The beer maker originally launched Crowdit in its native Denmark and neighbouring Sweden in 2012. It was used as a channel for product promotion and a means of driving footfall into partner venues.
London-based mobile entrepreneur Sam Amrani acquired the service in October 2015 to create a business from the platform.
That said, minority stakeholder Carslberg has secured a seat on the board of the new company for group marketing technologist Martin Majlund, who sits alongside Coca-Cola CTO Guy Wolleart and Lastminute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman.
The app lets users discover what’s happening in bars, pubs and clubs. And with a desire to repeat the Scandinavian success, Amrani wants to expand the service cross the UK capital as well as other European cities.
The app uses location-based technology – a speciality of Amrani’s – and is valued at $30m. The idea is to provide venues of all sizes with the power to connect directly to local consumers, without relying on social media campaigns or individual apps.
Victor Chu, chairman of Hong Kong-based First Eastern Investment Group, led the $2m seed investment, which will be instrumental in the service’s expansion. Beyond Europe, Amrani also aspires to reach Asia and the US – in particular, Shanghai, Tokyo and New York.
Read more on the drinks industry:
- How a government loan put one awe-inspiring cocktail startup on the road to glory
- Britain’s boozers fuel UK economy as alcohol tax revenues top £10bn
- There’s no point in having a Ferrari if your staff are catching the bus
“Crowdit offers something very unique for both consumers and businesses. It’s an incredibly clever idea and one with great potential for growth and further investment. Already hugely popular in Denmark and Sweden, Crowdit is a catalyst for excitement in the community. I can see it becoming a global phenomenon,” said Chu.
His involvement comes after he backed the creation of a fund to help British businesses tackle China.
“Crowdit is certainly one of the most exciting projects I’ve invested in using the $500m UK China Fund, set up to support the growth of small businesses in the UK,” he added.
The service will be scaled in London first of all, relaunched in Scandinavia and then enter new markets in 2016. There is also a plan integrate mobile payments, social gifting and personal recommendations to make Crowdit “essential” for a night out.
Amrani said: “Our app focuses on discovery, spontaneity and impulse – it’s perfect for people who are on an unplanned night out and want to know what’s on right there, right now. This is something that no other app in this space caters for.
“The app is a great tool not just for consumers but for the venues and brands too. For a considerably small amount of money, a pub can promote their special night directly to the people walking past.
“We believe we have the right vision and the right components to be a highly valuable service for both users and business.
“The speed at which we’ve managed to raise this investment stands as a testament to this and we’ve wasted no time in executing some highly successful user acquisition events in London.”