AOL has brought Patch Media Corporation, a local news and information platform aimed at serving local towns and communities and Going, a local platform for people to discover and share information about things to do in a number of leading cities across the country. Both Patch and Going offer local experiences, content and self-service applications for consumers and advertisers. AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong is the principal investor in Patch.
(UPDATE: Kara Swisher has an internal memo from Armstrong, and he will “forgo any profits from the transaction for Patch and get back the seed money he put into the start-up in the form of AOL shares.” While the company didn’t say how much it spend, Swisher says each acquisition was small, about $10 million.)
“Local remains one of the most disaggregated experiences on the Web today — there’s a lot of information out there but simply no way for consumers to find it quickly and easily,” Armstrong said in a statment. “It’s a space that’s prime for innovation and an area where AOL has a significant audience and a valuable mapping service in MapQuest. Going forward, local will be a core area of focus and investment for AOL. The acquisitions of Patch and Going will help us build out our local network further with excellent local services that enable people to stay better informed about what’s going on in their neighborhood.”
Founded in December 2007 and headquartered in New York, Patch combines localized, professional journalism with community contribution and a platform that puts all town assets online – in effect, digitizing the community. Patch, which expects to be available in a dozen communities by the end of the year, currently has “Patches” in five communities with four more in development.
Launched in September 2006 and headquartered in Boston, Going is one of the leading local communities for 20-somethings looking for things to do in cities across the country. Going is available in 30 leading U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami and Boston, with several more planned this year. Going also provides local promoters, event organizers and venues a fully automated, self-service RSVP, ticketing and advertising engine to maximize the attendance and value of their events.