Here is the strange thing about Meetup.com. It’s terrific for organizing people to get together in the real world. But even though there are 28 adult soccer clubs on Meetup near the Betabeat office, each one sits in a separate silo and doesn’t connect to its peers. Trying to merge groups together is a nightmare on Meetup.
Kohort, the new startup from Mark Davis, just raised $3 million from folks like IA Ventures, RRE, FF Capital, David Tisch and David Cohen. It’s going to be offering a suite of tools to help groups do things like organize events, collect dues and enlist new members.
But the secret sauce, says one investor, is the way in which Kohort will help groups to interact with one another. “Meetup is essentially providing a platform for anyone to create a group, but its not tapping the network effect that comes from tying those organizations together.”
Kohort will have ways for groups to organize around a shared passion. So the 28 soccer clubs in New York could host a round robin tournament, pool their members and easily split the entry fees between all the participating groups.
When Meetup.com launched its redesign back in January, angry users took to the comment boards and forums to try and find an alternative. Some pointed at Facebook Groups and Groupspaces, but no one seemed satisfied with these choices. Kohort is planning to fill that vacuum, although it shouldn’t count on Meetup to drop the ball and drive users its way.