WHO'S USING IT: It launched in beta July 1; as of mid-July, 300 groups had signed up. Co-founder and CEO Nate Brochin -- who also founded one of the hotter interactive agencies of the '90s, Rare Medium -- said the company is in discussions with a half dozen well-known national brands. One example so far of a local advertiser matchup is the ultimate Frisbee website Totally Ultimate, which agreed to sponsor team uniforms for six college teams .
THE POTENTIAL: Local advertising is predicted to continue to grow 13% through 2012, according to JupiterResearch data, but it is incredibly difficult for marketers to ferret out opportunities. Groupable's eventual intent is to aggregate similar interest groups and offer packages to marketers.
THE TARGET: So far, it's apparent that women and mothers, as well as an 18-to-34-year-old, outdoor-enthusiast, mostly male group, are emerging as popular targets, Mr. Brochin said. "We don't think the initial targets for this are the bleeding-edge, Twitter- and Facebook-type users. This is for moms' groups, hiking and biking groups, and others who are already organized and might be looking for sponsors."
THE REVENUE STREAM: Marketers and sponsors pay Groupable what is akin to a media-placement fee. While it's still being worked out, national advertisers currently pay a flat fee of $500 for each sponsorship, while local advertisers pay $24 per month.