Location-based food discovery tool, Foodspotting has just picked up 3 million in series A funding from BlueRun Ventures, days shy of its one year anniversary on January 15th. Angels from the previous $750k seed round will also be following on and BlueRun’s Jay Jamison will be joining Foodspotting’s board. Foodspotting CEO Alexa Andrzejewski tells TechCrunch that the company chose BlueRun specifically because of their focus on growth in the mobile space.
Foodspotting lets you snap up pictures of dishes at restaurants and also has a simple food recommendation algorithm which Andrzejewski says will be bolstered with the most recent financing.
The company will also be expanding the team, from 7 people to 14 in order to handle further product developments that move away from food photo sharing and into “a smart way to get food recommendation, wherever.”
Says Andrzejewski, “We’re really exciting about expanding Foodspotting’s audience beyond foodies, to continue investing in our business development efforts, and being the place where people go on their mobile phones for food content.”
Foodspotting is in the same space as Forkly as well as recommendation biggies like Yelp. Andrzejewski likens it to a “Pandora for food” and says that unlike other recommendation services, the advantages of Foodspotting to restaurant owners is that the community is encouraged to be positive, “Foodspotting is about people voting up things, sharing things that they love, and creating a culture of positivity.”
Continuing its mobile push, Foodspotting released an Android app right around Christmas-time. iPhone downloads on the popular app hit 500K downloads over the holidays, and have just passed the 550K mark. In addition, unique visits to the Foodspotting website are now over 300K and over 275K foods have been foodspotted thus far.
Right now the service monetizes through advertising, through sponsored content and sponsored competitions. Andrzejewski wants to further this and become a distribution channel, not just for already existing brand partnerships like Zagat, The Travel Channel, Thrillist and Tasting Table but for small businesses weary of the influx of daily deals.