SAN FRANCISCO -- Nextdoor, the San Francisco startup that lets neighborhoods build their own social networks, on Tuesday is expected to announce nearly $22 million in new funding.

The company also will roll out a new suite of products it says can help fight crime.

The funding round includes prior backers Greylock Partners, Benchmark Capital and Shasta Ventures. New to the party are Google (GOOG) Ventures and Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Amazon.com Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos.

Nextdoor, the San Francisco startup from Nirav Tolia that lets neighborhoods build their own social networks, on Tuesday is expected to announce nearly $22
Nextdoor, the San Francisco startup from Nirav Tolia that lets neighborhoods build their own social networks, on Tuesday is expected to announce nearly $22 million in new funding. (Dai Sugano/Mercury News file photo)

Greylock led the investment, and managing director David Sze -- an early investor in Facebook and LinkedIn -- will join Nextdoor's board.

Sze declined interview requests. In a prepared statement, he said: "I was fortunate enough to be involved in the early growth years at both LinkedIn and Facebook and have seen how the seemingly simple act of connecting people can lead to major change in the world."

Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia added: "We've been blown away by the rapid adoption of Nextdoor by neighbors across the country."


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Launched in late 2011, Nextdoor says it now serves more than 8,000 neighborhoods in all 50 states. Tolia said more than 30 new neighborhoods every day use the service to build private websites where they can swap questions and advice, sell secondhand items and create "virtual neighborhood watches."

Although the service is free, Tolia eventually plans to make money by taking a piece of the action when items are sold on the platform and by allowing merchants to offer specials to neighbors.

New features let members share information with Nextdoor users in surrounding neighborhoods and allow police and fire departments to blast urgent updates to Nextdoor members via text message.

Quinn Fenwick, who recently retired as assistant police chief of Ventura, said that city's force uses Nextdoor to broadcast weekly crime stats. The service draws far more residents than the department's traditional neighborhood watch programs, he added.

"It's definitely increasing awareness," said Fenwick, who learned of Nextdoor when it acquired a similar company started by his sister.

And while he said it's too soon to point to a correlating drop in crime, he said that with Ventura -- like many California cities -- seeing its police force cut for budgetary reasons, "We're going to have to leverage social media to be more effective."

Contact Peter Delevett at 408-271-3638. Follow him at Twitter.com/mercwiretap.