Do You Want To Be My Offline Friend?

A new app tries to create a community out of neighbors.

By Michael Selutin | | Topics: Startup Nation
The local café can communicate with residents using the Venn app. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90

Much has shifted to the internet in the last year. You can meet friends on Facebook, and even family reunions take place on Zoom. But of course it’s not the same as meeting someone in-person.

That’s what the Israeli startup team behind the app Venn also thought. Venn was developed to reestablish a community among those who are already neighbors. To do this, it connects the residents of an area or neighborhood with one another, as well as with nearby service providers, cafes and restaurants, their municipality representatives, and so on, so that all relevant parties are networked. In this way, neighbors can set up street parties, flea markets and many other community projects, but also offer yoga classes, book clubs or cleaning services.

The need for real human closeness is particularly great at the moment. Unsurprisingly, Venn received an investment boost of $60 million in early June and now has big plans. So far, Venn has organized neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Tel Aviv, Kansas City and Berlin-Friedrichshain. The company wants to be represented in 100 cities by 2030 and make friends out of neighbors.

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