When deciding on a place to live, most people want to know what kind of neighborhood they will be entering. Whether the level of crime, the quality of schools, and a host of other indicators, people crave data and Lithuania-based Place I Live aims to deliver.
Based out of Lithuania, they selected their home country for the pilot project back in 2012. They started off with the 5 largest cities and then they went global earlier this year with their beta version. Berlin, London, San Francisco, and Chicago were first on their list for expansion, while New York will be added in the near future. From the original Lithuanian cities, the company claims 50K users and says that they have added a few thousand from their newest markets. Ultimately, they are looking to become “the IMDB for data on cities,” providing data on the 200 largest cities in the world.
In order to use the service, you start by selecting your city (and there are only a handful). Once you have picked out a city, you can click on various zones (ZIP codes, if you select an American city) and see quality-of-life scores for individual. Clicking on an individual building (such as this one in Chicago), you are presented with a number of individual scores (such as health, transportation, ‘community’, safety, and more) and a number of nearby locations pertinent to the score (bus stations for the transportation score, for example).
Place I Live is free to end-users (and always will be, according to the company’s communications manager), but they raise revenue by licensing their data, through their APIs, to real-estate and travel companies.
The communications manager from the company tells me that they wanted to offer a service that will allow people to make use of the enormous amount of data about your community to make more informed decisions.
The company claims local investment, as they initially obtained 11K Euro from Lithuanian startup accelerator StartupHighway in 2012 and followed that up with 200K Euro from Lithuanian investment firm Practica Capital last year to fuel their international expansion.
In the United States, two of the main competitors in this market are Sperling’s Best Places and AreaVibes. Best Places might be helpful if you are just looking for raw data on a particular area and helpfully compares your selected location to the United States as a whole, but the site’s UI is pretty unappealing. AreaVibes, on the other hand, has already established itself as a nationwide service for analyzing locations for “liveability”. The difference between both of these services is that, which they offer information at the city level, Place I Live goes deeper and offers users scores for individual buildings.