Matchbook receives $250k seed fund for bookmark app

Nathan Pensky · February 13, 2012 · Short URL:

Matchbook's bookmark app has subtle social networking, for those unwilling to broadcast whereabouts

Bookmarking mobile app Matchbook announced a $250,000 funding from investors Quotidian Ventures and angel investor Rick Webb. It also launched a new feature for intent-based deals. Matchbook is a mobile app that allows users to make notes on their favorite restaurants, bars, and venues, then organize these notes on their mobile devices.

Matchbook's new feature involves an integration with daily deal sites, like Groupon, Gilt City, and Living Social, for bookmarking outlets. The app generates user-specific notifications based on discounted prices.

Matchbook is currently available free for iOS.

“When someone gets a restaurant recommendation, they tend to write it down in the notepad app of their phone, and then do nothing with it because it lacks organization. Matchbook makes that already occurring behavior useful,” said Matchbook founder Jason Schwartz, in an interview. “Whether you hear about a new place from a friend, blog, or by walking by it, Matchbook will help you remember it later.”

Users can organize their bookmarks based on tags and frequency of visits, among other criteria.

"While doing research for Matchbook, we found a surprisingly prevalent behavior around remembering places," continued Schwartz. "People, particularly women in their late 20s in urban areas, would have lists in the notepad of their phone for places they want to go to. Despite doing this work, when asked if this list was useful they generally said no. This lack of organization made it useless when it came time to plan for a night out."

Having launched in the summer of 2010, Matchbook uses social networking features sparingly, indicating that this creates a more intimate user experience than say on Yelp, or FourSquare.

The company indicated that the app is popular, in particular, with females who have otherwise shied away from location-based services, likely because the public nature of these services can post obvious dangers for users concerned about the safety of having their whereabots broadcast to the world at large.

"The type of user that's interested in Matchbook, is generally not interested in other social software like Twitter or Foursquare," said Schwartz. "They don't want to share everything they are doing with everyone.  However, they are open to an intimate social experience with their close friends.  Our focus is going to be on cracking that code."

As for business model, Matchbook is focusing on affiliate fees. "Right now we are going to take an affiliate fee on the deals we sell through the app," he responded. "We have plans on making that an increasingly lucrative proposition. We will have a new product announcement in the next few weeks."

Schwartz also noted that his app is getting some competition from another iOS app. "Our biggest competitor is the Notepad app in the iPhone. That's where this information is going now, and it's a tough app to beat in terms of simplicity. The speed of input on the notepad app can't really be topped."

"However, the output once the information is in the notepad is very poor. A dumb list of place names isn't helpful," continued Schwartz. "It needs organization, like on a map or by neighborhood. That's what Matchbook brings to the user. They are already doing the work, and getting nothing out of it. When they find out about Matchbook, they are very excited that we built something for them."

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