Driftscape let’s you learn about where you are, on your own schedule from diverse local experts. Below is our recent interview with Chloe Doesburg, Co-Founder and CEO at Driftscape:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Driftscape?
A: We provide a platform for organizations to share site-specific arts, culture and history content, so that you can see it all in one place.
Imagine you’re in a new neighbourhood – you’d love to get out and explore, but you don’t know where to head. With Driftscape you can just start walking and be notified when you’re near something interesting. With numerous organizations contributing, the user can select their interests for a tailored experience.
When the user is presented with a story in the place where it is most relevant, they develop a deeper appreciation of both the story and the place. We believe that creating a platform where diverse stories can be shared will inspire a greater understanding of the spaces we inhabit, and the people we share them with. We started Driftscape because we recognized that there were countless cultural organizations making fantastic site-specific content, that was often hard to find. We were also surprised by how enthusiastic people were to hear stories about the places they knew and visited. Driftscape exists to match these stories with this audience, and to deliver them in the most seamless way – maximizing how memorable and impactful they are to the user.
Driftscape is composed of mobile apps for iOS and Android, and a web Content Management System (CMS). End users use the mobile apps to explore and discover our rich variety of content presented as Places of Interest, Events and Tours. Our content providers and customers use the CMS to populate Driftscape with their amazing stories, which synchronize immediately with the mobile apps. Driftscape allows for a rich user experience through native mobile apps that leverage all the best UI features of iOS and Android, such as location-based notifications, video and audio.
Driftscape is free for users. We start in every new city or region by partnering with excellent cultural and historical organizations to seed Driftscape with high-quality local content. We currently have over 20 organizations and 2,000 features covering Toronto and surrounding area. The product has been publicly available since November of 2017 for iOS (May 2018 for Android), gaining popularity and media attention. We will be expanding to other cities and regions in 2019. To learn more, visit our website.
Q: You have recently raised $115,000, could you tell us more about it?
A: Driftscape has been funded through internal founding angels and sweat equity. Incorporated in Fall 2017, we have operated on a lean bootstrap model, to get an MVP (minimum viable product) to market and validate our business model. We are excited to say we are now securing our first paid customers, and planning on our first external investment round to fuel our growth.
Q: What advantage does Driftscape have over its competitors?
A: Driftscape is not just an amazing technical platform for telling stories: we partner with local subject-matter experts to work together to get the best possible content into Driftscape. Driftscape seeks to manage community-level data for community benefit. By providing plentiful, high-quality content for free, we can attract and retain users and ensure that our customers’ content appears alongside other fantastic content.
This is our key differentiator from competitors: we do not open our CMS to just anyone, and we do not rely on crowd-sourcing for content. We work closely with our trusted content partners to ensure high-quality content in our app.
Driftscape is free to download and use. We make money by providing an excellent service to our content partners, who are also our customers. Our platform has been built with constant input from our content partners – so we can be confident that it meets their needs. This model means that we don’t need to subject our users to aggressive or invasive advertising.
Q: Can we expect Driftscape for other cities in the near future?
A: Absolutely. We have started in Toronto to prove the business model works and is feasible, and because or team is local and has a good understanding of the local cultural sector. We have aggressive plans to expand to many large cities and regions. We will be adding new cities at a rapid rate in 2019 and beyond. If you’d like to see Driftscape in your area – please get in touch.
Q: What are your plans for next six months?
A: Now that we have developed a robust MVP that validates the business model and revenue potential, we are looking to grow and expand the company. In the next six months, we plan to seek external investment, gain traction with sales, expand the product technically to manage all the requirements of a growing SaaS (Software as a Service) company, and continue development on new and exciting features to further expand our market reach and offering.