In its initial phase, the app will help students navigate social life on campus.

Israeli social app company Orca, which has developed a location-based event-discovery app for college campuses, has closed a $500,000 seed round led by VLX Ventures. The company is based at Van Leer Xenia (VLX) technology incubator in Jerusalem.

The app, bills itself as “the radar for campus life,” and is designed to crowdsource events, parties and get-togethers to create an interactive and live map of social life on campus. The app provides a solution to a common pain-point in the modern college experience – students often find out about activities or events they would have wanted to attend only after-the-fact through social media.

Orca founder and CEO Tomer Sasson said, “With the rise of the social media era, more and more people are, ironically, feeling isolated from real communities around them. Our vision is to connect the unconnected”. By letting users interact with other Orca users based on physical proximity or mutual interest in activities/events, the company hopes to set the stage for a new way of socializing.

A New Kind of Social Media

Location-based messaging apps like Yik Yak and Yeti have found wide success around American campuses and investors are taking note of this trend – Yik Yak, based in Atlanta, Gorgia was recently valued at $400 million. These apps, although entertaining, are not informative. Orca’s goal is to make campuses more vibrant, fun and connected by physically mapping activities and events throughout campus. Much the way Waze uses crowdsourced information to improve commutes worldwide, Orca will help college students navigate the social scene on campus.

While the app allows users to beam out invitations to an entire campus or discover other Orca users in the area, they can also choose between remaining anonymous or authenticating. Any information related to parties automatically erases once the event is over, so while students can check in to a live stream to see what the best party is on a given Thursday night, no digital footprint is left behind.

Although Orca’s focus is currently college campuses in the US, the app would foreseeably do well in any city with young adults looking to stay in the know. Orca’s app is scheduled to launch in beta in the first quarter of 2016.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com – on November 12, 2015

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