Berlin or London? VERSUS Launches City Comparisons

By Conor Rushby |

Unsure as to where to build your business? San Francisco, Berlin and London all have their merits, but how can you make your mind up? VERSUS IO, the app for comparing consumer tech, has extended its functionality with the launch of its latest comparison vertical, for cities.

It’s a departure from the electrical goods comparisons that have been the mainstay of the Berlin startup’s product so far – but is reflective of VERSUS’ desire to ultimately allow its users to compare anything they want. Some 240 cities can be compared in 18 languages, with more than one million different comparisons available.

You won’t be surprised to learn London is wetter than Berlin, or that public transport costs more than here. But the British capital also boasts a higher ratio of women to men, and the average salary is larger.

In fact, London is higher scoring in 25 categories, as opposed to Berlin which cleans up in 16. In all there are 100 criteria to match up cities and see which is better. Education, infrastructure and economy are included, as are cultural features, climate and crime rates. Sources include Wikipedia, the World Meteorological Organisation and CNN Money. It’s a neat idea – one that will appeal to globetrotting startup folk as well as the public at large.

With this new feature included, the app can now make four million comparisons in total. As a platform for comparing tech, VERSUS IO last month received a boost from the launch of the iPhone 5 when users scrambled to compare Apple’s latest smart phone with Samsung’s offerings. The app also allows users to cross-compare tablets with phones.

Contrasting tech and cities is just the starting point however. There are plans afoot to launch an additional 640 vertical comparisons before summer 2013, including real estate, food, credit cards, TVs, banks, motor cycles, and even plastic surgeons. And people comparison might also be made available by the end of this year, pulling in criteria such as popularity, friends, networks, CVs and education.

Founded by Ramin G. Far in July 2011, VERSUS IO received €700,000 in funding from JMES Investments and HTGF a year later. The algorithms the company developed allow people to compare different products in an easy-to-understand format. Since then, the app recorded almost 2 million visits in September, and is currently growing at 50 percent every month.

The launch comes just days after VERSUS IO was one of three startups who met German President Joachim Gauck as he toured the Factory.