Nextdoor app gets boost

L.A. pros­e­cu­tors will use the neigh­bor­hood­based so­cial net­work app to build lo­cal ties.

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS - By Paresh Dave paresh.dave@la­times.com Twit­ter: @peard33

Los An­ge­les city pros­e­cu­tors will use a highly val­ued so­cial me­dia app to post about their ef­forts to com­bat pol­luters, school vi­o­lence and il­le­gal med­i­cal dis­pen­saries and to field griev­ances.

But it’s not Snapchat or Face­book that they’ll be us­ing. In­stead, City Atty. Mike Feuer an­nounced Fri­day that his crew of 22 neigh­bor­hood pros­e­cu­tors would be­come reg­u­lars on Nextdoor, a so­cial net­work­ing app that last month an­nounced it had raised $110 mil­lion in fund­ing.

The trans­ac­tion val­ued the 5-year-old San Fran­cisco start-up at $1.1 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to a source familiar with the mat­ter, putting it in a se­lect class of young com­pa­nies.

Nextdoor serves as a pri­vate on­line dis­cus­sion fo­rum for peo­ple living in a com­mu­nity-de­fined neigh­bor­hood. There are more than 860 of them in Los An­ge­les. Ad­dresses of users are ver­i­fied through snail mail, So­cial Se­cu­rity records or other means.

Peo­ple post about crime, garage sales or cool new shops while 770 gov­ern­ment agen­cies in 575 cities also send alerts or seek feed­back on the plat­form. The Los An­ge­les city at­tor­ney’s of­fice is the first pros­e­cu­to­rial depart­ment to adopt it.

Feuer, who has added 14 neigh­bor­hood pros­e­cu­tors since tak­ing of­fice in 2013, said the ser­vice prom­ises “to deepen the con­nec­tion” be­tween his of­fice and res­i­dents. He also ex­pects dis­cus­sions about hous­ing woes, con­sumer fraud and health­care is­sues.

Nextdoor doesn’t gen­er­ate any rev­enue but hopes to be­come big enough to draw ad­ver­tis­ers or pro­vide other paid ser­vices. The com­pany de­clined to say how many users it has.

Nextdoor’s in­vestors have put a to­tal of $210 mil­lion into the op­er­a­tion. They in­clude sev­eral blue-chip ven­ture cap­i­tal firms, in­clud­ing Grey­lock Part­ners, Kleiner Perkins Cau­field & By­ers and In­sight Ven­ture Part­ners.

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