Salmat invests in location-based start-up Roamz
The new Salmat venture highlights just how important small businesses are to the new wave of location-based start-ups, including services like Twitter and the exploding group-buying industry.
Salmat says its new deal with Roamz will allow it to utilise some of the digital infrastructure it has constructed over the past few years.
It comes after the company has spent a considerable amount of time and effort on its other digital offering, Lasoo, which allows users to search through digitised versions of paper catalogues.
Roamz chief executive Jonathon Barouch says the company's ultimate goal is to establish the service as the "go-to" destination for users when they are searching for things to do or places to visit.
"This location-based service is intended to become a really engaging platform for users to find out what is happening around them. We've been in development for the last several months and we think Salmat understands this type of service is important."
Barouch began working on Roamz several months ago and then showed off the service to a number of different partners. He says Salmat has the infrastructure, along with a user base of millions, that will enable it to spread the word about the new product.
He previously built up online business Fast Flowers, and sold it off to 1300 Flowers late last year.
But with the growth of so many location-based services, such as Google Places and FourSquare, Barouch has a challenge in staying ahead of the pack – and he's not giving anything away.
"Our focus is providing good content for users. It will be significantly different from those other players, but obviously in the same space. I think location-based marketing is a broad area."
Roamz will target SMEs in a big way, Barouch claims.
"We're not excluding anyone, of course, but a big focus will be for SMEs. We think they are able to offer good deals and this is another great way to do that."
The service will kick off with an iPhone application, with another Android app to possibly follow. Roamz is currently in a prototype format, but Barouch says more details will be given next month at Salmat's general meeting.
"We're going to have a massive web presence. The vast majority of Australians have a smartphone attached to their hip, and we have the ability to tailor or customise data based on where they are. That's a powerful thing."
Salmat chief executive Grant Harrod said in a statement the deal with Roamz "fits very well with Salmat's strategy to grow our business in the digital space".
"It complements our Lasoo business, which is Australia's leading online pre-shop portal with over two million visitors per month. Roamz will be an excellent platform for service retailers, SMEs and B2C businesses to present their products and services to a highly targeted localised buying audience."
"Demand for online retail marketing services is accelerating and we want to make sure we stay ahead of the game,"
Meanwhile, The Australian has reported Ten Network Holdings has participated in a capital raising launched by dating website Oasis Active, lifting its stake to just over 40%.
The move comes after Ten Network Holdings moved to diversify its digital expansion by investing in group buying site OurDeal last November.