Life is Local with Notification App Witelist

By Lynsey Anderson |

‘Life is local’ – that’s the guiding principle of new notification platform Witelist. The service works by bringing life to its users, alerting them to events taking place within a 130-metre radius of where they are.

It also informs them of special discounts and deals on food, drink and clothing, building up their integration with the people and local businesses around them.

Particularly useful to those who have just moved to a new area, the app lets its users discover the world right outside their door.

Francis Osih and Jonathan Kyritsis, two of the Berlin-based startup’s founders, met when studying business in Barcelona. They told Silicon Allee about the difficulties they faced moving to a new city and becoming part of life there. “By letting the local community get in touch with each other, the technology allows users to have an identity of a location around them,” said Francis.

But Witelist isn’t just another location-based social or advertising smartphone app. Unlike The Dealmap (recently bought by Google), or Gowalla (recently bought by Facebook), Witelist’s “competitive advantage lies in the fundamental concept of our product,” according to Jonathan. He added: “We are the only location-based application to engage our users based on their relative location. Instead of users either checking-in to a location, or searching on a map, Witelist sends alerts to their users every time they are near locations which are relative to them.”

Another major selling point for Witelist, especially in light of the recent furore over ACTA, is that it doesn’t come with any of the privacy concerns related to most check-in apps. “Rather than having to share their location in order to gain the benefits associated with checking- in, Witelist keeps a user’s information private” Jonathan added, “unless that user wishes to share his location, at which point he is able to do so.”

Ultimately, Witelist – which took part in the recent TWiST event in Berlin – is looking to develop their own platform, but for the time being it is using an aggregator to gain access to deals and events in various cities around the world. Rather than having to look up these offers online, Witelist sends local notifications to its users via the app.

Users receive alerts even if the app is running in the background, and it will work anywhere in the world.

Witelist also allows its users to create a subscription list from the events and deals they are interested in – when a user clicks on a notification, they are transferred to a third party site, where they can download the discount coupon. The service also automatically learns the kind of offers the user is interested in, allowing more specific alerts to be sent.

There is a social networking element to Witelist as well, with users able to ‘friend’ each other. Francis added: “With Witelist you can follow specific ‘authors’ who post messages around your city. We really want people to subscribe to the types of messages that they like.”

After seven months of development, the app is now being sent out to review on the iTunes store.