In recent months, the iOS App Store has filled with “smart” calendars such as Sunrise, Tempo and Cue, but a new Tel Aviv-based startup called Calendo, despite its name, isn’t trying to directly compete with these types of applications. Instead of better managing your calendar for you, Calendo wants to help you fill it by making sure that you don’t miss out on events you would have otherwise attended.
The company is backed by $500,000 in seed funding, all from Saar Wilf, who previously founded and later sold Fraud Sciences to eBay for $169 million. Wilf is designated as the third co-founder/angel, alongside CEO Eran Back and CPO Dov Frank, both who have technical backgrounds and previous experience as startup founders themselves.
The startup had previously run a private beta test among friends and family who used an earlier version of the app — also called Calendo — but Back says that the feedback they heard during these trials was that people were more interested in having the app suggest activities.
“They wanted us to suggest things,” he explains. “They wanted something in the discovery space, more than the event organizer space.”
Back says that the users and his friends would complain about missing events – either because they were too busy to check Facebook, or hadn’t “Liked” the right page on the social network to receive the event update.
Calendo, which works on top of Facebook data, solves that problem. It starts off by establishing your interests in terms of the pages you currently like on Facebook (you can select/deselect these at will), but then it takes things a step further. Instead of only alerting you to events, parties and activities associated with those pages, it tracks those that your friends are attending as well.
Over time, the app learns to better tailor its event recommendations to those that fit your interests, the company claims.
When you see an event you want to sign up for, you can RSVP from Calendo itself, save the event to your iOS calendar, invite others, or share the event on Twitter or on your own Facebook profile.
In a few weeks, Calendo will add support for Evenbrite and Meetup.com events, too, both of which are currently in testing. Longer term, the plan is to pull in data from a number of other, smaller websites, in particular for things like music concerts.
Calendo plans to generate revenue by pointing users to ticket sales as more sources are added. However, Back says that if the app gained critical mass, it eventually could be used to help event organizers promote their events to the right target audience. Because Calendo knows a user’s tastes and preferences, it would be able to makes these types of recommendations.
Events are only the beginning for Calendo, Back adds. “We’re also examining things like trending restaurants,” he says, noting that this feature is also now in testing. “Movies, pubs, bars – things like that – this is the space we’re aiming for,” he says.
Calendo is a free download here in Apple’s iOS App Store.