Submate is “social commuting”: when you sign up for the service, you plug in your daily subway routines, and Submate will tell you about people near you who shares similar ideas as you. Submate’s founder and CEO Laurent Kretz told me that he got the idea while living in New York, where he met “familiar strangers” on the subway all the time — people whose faces you recognise from sharing subway rides, whom you may even greet with a nod — and wanted to know more about them.
Now based in Paris, Submate has just launched its public beta in three cities: Paris, London and New York, and wants to be in 65 cities in 35 countries by the end of the year. Submate wants to help you meet people but ultimately wants to be “your daily life dashboard”: they want to tell you about the events and things going on around the places you’re at every day. Submate plans to eventually make money through local advertising and paid listings. They’re currently raising a first round of funding.
Submate plays in the same field as Foursquare, Plyce and Gowalla, but with a different use case and a different twist. While Foursquare asks you to check in at each new place you visit, Submate knows about the areas where you usually go. What’s more, Submate is much more about discovering things and people around your area than connecting with your existing social network.
We think if it gets the right traction, Submate can be a fun and useful service, and a great business.
Disclosure: I’m an unpaid advisor to Submate (unless you count cigarettes and beer.)
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