We’ve seen many Japanese services that try to help travelers enjoy travel plans or experiences that you can’t find at travel agencies. But most of them target short-term visitors. So what about solutions for international travelers who want to stay for longer periods, or even relocate to a new city?
To meet that need, Tokyo-based Korean entrepreneur Yuna Kim recently launched a plan matching site called Locaruu. It helps users enjoy an unfamiliar city as locals do, by connecting them with locals over the platform.
The concept for platform stems from Yuna’s own experience. She studied in Japan, and then graduated from the University of Toronto. Every time she moved to a new city, she really wanted to connect with locals, but she couldn’t find any easy way to do so. She explains the kind of demographic she wants to target with this service:
Our service mainly targets people going abroad for study, especially Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean women in their 30s.
As for how the platform actually works, it collects excursion plans from people from all around the world, and lets you pick one for your next visit. If you purchase a plan, you pay a transaction fee via PayPal, and Locaruu takes 20% as a commission fee before connecting you with the person who posted that plan. You can browse plans without user registration, but you are asked to log in when ordering.
In an effort to explore an additional monetization stream, they are in talks with several language learning schools that might be interested in using Locaruu as a marketing channel to attract student applicants from the aforementioned Asian countries.
Because many internet solutions let you keep working regardless of location, many people these days can live anywhere or even relocate. It will be interesting to see how Locaruu can help these people live better.