After raising 450k following on their strong showing at the ’12 Le Web startup competition, Recommend has raised an new € 800k round with Xavier Niel (Kima Ventures), Charles Beigbeder (Gravitation), Carlos Da Silva (Go Voyages/Odigeo founder) and Guillaume Victor-Thomas (Ecotour founder and CEO). Recommend officially launched just 6 months ago on the Apple store.
Although the concept of friend-based recommendations is everywhere and there are numerous apps as well, Recommend has worked to set itself apart from the pack via its multi-subject approach. So with Recommend you can offer recommendations on everything from hotel rooms to plumbers, while their competitors tend to just target one subject area. In addition, users can access recommendations from both friends and professionals. In fact, they’ve already built up 20k professional recommendations and, according to founder and CEO Nicolas Mendiharat, plan to grow this number by 10X by end 2014.
In a recent interview with Frenchweb, Mendiharat spoke about the challenge of finding the right business model for Recommend. He indicated that while it would still take more time for them to put an effective business model in place, adding sponsored links would likely be a part of their monetization strategy. One area that he has categorically ruled out however is sponsored advice given that the element of trust, which is obviously an integral part of Recommend.