SpotCrime has worked with SmartLogic since 2008, when we first built a pre-App Store iPhone app.

SpotCrime logo

The Problem

SpotCrime aggregates crime data from police departments all over the United States, maps the data, and provides email crime alerts. SpotCrime’s data tracking helps both police departments and citizens build safer communities.

SpotCrime on an iPad
SpotCrime is the most comprehensive online source of crime information and provides crime maps and crime alert emails.

SpotCrime began growing quickly in 2007, and founder Colin Drane did not have a technical background. At the time, "the whole idea of startups and web 2.0 was nascent," Drane said. For context, the first iPhone was released on June 29th, 2007. Drane realized that "the company was growing so fast that I needed some additional folks who understood databases and technology."

Why SmartLogic

Drane read about SmartLogic in the Baltimore Business Journal, met with the team, and hired SmartLogic quickly. Drane found the team "smart and knowledgeable," and liked how SmartLogic was a similar size to SpotCrime’s lean team.

The Solution

The SpotCrime iOS app
The SpotCrime iOS app displays a list of crimes and a crime map for the user's current location.

SpotCrime has worked with SmartLogic since 2008. "In terms of my perspective, it’s been an amazing success," said Drane. SmartLogic and SpotCrime have both grown since the beginning of their relationship, and "there’s been a ton of interaction."

Every time SpotCrime grows and needs help from SmartLogic, they’ll have a meeting, and generally, "within two months after that meeting, we have a product we’re pushing out," said Drane. Not only does SmartLogic "work very fast," they also "ask really good questions."

Drane, who focuses on marketing and product management, values SmartLogic’s technical expertise. "SmartLogic has such a wealth of knowledge. Sometimes what seems obvious and trivial to them would be amazing in the marketing world," said Drane.

For example, during one of SpotCrime’s annual meetings with media partners, one publisher suggested that SpotCrime provide an easy way to create a map for a news story. The SmartLogic developer at the meeting said "I can get that done in a half an hour," and was almost finished building the feature by the end of the meeting. Now, many of SpotCrime’s media partners use the feature frequently.

The Results

SpotCrime has come along way since their first iPhone app. As of May 2013, SpotCrime surpassed 1 million monthly unique visitors from around the country, and SpotCrime consistently sends over 5 million email alerts per month.

While it’s hard to encapsulate the results of SpotCrime and SmartLogic’s long relationship, here are a few highlights of how we’ve helped SpotCrime grow.

  • SmartLogic helped build an infrastructure that allows SpotCrime to handle a large volume of data at "an incredibly low cost."
  • When SpotCrime first reached out to SmartLogic, Apple hadn’t even created the App Store. Yet within a month, SmartLogic had created an iPhone app for SpotCrime. "It was basically a web application because the App Store didn’t even exist," said Drane. "We were covered on TechCrunch, partly because of the app, so we got a massive traffic spike as a result of that."
  • More recently, SpotCrime’s iPhone app needed updates to keep pace with the device’s changing size and iOS. "I reached out to SmartLogic, and in a month’s time, we had a new functional app," said Drane. "That’s a classic interaction with SmartLogic."
  • SpotCrime’s traffic recently rose by 20% because of a product SmartLogic was "integral in developing," said Drane.

And, of course, the length of SmartLogic and SpotCrime’s partnership is a testament to its success. "I’ve been working with them since 2008. That’s a long time, particularly in the tech world," said Drane.