Community media company Archant has announced the acquisition of the remaining equity in PlanningFinder.com, the portal website consolidating all domestic and commercial planning applications across the UK. Archant had previously held a majority equity stake in the business.
The website joins a growing portfolio of digital products within Archant Digital Ventures, the company’s digital incubator and investment arm, which invests in and supports innovative technology solutions and business models in Archant’s target market. PlanningFinder.com, launched in 2010, brings together commercial and domestic planning applications from all council authorities in the UK to provide users with simple, accessible information about current planning applications in their local area. By registering their details, users receive a weekly email summary of all planning applications submitted near their registered postcode.
The PlanningFinder platform has recently been further enhanced by the Archant Digital Ventures development team to increase the level of coverage across the UK and develop services for commerical partners, advertisers and local councils.
Serge Taborin, MD of Archant Digital Ventures, said: “We are delighted to have completed the acquisition of PlanningFinder.com and see it as a valuable asset in our strategy aimed at extending the relationship with our local communities, be they private, public or commercial.”
“Complementing other local digital assets in our portfolio, including our own local news sites, community-driven website Streetlife.com and several other locally-focused services, PlanningFinder.com is an important addition to this digital ecosystem, keeping our communities appraised of the proposed changes in their locality. Just as importantly, this innovative approach is also helping Councils raise awarness of their notices early in the process, minimising the possibility of time-consuming and costly complaints later” Said Serge.
Chris Thompson, Head of Development at Archant Digital Ventures, said: “PlanningFinder in its revamped form has proved a huge success with its users, both private and commercial. It is also acting as an extension of local council websites in some areas, and we are now finding ourselves collaborating closely with a number of local councils actively using and sharing the service.”
Archant Digital Ventures, created to deliver on Archant’s growth strategy to develop its offering beyond local journalism, typically partners with or acquires innovative technology startups, enabling rapid and scalable rollout of their products and/or services. The Archant Digital Ventures portfolio currently holds four businesses and is actively looking for further investment opportunities.
© Archant Ltd 2013