In 2011 Luke Aikman started Loccit, a platform that aggregates social media content, and looks to attract 25 million users within three years.
In 2011 entrepreneur Luke Aikman started Loccit, a platform that aggregates social media content, and looks to attract 25 million users within three years.
What is it and how did you get the idea?
It’s a platform that captures a user’s social network content to compile a private online diary or ‘social memory box’ containing their Facebook,Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Flickr or Foursquare updates.
Before this I owned a digital agency and I often volunteered time to inspire kids from difficult backgrounds. I was talking to some youths about their online behaviours and I discovered many of them are creating a record of their lives that I wish I had in my own teenage years.
It’s funny because I’d been talking to them all morning about how inspiration can hit you at any moment and right at that point I got the idea for Loccit. I told them ‘I honestly think I’ve just had one of my best ideas yet.’
How did you raise money?
I’ve been in and around the business world for a while, and have made some good friends along the way. My previous company grew organically without any investment but I knew this one was going to need more capital. So I wrote a draft of the business plan and sent it out to about 20 close contacts. That generated three meetings and we managed to secure £300,000 in about three weeks through a syndicate of UK private investors.
What was your biggest challenge?
Well, a lot of the money was actually spent building a product that would eventually be shelved. We originally invented something akin to Facebook’s Timeline feature, and launched it four months before them. When Facebook announced Timeline my heart sank. That happened on a Thursday so we gave everyone Friday off and said on Monday, we’re all going to pitch ideas on how to respond.
The upshot was we agreed that there are a lot of real-time social media products but no real portal that caters for the past, and we changed direction to create a product that brings together your memories, preserving them privately forever and also taking them offline with printed diaries.
In the short term we need to acquire users, talk to them, get loads of feedback and make sure they’re happy. At the moment our marketing is PR and social media-led, but if we manage to raise a fresh chunk of funding, we’ll build the brand using above-the-line and below-the-line marketing. In the medium term we’ll be funding research into artificial intelligence that will take your social media content and contextualise it for you, splitting your life into different chapters.
Overall, we've been fortunate in the sense that our original investors, who backed a different concept, are happy and still have skin in the game.
See also: SMEs tune in to social media