Sanchita Saha is an interesting lady. She used to work at the BBC, an organisation that typically swallows whole careers in its plush and inviting embrace. She not only wriggled out of the place, she has since tempted a number of other BBC and corporate lifers to follow suit.
This shows both incredible charisma and dedication: it's a rare individual that can persuade a lifer to leap from secure and well-paid employment to the cut and thrust of the digital start-up scene. And an even rarer breed who makes the leap.
She has certainly won the hearts and minds of the investors from PROfounders. "It's exciting to see CitySocialising operating in a unique way within the Online2Offline space by successfully combining online social networking with genuine relationship-building in the real world around events," says Birch, who sold Bebo to AOL for $850m in 2008. "They've made great progress so far in organically developing a loyal and mobilised community and I'm looking forward to working closely with them to innovate further and realise the full potential of this space."
Launched in 2007, CitySocialising has been entirely self-funded, expanding into 20 major UK cities with another 30 locations on the cards. Over 100,000 users peruse its events pages and groups, looking to meet like-minded professionals in their local area.
Rogan Angelini-Hurll, general partner of PROfounders Capital, has high praise for the concept: "We are firm advocates of the power of the internet to bring people together in the offline world and are excited to be part of the growth of CitySocialising," he says. "We were also very impressed by Sanchita Saha, the CEO of CitySocialising, and the team and are looking forward to helping as they grow CitySocialising into deeper and broader local communities."
The Series A investment is earmarked for product and mobile development, along with recruitment: some big players from the tech scene will be brought in to add clout to the marketing and business development functions.
The £1m investment and collective business nous brought by PROfounders is a real coup for Saha. She says: "Winning the backing of such prolific tech entrepreneurs such as Michael and Brent is as incredible for us as the investment itself. We're very much looking forward to leveraging their collective knowledge and experience in the social and consumer internet space to help shape and execute our product and growth strategy to build on the success that we've achieved to date."
Look out for this hot young tech firm. It could really be making waves this year.
Find out more about CitySocialising