Travel Discovery App Spot Wants To Personalize Recommendations

Spot, a travel discovery app that launched as a private beta last June, makes its public debut in the App Store on Tuesday. Created by Luke Groesbeck, who previously founded Y Combinator-backed startup JobAlchemist, Spot seeks to put a personalized spin on traditional recommendation services like Yelp and Foursquare.

“The most fundamental difference between us and other travel and local apps is that Spot ranks places according to expert opinion and recommendations from friends, rather than ratings and reviews from strangers,” Groesbeck told Fast Company. “That ‘experts and friends’ calculus is the same way that most of us make decisions about where to go in practice; it’s based on real-world user behavior.”

Spot—which was created through the startup studio Expa—has been redesigned since its beta version, making it “more intuitive, easier to use, and, we think, more beautiful,” Groesbeck says. The app has also raised $2 million in a seed funding round, backed by investors like Ram Shriram and Tim Ferriss.

Spot is available as a free download in the App Store today. The app is currently only compatible with iPhones, but is set to come to Android later this year.PM