Whrrl Launches Amazon-Like Recommendations Engine for the Real World

Oct 13, 2010, 09:00 ET from Pelago

SEATTLE, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Pelago, makers of Whrrl, today announced they have launched the first Amazon-like recommendations engine for the real world. Starting now, Whrrl will offer personalized recommendations to users about new and highly relevant places to go and specific things to do based on their real-world activity, interests and Whrrl's unique social graph. This new release is now available on the iPhone.

This release represents a significant innovation in the location-based social space. Currently, location-based social services are primarily used as friend-finders. Whrrl has gone beyond checking in and friend finding to continuously work on the user's behalf unearthing highly relevant discoveries in the world around them. This is made possible by Whrrl's Society model and algorithms. Based on a person's physical world patterns, users join Societies, which are groups of people with similar interests, tastes and passions. There are already over 4,000 Societies created by Whrrl's community.  

Whrrl's algorithms take into account a user's check-ins and recommendation activity, as well as the activity of Society members and friends to compute new, personalized recommendations. Recommendations appear on the home page of the mobile application and are also sent via email in a weekly digest.  Whrrl's unique "influence loop," in which users earn points and level up in Societies by influencing others, assures the best recommendations get exposure to the right people in the community. Examples of recommendations include, "People who go to the places you've gone also go to..."  "89% of members in the Foodie Society want to do this recommendation."  "A Level-10 VIP in the Wasabi Society recommends the following sushi dish."  

"Pelago was founded with the goal of bringing Amazon.com-like recommendation technology to the real world," said John Kim, Vice President of Products for Pelago. "Jeff Holden, Pelago's founder, CEO and ex-senior executive from Amazon, is the foremost expert in this space. It is an advantage that no one can match."

"This news isn't a surprise coming from Whrrl, who already has the most advanced segmentation strategy in the location-based space," said Mike Schneider, Senior Vice President, Director Digital Incubator at Allen and Gerritsen. "Why should people check in? It goes far beyond just points and badges. The more information you share, the more you should receive in return. Whrrl is the first location-based service to offer the ideal marriage of content, context and place that enables them to give users the best recommendations at the most relevant time. This has the potential to be a total game changer."

In addition, Whrrl is also launching integration with Facebook Places. Now, when users check in on Whrrl, they have the option to syndicate their check-ins, photos and notes to their Facebook Places feed.

About Pelago, Makers of Whrrl

Pelago was founded to revolutionize the way people experience and explore the physical world.  Whrrl, the company's flagship product, is a real-world game with a purpose -  to help people escape from behind their computers and patterned lives, to get back out into the physical world with the promise of compelling, highly relevant new experiences.  The company was founded in 2006, is based in Seattle, and is led by an executive team from companies including Amazon.com, RealNetworks and Yahoo.  Pelago is backed by pioneering Internet and mobile investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Bezos Expeditions, T-Venture, Trilogy Equity Partners and Reliance Technology Ventures.  For more information, visit www.pelago.com.