Foodspotting , an online platform for users to share pictures and recommendations of good food, has come a long way since its inception in January 2010. Over the past year, the startup has passed 550,000 iPhone app users, collected 275,000 dish recommendations, and gathered over 300,000 monthly visitors. Last July, Foodspotting raised $750,000 from early stage funders, and this week the startup announced that it has raised $3 million in Series A funding.
Foodspotting's funding round was led by BlueRun Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on mobile and IP-related startups. BlueRun venture partner Jay Jamison will join the startup's board. "We're excited about working with them because of their mobile experience," says Alexa Andrzejewski, CEO and co-founder of Foodspotting.
The company has big ambitions now that it is flush with funding. Foodspotting plans to focus on releasing "smarter, faster apps," and becoming something akin to a Pandora for food--in the future, "you can see recommendations that would be interesting to you. For example, if you spot and take pictures of a lot of soup, we'll show you more soup recommendations," Andrzejewski says. Foodspotting is launching an Android app later this month.
As with Foursquare, many businesses take advantage of Foodspotting to promote their wares. An ice cream chain, for example, might reward users with a free scoop if they spot all of their flavors. The new round of funding will allow Foodspotting to reach out even further to small businesses.
In the future, the startup also hopes to broaden its appeal beyond just "foodspotters" who take pictures of their dishes. Andrzejewski anticipates that it will have a broader mass-market appeal, so that anyone looking for good food can turn on Foodspotting and immediately get recommendations and tips from users. It will, in other words, move closer to becoming a Yelp for food--without all the negativity.