Atly is a company that has developed an app where users create and join map-based communities centered around the things they love, whether that’s hot wings in the Pennsylvania area or stroller-friendly hiking trails in California. And the content within Atly combines the timeliness and authenticity of user-generated content created by a like-minded, trusted source, the utility and ease of visual mapping, practical tools for hyper-specific discovery, and the thrill of engaging perfectly relevant recommendations. Pulse 2.0 interviewed Atly co-founder and CEO Uriel Maslansky to learn more.
Uriel Maslansky’s Background
Maslansky was born with an entrepreneurial spirit, and by the age of 9, I had already begun designing and building websites.
“In high school, I founded a nonprofit music production company that donated all proceeds to charity. But Atly was founded in 2019 with my two co-founders Aviad Coppenhagen (CTO) and Joshua Kaufman (Product) in reaction to a massive gap in how people discover new destinations and activities. Google Maps has proven insufficient, and social media platforms aren’t purpose-built for discovery,” said Maslansky.
Formation Of Atly
How did the idea for Atly come together? “Have you ever tried to find a coffee shop that serves great coffee but also has free WIFI? It’s a challenge because search engines and mapping solutions don’t offer that kind of specific, on-point, and trustworthy location-based content, and social media platforms were built to encourage the consumption of content, not the discovery of places,” Maslansky reflected. “So Atly was born to bridge this gap. It gives people the confidence to find places to go and things to do that they know they’ll enjoy by fusing social media-like content with mapping and location discovery tools.”
What are Atly’s core products and features? “Atly creates a go-to source for previously unmapped content and surfaces gems of information from like-minded people that allow users to trust in the authenticity, integrity, and specificity of every recommendation they uncover. With Atly, anyone with a specific interest, need, or passion can easily unearth their next favorite place to go or thing to do,” Maslansky explained.
Evolution Of Atly’s Technology
How has Atly’s technology evolved? “Atly was founded in 2019, and we launched the app in open beta in 2020 to test whether others shared our frustration and would build topic-based maps. One of our first maps hit 10K people quickly and organically. This confirmed to us that people do want to make and trust location-based recommendations. So far, 120K users have joined and created over 6,500 map-based communities,” Maslansky pointed out. “Now we are primed and excited to spread the word, continuously improve the experience, and ensure that we support people on their quest to discover new places and activities that fulfill their needs. We’re doing so by continuing to roll out new features and updates that improve the discovery experience and monetization capabilities for community managers and more.”
To date, the company raised a combined $18 million in seed and Series A funding, getting the company off the ground running and fueling its development and growth.
“Currently, community managers are feature-hacking to monetize their maps by gating access. This year we will be releasing a subscription-only community feature and other monetization options for community managers, which will entail a revenue share model between Atly and the community managers,” Maslansky noted.
Total Addressable Market
What total addressable market (TAM) size is Atly pursuing? “Atly users come to find and stay to share. Our addressable market includes anyone looking for their next favorite place, which spans age groups and demographics. We see younger generations seeking maps for vintage shops, and foodies looking for the best brunches, and all of our users join the app with the specific intent to find location-based information. Search is the intent, rather than a happy accident or workaround (feature hack),” Maslansky assessed. “This results in higher ROI for every involved party – the user, the community manager, and the location/activity itself – as searches convert into actual visits. While users initially join the app to find information, they also contribute to their preferred groups, sharing their knowledge and growing like-minded communities.”
Differentiation From The Competition
What differentiates Atly from its competition? Maslansky replied:
“We view the competitive landscape as being made up of three different groups. The first is niche apps, which are available for searching for specific places and interests (for example, special-purpose apps for vegans or gluten-free restaurants), but are limited to these topics.
The second is social media platforms, which have location-based knowledge but were not purpose-built for discovery and thus lack crucial search, saving and filtering capabilities.
The third group is mapping and review platforms, like Google and Yelp, which are missing the depth and trustworthiness of information, as compared to social platforms.
And that’s where Atly steps in. Atly is focused on discovery. With Atly, users are able to map any and all location-based content, while benefiting from the key search and discovery features that users so desperately want. Atly’s content is user-generated, up-to-date, and based on the wisdom of the crowd, and thus trustworthy, because real people with similar interests have mapped their recommendations.”
Future Company Goals
What are some of Atly’s future company goals? “We are growing our US user base further on an individual city-by-city basis. We also plan to continue to improve Atly’s state-of-the-art algorithms and overall performance, to release much-anticipated product features and updates, and to collaborate with additional creators,” Maslansky concluded. “There are numerous product features that will be rolling out throughout the end of this quarter. These features will include new discovery capabilities, updates to the maps that better highlight the number of recommendations a place has received and connect users to their friends’ recommendations, and additional features to promote map monetization by community managers.”