Woofound, a Maryland-based startup aiming to match your personality to things you want to do, is today launching its iOS application nationwide. The app turns rating activities, places and restaurants into a simple, visual game in order to serve up highly personalized recommendations. You rate things by tapping or clicking “Me” or “Not Me” on the items suggested – it feels something like a “Hot or Not” for your interests, in fact.
In addition to today’s launch, the company is also announcing it has now raised over $1 million in funding, from private investors and angel sources.
The company declined to reveal details about its investors.
Woofound was created by co-founders Dan Sines (CEO) and Josh Spears in April 2011, after being sparked by an idea had when Josh was going on a blind date. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way for friends to match up their interests based on common personality traits? (Well, without paying for an online dating service, that is.)
The company got its start in Baltimore, so a lot of its data about restaurants, nightlife, venues, activities, etc. is currently centered around the Baltimore and D.C. regions. However, the service is now going live in the top 70 major metros areas in the U.S. (For what it’s worth, in my hometown of Tampa, the app struggled to suggest any place or activity I wasn’t already familiar with. Your mileage may vary. And this should improve in time – plans to integrate Eventbrite and Eventful data are in the works.)
The game itself, though, is fun. You don’t feel like you’re training an AI (artificial intelligence) engine, even though that’s exactly what you’re doing. And the app’s design is simple and attractive.
The technology designed to match personality types was built in conjunction with psychoanalyst and psychotherapist Dr. Noreen Honeycutt, who has a private practice in Baltimore. The quiz itself may seem simple, but it can already identify over 300 different levels of personality and preferences. And while its initial use case is consumer-facing – finding things to do friends, see who’s attending events, share event details on social networks – the actual technology powering the app has other potential use cases beyond social.
The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), for example, will be releasing a second Woofound-powered app this fall which will help students identify their career paths, based on personality types. Woofound could also match roommates (like those sharing college dorms) or recommend products, at some point further down the road.
The startup is currently a team of fifteen based in Baltimore, and is planning to raise between $3 million and $5 million in its next round. (Soon-ish). The iOS app is available today, and the Android version will arrive this fall.