SpotOn, which launched at TechCrunch Disrupt, had massive home court support from members of the New York tech scene. The startup didn’t make it to the finals but got a bit of buzz. Following the event, the team “spent a lot of time refining the recommendation engine and testing with users,” according to its entry on Crunchbase, and “based on extensive user feedback,” opted for a pivot—sorry, opted to “evolve their product.” SpotOn was a Foursquare-esque recommender for new coffee shops, restaurants, bars and so on, which Betabeat found head-scratchingly redundant next to Foursquare’s Explore feature.
The new version of the company, renamed Fondu (and yes, they have the domain) is now a social network for foodies. Users submit short reviews and assign petals, of which there can be between one and four, to restaurants and bars.
Founder Gauri Manglik has a degree in computer science from NYU, but thought she was headed for Wall Street, spending seven months as a tech analyst for the financial services giant Blackrock. She was named one of Betabeat’s 25 Women Driving the New York Tech Scene.
The startup raised a $575,000 seed round led by ENIAC Ventures, reports TechCrunch, with participants The NYU Innovation Fund, Harbor Road Ventures, Blazer Ventures, Lawrence Lenihan, and traveler, historian and startup founder Zach Aarons, who is also an angel investor in SpotOn officemate LocalMind. The funding was raised over the summer, at least as early as June, back when the company was still SpotOn—although the papers were just filed in September.