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Social media start-up Roamz secures investment from Salmat

Tuesday, 25 January 2011 | By Michelle Hammond

Social media service start-up Roamz has joined forces with director main and marketing giant Salmat, with Roamz saying it will utilise Salmat’s digital capabilities to further expand its reach.

 

Salmat is a leading marketing services provider specialising in targeted customer communication solutions. Communication channel options include voice, online, print, electronic and mobile.


Roamz is a location-based social media and marketing service, showing users what is happening around them via their mobile phones.

 

Set to launch in mid-2011, members of the Roamz community will be able to access up-to-date information about the services available in their immediate surroundings, including user reviews of restaurants, pubs, events and places.

 

Roamz is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Jonathon Barouch, who founded online floral chain Fastflowers.com.au in 1999.

 

Fastflowers was acquired by 1300 Flowers in October 2010. Barouch, 28, used the return to fund his new venture.

 

“We’re building an application for smartphones and other web-based mobile devices to show people the interesting things happening around them” he says.

 

Barouch says mobiles are “just the beginning” of what’s going to happen in the online space, predicting a convergence of social media and mobile technology.

 

“The current market doesn’t understand the power of that yet, but as people start using different applications, that’s really powerful, so our aim is to build a really good platform,” he says.

 

Barouch says Salmat shares the same vision as Roamz, which will utilise the digital capabilities built by Salmat over the last few years to further strengthen the reach and coverage of the service.

 

“There’re an innovative company. They’re not so big that there are multiple layers of bureaucracy, but they’re not so small that they can’t add value to the company,” he says.

 

Salmat chief executive Grant Harrod says Roamz fits well with Salmat’s strategy to grow its business in the digital space.

 

“It complements our Lasoo business, which is Australia’s leading online pre-shop portal with over two million visitors per month,” Harrod says.

 

“Roamz will be an excellent platform for service retailers, SMEs and B2C businesses to present their products and services to a highly targeted, localised buying audience.”

 

“Demand for online retail marketing services is accelerating and we want to make sure we stay ahead of the game.”

 

It is unsure how much Salmat has invested into Roamz, but Barouch says the investment will establish an ongoing relationship.

 

“Salmat has the digital people [required] and a corporate overhead, so we don’t have to go and replicate it,” he says.

 

“We’re going to run it like a start-up, so we will be nimble and try to attract all the great people who like working on start-ups.”

 

Barouch says every start-up should be thinking about their mobile strategy with regard to social media.

 

“Ask yourself, how can I engage our users with social media? If you can do that, you’re well positioned to be able to capitalise on future growth,” he says.