Atly launches with $18M in funding to revolutionize location-based content and provide a better way to explore the world
With the rise of social media in the early 2000s, internet users have increasingly turned to platforms like Facebook and Foursquare for recommendations on destinations, activities, and purchases, diverging from the reliance on Google Search and Google Maps. This trend has been amplified by the evolving landscape of digital search, as people explore a wide range of resources beyond conventional search engines to inform their decision-making processes.
But platforms such as TikTok and Facebook were not originally designed with location-based discovery in mind. Users of social media platforms often find themselves scrolling through endless streams of stories and posts, which ironically diminishes the usefulness of the shared information.
In addition, users encounter limitations in terms of location-based search, filtering, and bookmarking functionalities. On the other hand, content creators and businesses struggle to monetize their offerings among an audience that may not be actively seeking to visit the places they come across while mindlessly scrolling. Consequently, individuals bear the burden of wasted time and effort, leading to subpar real-life experiences, while creators and businesses face reduced returns on investment.
It’s against this backdrop that one Israeli tech startup has decided to create what it describes as the “next social paradigm for mapping and discovering places to go.”
Enter Atly, a new user-generated social mapping platform taking on Google Maps to revolutionize location-based content. You can think of Atly as “Reddit for real-world places.” However, unlike popular social platforms such as Facebook and TikTok, Atly offers a unique fusion of social media-style knowledge sharing and advanced mapping and location discovery tools. This integration enables users to enjoy a seamless and highly accurate search experience, combining the power of social engagement with comprehensive exploration and navigation capabilities.
Today, Atly (formerly Steps) announced its official launch with $18 million in funding from Target Global, Tal Ventures, and FKA Brands to offer users seamless, effective, and trustworthy location-based content. Atly will use the fresh capital infusion to invest in state-of-the-art algorithms and overall performance, release much-anticipated product features and updates, and collaborate with additional creators.
During its beta phase, the Atly app garnered significant traction, with thousands of community-based maps created by users. Every month, hundreds of new maps emerge organically across diverse categories such as food and restaurants, travel, nature, the outdoors, parenting, and various other verticals, showcasing the app’s growing popularity and engagement.
Through the web or mobile app, user can create their own community with a specific theme. Upon creating a community, users assume the role of managers, enabling them to set engagement guidelines and control permissions regarding the actions of other community members.
“From Blogger to YouTube to Instagram and TikTok, people seek both community and information online, and they’re often finding that intersection on social media. But there is a gaping hole when it comes to location-based information, which is where Atly comes in,” said Uriel Maslansky, CEO and Co-Founder of Atly. “We have combined everyone’s favorite ingredients – the timeliness and authenticity of user-generated content created by a like-minded, trusted source, the utility and ease of visual mapping, effective tools for hyper-specific discovery, and the thrill of engaging, perfectly on-point content – to allow anyone with an interest, need, or passion to easily unearth their next favorite place to go or thing to do.”
Founded in 2019 by Uriel Maslansky, Aviad Coppenhagen, and Joshua Kaufman, Atly harnesses the power of user-generated knowledge and combines it with mapping and location discovery tools, enabling individuals to discover their next beloved destinations. Within the Atly app, users have the opportunity to create and join map-based communities focused on their personal interests and preferences. By curating previously uncharted content and aggregating valuable insights from like-minded individuals, Atly becomes a reliable source for authentic, trustworthy, and specific recommendations. This empowers users with the confidence that their exploration endeavors will lead to enjoyable experiences, while creators and businesses benefit from increased conversion rates.
“It makes no sense. We search for things like ‘cafe’ or ‘restaurant,’ when in reality, these are simply proxies for the things we are actually searching for, whether that’s a place that serves cold brew or some mouth-watering French toast. And when we finally find a place, the rating and reviews are unreliable. Is the cafe rated 3.5/5 because of the coffee? The atmosphere? Weak Wi-Fi? Talk about a mediocre search experience,” said Joshua Kaufman, Atly Co-Founder. “At Atly, we are bringing mapping up to speed with the modern world by enabling people to search for the specific things they actually want – and our organically grown user base is proof that we’re fulfilling this need.”
“We immediately recognized Atly’s ability to revolutionize the mapping ecosystem by bringing both trustworthy social content and a seamless experience to location-based search,” said Gal Shmueli, Partner at Tal Ventures. “We are excited to support Atly’s vision to enable people to find the places to go and things to do that best align with their unique needs and interests, and we look forward to watching them continue to meet the growing market demand.”