How pandemic trick-or-treating inspired a map startup

Two Seattle moms have partnered on a map platform. The idea began with trick-or-treating.

Proxi, a platform for users to make and share custom maps, just raised $1.2m to build a mobile app and new features. But it all started with trick-or-treating.

How pandemic trick-or-treating inspired a map startup

Co-founders Melinda Haughey and Chelsey Roney are 2 Seattle moms and self-described “business nerds” who met at Texas A&M a decade ago.

Roney’s background is in marketing and startups, while Haughey is a former US intelligence analyst with a background in spatial mapping.

During Halloween 2020…

… Haughey saw families on social media building candy chutes and other covid-safe trick-or-treating solutions.

“So, I cobbled together some tools and made a map where people would add their own homes,” she told The Hustle.

The map grew to 2.3k Seattle-area homes and racked up 500k views. People started asking Haughey to build other maps, so she and Roney decided to build Proxi, officially launching in the fall of 2021.

Proxi is built with simplicity in mind…

… and has several customization options, like swapping logos or colors and adding map categories and icons. Some use cases include:

While Proxi is free to use, the company’s business model will eventually include partnering with creators and businesses on advertising and affiliate linking, as well as premium content.

They’re also building an analytics dashboard so creators can gauge the popularity of their maps. The new mobile app will allow users to layer maps and create a specific itinerary.

Fun fact: Years ago, Haughey and Roney started a QR-based payments company, but weren’t ready to work on it full time. Seeing the success of apps like Venmo, they vowed to go full steam ahead on their next good idea.

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Topics: Apps Holiday

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