L.A. prosecutors to use Nextdoor app to strengthen ties with residents

L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer says neighborhood prosecutors will use Nextdoor app to communicate with residents

Los Angeles city prosecutors will use a highly valued social media app to post about their efforts to combat polluters, school violence and illegal medical dispensaries and to field grievances.

But it's not Snapchat or Facebook that they'll be using. Instead, City Atty. Mike Feuer announced Friday that his crew of 22 neighborhood prosecutors would become regulars on Nextdoor, a social networking app that last month announced that it had raised $110 million in funding.

The transaction valued the 5-year-old San Francisco start-up at $1.1 billion, according to a source familiar with the matter, putting it in a select class of young companies.

Nextdoor serves as a private online discussion forum for people living in a community-defined neighborhood. There are more than 860 of them in Los Angeles. Addresses of users are verified through snail mail, Social Security records or other means.

People post about crime, garage sales or cool new shops while 770 government agencies in 575 cities also send alerts or seek feedback on the platform. The Los Angeles city attorney's office is the first prosecutorial department to adopt it.

Feuer, who has added 14 neighborhood prosecutors since taking office in 2013, said the service promises “to deepen the connection” between his office and residents. He also expects discussions about housing woes, consumer fraud and healthcare issues.

Nextdoor doesn’t generate any revenue, but hopes to become big enough to draw advertisers or provide other paid services. The company declined to say how many users it has.

Nextdoor’s investors have put a total of $210 million into the operation. They include several blue-chip venture-capital firms, including Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Insight Venture Partners.

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