Hello, Chair, the company that develops a social app recommendation engine within an iPhone app, has raised $850,000 in funding from Harrison Metal Capital, Mitch Kapor, Chris Sacca, and Wilson Sonsini. The startup previously raised money from Y Combinator and David Parker.
Hello, Chair’s Appsaurus competes with the Apple Genius feature, serving as recommendation service for mobile apps on the iPhone. Here’s how it works. After launching the application, you’ll be presented with a handful of semi-popular apps from the App Store and asked to pick the one you like best. Once you pick your favorite, it shows you another round of apps. After four rounds or so, the app begins to learn your preferences, and you keep ranking more apps to help fine-tune its recommendations. In essence, it’s trying to build a profile based on your entire library of apps, not just one. If you’re presented with an application that you’ve never heard of, you can hit an arrow to read its summary and see screenshots.
The startup is also releasing a new version of the app that now recommends iPad apps, helping users discover which apps they want. The App Store has not yet switched on the Genius feature for iPad apps, so this functionality is definitely compelling. The new version also includes Lists, a comprehensive library feature for organizing your apps. Appsaurus will also serve you recommendations based on any of your lists.
One of our pain points with the App was that it didn’t have a syncing functionality to import your current apps, making you manually have to input your apps. The new version of the app includes Cloud Sync, which allows users to sync their phone’s apps from the Appsaurus Sync desktop app directly to their “Installed” list in Appsaurus for instantly relevant recommendations.
Hello Chair has considerable experience in developing mobile app recommendations. In 2008, they launched Appalanche, which shared some similarities with Appsaurus in that it was meant to help surface interesting apps, but was a web app rather than a native download. The precursor to Appalanche is an ad voting engine called Adpinion.