Rising Star Interview: Sanchita Saha

Sanchita Saha talks about her hopes for the networking site she founded, CitySocialising.com

How did you get the idea?
My sister moved to San Francisco a couple of years ago and found it hard to meet people. It got me thinking about how relocating can be quite isolating and I did some research and found that the only websites for meeting people were for online dating.

How has it grown?
We started in London and it was such a success that within nine months we launched in 11 regional cities around the UK and Scotland. In the past year, we’ve opened in seven more cities.

Where did you get funding?
Initially, I received £2,500 through The Prince’s Trust for a trial website. I then took out a bank loan with an overdraft facility of £20,000 and got investment from friends and family of £10,000 to relaunch the site. This year I raised £260,000 of early-stage investment.

How have you marketed the company?
Up to now we had invested no money in marketing. Instead, we were using word of mouth and SEO as a way of getting our name out there. Now we’re doing more advertising through things like Google ads and using PR.

Where next?
We are looking into international expansion into two countries in Europe and two outside. It’s actually been a case of people approaching us and asking if we have any plans to launch something similar in their home countries. Because we’ve had so much interest, it should be easy to find agents in those places.

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