LocalOn backed by YC empowers small businesses with social and local marketing


We are in a time when small businesses are going glocal and startups are seriously working to deliver this. Yes, small businesses are getting demos from startups to get online and monetize the web to reach their potential target users. No code, no design, just simple edit, save and publish buttons for local businesses to go online. That is what is LocalOn, a YC backed Bay Area startup led by Shahbano Imran is doing day in and out.

While labeled tools from trustworthy publications

Initially the whole gig started as the founder mentioned on Techcrunch as “going door-to-door trying to convince businesses to sign up and discovering that “small businesses are getting pitched by 20 startups a day.” But the outcome was that no one was ready to hear them and turned the down. So eventually after this attempt, Shahbano discovered another way out of this grim situation.


She instead reached out to the local newspapers and resellers and started working on a partnership model with them. She along with her cofounder David Tolioupov worked hard on a model where LocalOn works with the local newspapers and resellers on a revenue sharing model. The kick here as they mentioned on Techcrunch is ” instead of getting pitched by a random startup, businesses are offered a set of white labeled tools from a publication or an organization that they already trust.”

LocalOn takes online marketing glocal

LocalOn is a part of the YC’s current batch and has already garnered awesome partnerships with 40 resellers and as of now two well known local newspapers in Bay Area. With this in hand, LocalOn has generated a whopping $50,000 for East Bay Express Newspaper over the last 6 months and one of the merchants, OaklandGrown has also flourished with a 20% hike in revenue from their annual membership plans.

LocalOn offers small businesses an intuitive website builder allowing them to edit their websites as simply as a document with changes going live in real time. So businesses owners can now easily update their web pages according to their needs, offers and deals. The best part is the published part where updates not only go live on websites but also on social media and local listings (made possible with LocalOn’s partnerships). And yes businesses can also build their e-commerce on top of LocalOn.

LocalOn is just not limited to Bay Area as the Imran expresses her plans to expanding rapidly with better partnerships and better tools for small businesses.

About Debby

Cofounder and Editorial Head at The Startup Channel. I am on my journey to draft the best stories from the startup world, hunt down inspiration from ecosystem enablers and more! Reach out to me if you want us to cover your story/journey. yoda (at) startups (dot) fm.
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