Lokalty, the Center City-based local loyalty rewards startup, is shutting down but the team isn’t giving up. It aims to launch a new product aimed at helping users discover local businesses using relevant, user-generated content rather than financial incentives.
On Friday, the Lokalty team wrote on its blog that the program would shut down at the end of the month and that the crew would shift focus to a new product called Partcle. Sign up to get updates on Partcle here.
There are a few reasons why Lokalty, launched late last year, is shutting down, said cofounder Balu Chandrasekaran.
- The loyalty rewards space is crowded, he said. It was also hard to sell Lokalty to local businesses, Chandrasekaran said, saying that it was always a challenge to show that the product was “driving impact” for a business.
- But most prominently, Chandrasekaran said that the team started to get turned off by the notion of using financial incentives to get people to local businesses. He called it the “cheapening of local discovery” and said that he and his cofounders felt like they were adding to that. That feeling is what’s driving the startup’s pivot.
Partcle hopes to expose users to different local businesses by offering pieces of useful, relevant information, like which coffee shops are laptop-friendly? It will be focused on this type of user-generated content, rather than reviews, Chandrasekaran said. The team will remain in its Center City office in the Land Title Building and is looking at January for its launch.
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