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What they do : Loku (formerly Borrowed Sugar) is trying to make the Internet feel more neighborly. The technology searches the web and finds all the news, events, and information related to every neighborhood and small town across the U.S. Loku products help neighbors meet each other, discover what’s happening in their community, and buy great products and services together. Ultimately, the company strengthens interactions between local organizations and their members.

How we helped: Texas Venture Labs offered research support for Loku in three key areas. First, TVL conducted analysis on the competitive space, helping keep track of market movement. Second, they suggested alternative models for Loku to curate content to improve content quality in each neighborhood. Last, TVL identified candidates for Loku's advisory board. These efforts provided Loku with data and analysis to develop an improved user experience.

The latest : Loku recently raised an angel round in Austin. It has been using this capital to help fuel growth before full-scale launch in March 2011. After shoring up the 1,150+ Austin neighborhood websites, the company will look to expand to other cities. It will seek Series A venture capital to help fuel that growth later this year.