Atmosfy raises $12M for its app that lets you discover local businesses through immersive short videos

Google has completely revolutionized the process of discovering local businesses on the Internet. The era of Yellow Pages and directories is long gone. Yet, as great as Google Search is, it still remains a bit of a struggle for individuals seeking to fully immerse themselves in their city’s offerings – whether it’s locating the ideal spot to dine, dance, lodge, or simply socialize.

That’s precisely why a new tech startup called Atmosfy took it upon itself to tackle this challenge head-on with a new way for people to explore and review dining, nightlife, and travel experiences, in real-time, all through user-generated video content. In just two years after its inception, Atmosfy now has video content in more than 10,000 cities across more than 150 countries.

To further expand its reach, Atmosfy announced Thursday it has secured $12 million in seed funding led by Redpoint Ventures with participation from Palm Tree Crew Investments (Kygo), Streamlined Ventures, Industry Ventures, Canaan Partners, Village Global, Progression Fund, and Convivialite Ventures. The funding news comes just as Atmosfy celebrated its one-millionth local business on its platform.

Founded in 2021 by CEO Michael Ebel and alumni of Instagram, TripAdvisor, TikTok, OpenTable, and Google. Atmosfy connects people to the finest destinations and activities across the globe using captivating immersive videos that encourage people to embark on more fulfilling experiences while also championing local businesses on a global scale.

While video has taken over as the go-to method for consuming content online, the world of online reviews seems stuck in the past, relying on old-fashioned static images, dated text descriptions, and the same old star rating system from the era of print media.

Atmosfy is changing this by breathing life into reviews by delivering real-time, genuine videos created by local experts. These hyper-local creators share their firsthand encounters at nearby eateries, hotels, bars, nightclubs, and festivals. Embracing a mobile-first, video-centric approach, Atmosfy shines a spotlight on local businesses, seamlessly integrating them into users’ feeds and maps. This approach effortlessly guides people toward fresh discoveries, travel planning, and up-to-the-minute updates on local happenings.

“As a former bartender, I witnessed the challenges faced by local businesses in promoting their brand and generating positive online reviews,” stated Michael Ebel, Founder and CEO of Atmosfy, “During COVID, that difficulty for businesses was exponentially amplified, and it was clear there was a new solution needed to help support them. Atmosfy gave consumers a way to highlight their experiences through video, inspire others to come visit, and support the businesses that were still open. The mission has resonated globally and has taken off, helping people rediscover their cities, or new ones, in real-time.”

Atmosfy has now opened a new channel for local discovery, uniting the power of mobile, video, and location-specific content. The startup also added the new funding will enable its team to expand the platform, integrate deep personalization, develop best-in-class partnerships, and further support local businesses.

“At Redpoint, we’re big believers in consumers’ ongoing obsession with user-generated content. Consumers, again and again, have proven that they want to hear from cultural curators that speak like them, live like them – and, in Atmosfy’s case, enjoy experiences like them,” noted Meera Clark, Principal at Redpoint. “At the same time, we know that preferences, particularly among Gen Z, are shifting as they seek more authentic, immersive, and engaging outlets for discovery, entertainment, and self-expression. In our minds, if there is one company that epitomizes these themes, it’s Atmosfy. From its industry-leading engagement to its remarkably robust library of UGC, we’re honored and grateful to be partnering with Michael and the Atmosfy team for this next phase of growth.”