Location-based Commerce Startup Urgnt.ly Lands Seasoned Internet Executive as Product Lead

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Longtime AOL, Sprint, XOHM Executive and Entrepreneur to Help Revolutionize Sector.


We’re extremely happy Rick has decided to come aboard full time to help lead our product efforts

Longtime content and product innovator Rick Robinson is joining Northern Virginia startup Urgnt.ly to help lead the year-old startup from beta into a formal launch (this summer) revealing an entirely new way for consumers in need of help to find nearby providers and vice versa.

Urgnt.ly is an online and mobile service (iPhone and Android) providing people struck with urgent dilemmas ranging from leaking roofs to broken air conditioners -- and the repair people looking for a job near them -- an entirely new solution. (Video here: bit.ly/Urgntly.)

“Having been a weekend adviser for so long it’s great to finally be taking the plunge with Urgnt.ly,” said Robinson, whose background includes mobile product development at AOL and Sprint and content and product innovation for startups and established concerns like National Geographic. “This is the right time for a location based utility service that goes beyond much of what we’ve seen and actually provides a critical service for people in need and those who can meet it.”

Using modern technology available to most consumers, Urgnt.ly provides solutions to problems "now and near." This means no longer do consumers have to find the telephone number of a service provider, call them, hope to connect, make an appointment and wait. Instead, for urgent or top-of-mind needs, people can turn to Urgnt.ly on the Web or their smartphone, and automatically be guided to the nearest available experts.

"Available" is an important distinction -- providers of service use Urgnt.ly to not only display where they are at the moment but also if they are checked in, meaning they are available to swing by right away.

“We’re extremely happy Rick has decided to come aboard full time to help lead our product efforts,” said Ric Fleisher, serial entrepreneur and Urgnt.ly's President and COO. “We’re ready for the marketplace and need to assure the product will continue to grow to meet the needs of consumers and service providers.”

Fleisher pointed out that for service providers “this means they can grab opportunities in between scheduled jobs, or simply go about their day waiting to be messaged by new customers using Urgnt.ly."

Urgnt.ly has established relationships with service providers who will log in to the service and display their location to Urgnt.ly users on a map, via GPS and other locating technology: "Think of it a digital version of the 'on duty' light atop taxis, but people can see the light from our app and Website. And service providers can see urgent needs posted by consumers on the same map," Robinson said.

CEO Surendra Goel has noted that Urgnt.ly is effectively the logical next step in local search, combing geo-location technology with mobile devices and even mixes elements of social online behaviors to satisfy both sides of an equation: those needing help and those who can provide it.
"But the consumer- and provider-facing sides of the product do not look like a standard search," Goel said. "Instead, we've developed a sleek interface intended to operate like people think: visually, spatially and locally."

The Urgnt.ly team, which includes a technology lead and outsourced development, has struck agreements with both nationwide and local service companies to power the service at the local level.

Frank Menditch, founder of ARS (American Residential Services; acquired by ServiceMaster), is an adviser to Urgnt.ly and sees the breakthrough service as part of a revolution in technology helping consumers be more empowered and HVAC/R professionals have more access to opportunity.

Urgnt.ly has begun its beta launch in the Washington, DC area with plans to expand to other major DMAs before going nationwide. To see a video on how Urgnt.ly works please go to http://bit.ly/Urgntly

For more information please contact Ric Fleisher at 703 851 3370.

Robinson began his career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor, and in the early 1990s as editor in chief of a magazine covering the online world (BBS Magazine). For the next 16 years he has innovated consumer online experiences for large media brands, and startups.

Media Contact: Ric Fleisher Urgnt.ly, 703 851 3370, rfleisher(at)urgnt(dot)ly

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