Discovery apps are nothing new. There are hundreds of event discovery apps, career discovery apps and even people discovery apps. Most of them simply match your interests with other interests. They may take your social graph into consideration or a short survey. Discovery apps were hot last year at SXSW.
Glancee was one of the hot apps going into SXSW 2012. The people discovery app matched people based on things they liked on Facebook. While the company was later acquired by Facebook, it failed miserably in real life applications. For instance at one point I had liked a picture of Mark Zuckerberg’s dog Beast. When I powered up Glancee at SXSW it matched me to 20 or so people who had also liked Beast.
Baltimore startup WooFound is doing things differently, and more efficiently. Their personality driven platform is built on psychology and personality assessment.
“It all started when co-founder Josh Spears had a blind date and realized he had no way to determine what kind of things he could do with his date that they would both enjoy. Spears and Sines agreed that it would be great if there was a way to match people based on their interests based on common personality traits.” Daniel Waldman, the startups PR guru told nibletz.com in an interview.
The company has launched two products and a mobile app to date: “We recently launched Compass and Compass Lite, a web application with Facebook integration that offers personalized career recommendations based on the user’s personality. Both are image-based personality assessments that deliver a personality profile within minutes and instantly make recommendations. Compass is our private-label solution for colleges and university career centers, while Compass Lite is free and open to use by anyone. Last summer, we launched a mobile app last year called Woofound Explore, which matches people to places and things to do based on personality.” Waldman said.
The personality assessment tool is extremely accurate, according to Woofound they give accurate results in “98.5% of all cases”.
The company has raised $2.2 million dollars to date including a $75,000 investment from the Maryland Technology Development Corporation. They aren’t the only startup finding success in Charm City,
“Baltimore has a thriving startup scene. There are a lot of new companies that have sprung up in recent years with a handful of highly visible successes such as mobile ad platform Millennial Media. Baltimore also sports some highly venerable technology companies, such as Bill Me Later (which was acquired by PayPal) and AOL (formerly Advertising.com). Additionally, there are an amazing amount of networking events for startups locally, and with our proximity to DC, Philly and New York, Baltimore in many ways an ideal location for startups. ”
So what’s next for Woofound?
Woofound’s ultimate goal is to provide a personalization platform for our day to day lives. We have a few other projects cooking to expand the use of our personalization technology to other verticals and we are always looking to add new features and expand our current applications. We are preparing for a major update of our Explore application that will really skyrocket its relevance and open up its usability to people everywhere.