deep understanding of local user communities, and market-leading conversion.
To date, we’ve built and deployed in-house technology for newsletter advertising that enables efficient production and self-service, one-click ad buying from local SMBs. This beta product currently generates over 10% of our monthly revenue. As we iterate on this product and launch our conversion tool, we project this recurring revenue will grow to 40% of our mix over the next five years.
This year, we are developing the next pieces of our platform (that’s a big focus of this round). This technology will help propel us to 5 markets by the end of the year.
Advertising platform growth
- Customer dashboard for managing campaigns
- Targeting and reporting data
- Automated newsletter builder for advertising delivery
- Licensing opportunities for newsletter businesses
- Using data science to understand user survival, conversion rates, local subscriber lifetime value, and local subscriber acquisition patterns
- Providing easily actionable data to local teams inside their publishing tools
- Customizing calls to action and the content we serve users
Our company started because we hate sitting still. We’re media nerds, but most conversations about our community are soul-sucking exercises in boredom: too many charts, too much of one dude talking, no feeling that you can make a difference since you can’t go outside and start digging a new subway by yourself.
So we tried a different kind of gathering in early 2013. The first event was a question: How can we make Miami a more awesome place to live? We brought out white boards and post-its and play-doh. We had volunteers run groups on things they cared about. We created ideas together, as strangers who’d mostly never met. We thought we’d get a few dozen people. We got 300.
We organized events each month. We kept hearing ideas about media and storytelling: that our city wasn’t connected, that there weren’t good ways to keep up or connect with other locals. This was a challenge we knew how to tackle.
We met in Miami the way we help our users connect: out in the world, through community. Bruce and Chris made a movie together for a film festival (it wasn't bad!); Chris and Rebekah met at board game night (see? nerds.)
We started with a research deep dive into what it means to be a local; how different kinds of Miamians find things to do and learn about the city. We poured over data, conducted interviews, went out at night with strangers, and woke up at 6am to ride the train with people on their way to work. The insights became the first user models in a process we still use today.
In January of 2015, we launched our first publication, The New Tropic, for Miami’s curious locals. We started with 7 subscribers (thanks Mom!) and a love letter to the city.
Today, we’re a company of 14 people with publications in two cities, engaging with millions of locals every month, and building technology for the future of local. We’re aiming to be in 25 cities over the next 5 years, and every growing city in the world after that.
We still use the play-doh. That stuff lasts forever.
$500: Join Up
- Lifetime Membership to any WhereBy.Us publication of your choice
$1,000: Send Love
- A set of 10 postcards with original designs and photos from Miami or Seattle (your choice); plus the above
$2,500: Roll Local
- A City Kit of threads and treats inspired by Miami or Seattle (your choice; includes 2 t-shirts, 2 snapbacks, 2 mugs, and a tote bag); plus the above
$10,000: Hang Tight
- Your choice of a limited edition Seattle or Miami map, or a photo from our local image library, printed and delivered; plus the above
$50,000: Make a Difference
- We’ll develop and execute a local storytelling and engagement campaign for the 501(c)3 nonprofit of your choice, anywhere in the country; plus the above
It is advised that you consult a tax professional to fully understand any potential tax implications of receiving investor perks before making an investment.
It is advised that you consult a tax professional to fully understand any potential tax implications of receiving investor perks before making an investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Side by Side offering refers to a deal that is raising capital under two offering types. This Side by Side offering is raising under Regulation CF and Rule 506(c) of Regulation D.
The Form C is a document the company must file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) which includes basic information about the company and its offering and is a condition to making a Reg CF offering available to investors. It is important to note that the SEC does not review the Form C, and therefore is not recommending and/or approving any of the securities being offered.
Before making any investment decision, it is highly recommended that prospective investors review the Form C filed with the SEC (included in the company's profile) before making any investment decision.
Rule 506(c) under Regulation D is a type of offering with no limits on how much a company may raise. The company may generally solicit their offering, but the company must verify each investor’s status as an accredited investor prior to closing and accepting funds. To learn more about Rule 506(c) under Regulation D and other offering types check out our blog and academy.
Title III of the JOBS Act outlines Reg CF, a type of offering allowing private companies to raise up to $1 million from all Americans. Prior capital raising options limited private companies to raising money only from accredited investors, historically the wealthiest ~2% of Americans. Like a Kickstarter campaign, Reg CF allows companies to raise funds online from their early adopters and the crowd. However, instead of providing investors a reward such as a t-shirt or a card, investors receive shares, typically equity, in the startups they back. To learn more about Reg CF and other offering types check out our blog and academy.
When you complete your investment on SeedInvest, your money will be transferred to an escrow account where an independent escrow agent will watch over your investment until it is accepted by WhereBy.Us. Once WhereBy.Us accepts your investment, and certain regulatory procedures are completed, your money will be transferred from the escrow account to WhereBy.Us in exchange for your shares. At that point, you will be a proud owner in WhereBy.Us.
To make an investment, you will need the following information readily available:
- Personal information such as your current address and phone number
- Employment and employer information
- Net worth and income information
- Social Security Number or government-issued identification
- ABA bank routing number and checking account number (typically found on a personal check or bank statement)
If you are investing under Rule 506(c) of Regulation D, your status as an Accredited Investor will also need to be verified and you will be asked to provide documentation supporting your income, net worth, revenue, or net assets or a letter from a qualified advisor such as a Registered Investment Advisor, Registered Broker Dealer, Lawyer, or CPA.
An investor is limited in the amount that he or she may invest in a Reg CF offering during any 12-month period:
- If either the annual income or the net worth of the investor is less than $100,000, the investor is limited to the greater of $2,000 or 5% of the lesser of his or her annual income or net worth.
- If the annual income and net worth of the investor are both greater than $100,000, the investor is limited to 10% of the lesser of his or her annual income or net worth, to a maximum of $100,000.
Separately, WhereBy.Us has set a minimum investment amount of US $0.
Accredited investors investing $20,000 or over do not have investment limits.
You are a partial owner of the company, you do own shares after all! But more importantly, companies which have raised money via Regulation CF must file information with the SEC and post it on their websites on an annual basis. Receiving regular company updates is important to keep shareholders educated and informed about the progress of the company and their investment. This annual report includes information similar to a company’s initial Reg CF filing and key information that a company will want to share with its investors to foster a dynamic and healthy relationship.
In certain circumstances a company may terminate its ongoing reporting requirement if:
- The company becomes a fully-reporting registrant with the SEC
- The company has filed at least one annual report, but has no more than 300 shareholders of record
- The company has filed at least three annual reports, and has no more than $10 million in assets
- The company or another party purchases or repurchases all the securities sold in reliance on Section 4(a)(6)
- The company ceases to do business
However, regardless of whether a company has terminated its ongoing reporting requirement per SEC rules, SeedInvest works with all companies on its platform to ensure that investors are provided quarterly updates. These quarterly reports will include information such as: (i) quarterly net sales, (ii) quarterly change in cash and cash on hand, (iii) material updates on the business, (iv) fundraising updates (any plans for next round, current round status, etc.), and (v) any notable press and news.
Currently there is no market or liquidity for these shares. Right now WhereBy.Us does not plan to list these shares on a national exchange or another secondary market. At some point WhereBy.Us may choose to do so, but until then you should plan to hold your investment for a significant period of time before a “liquidation event” occurs. A “liquidation event” is when WhereBy.Us either lists their shares on an exchange, is acquired, or goes bankrupt.
You can return to SeedInvest at any time to view your portfolio of investments and obtain a summary statement. If invested under Regulation CF you may also receive periodic updates from the company about their business, in addition to monthly account statements.
This is WhereBy.Us's fundraising profile page, where you can find information that may be helpful for you to make an investment decision in their company. The information on this page includes the company overview, team bios, and the risks and disclosures related to this investment opportunity. If the company runs a side by side offering that includes an offering under Regulation CF, you may also find a copy of the WhereBy.Us's Form C. The Form C includes important details about WhereBy.Us's fundraise that you should review before investing.
For offerings made under Regulation CF, you may cancel your investment at any time up to 48 hours before a closing occurs or an earlier date set by the company. You will be sent a reminder notification approximately five days before the closing or set date giving you an opportunity to cancel your investment if you had not already done so. Once a closing occurs, and if you have not canceled your investment, you will receive an email notifying you that your shares have been issued. If you have already funded your investment, your funds will be promptly refunded to you upon cancellation. To cancel your investment, you may go to your portfolio page
If you invest under any other offering type, you may cancel your investment at any time, for any reason until a closing occurs. You will receive an email when the closing occurs and your shares have been issued. If you have already funded your investment and your funds are in escrow, your funds will be promptly refunded to you upon cancellation. To cancel your investment, please go to your portfolio page.