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News  5, Mar 2013

Backed by six figure private investment, Singapore’s Picky App wants a slice of the food discovery space

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Singapore-based Picky App helps diners pick restaurants relevant to them.

One of the most exciting spaces to watch right now is the food vertical. Why is it exciting? Recently, we have seen startups in this space getting a lot of attention from investors. Some of the startups that help improve food discovery which we have covered include: Singapore’s Burpple (funded by Neoteny and QuestVC), Japan’s SnapDish (funded by Digital Garage), Taiwan’s iPeen (funded by CyberAgent Ventures), Thailand’s Wongnai (undisclosed) as well as Vietnam’s Foody.vn (funded by CyberAgent Ventures). All of these funding announcements happened within the last six months.

Just when we thought the space is saturated, a new food discovery app caught our attention. Founded by serial entrepreneur Lee Kenming, Picky App is a food discovery app that aims to help users answer the question: “What and Where to eat?” Kenming has an extensive background in startups. He was the cofounder of daily deal site SGDeal in 2011. After SGDeal, he founded PocketDeals, which developed the popular movie app Popcorn. Popcorn is one of Singapore’s top apps with more than half a million users from its iOS and Android platform.

Read also: Popcorn app - Movie junkies, we have good news for you

What makes Picky different?

Of course, we couldn’t help but ask Kenming why they ventured into the food space and how Picky App stands out from several other players in the space such as Yelp and Burpple. Kenming claims that until today, there is still no solution out there that really helps answer the question of “Where to eat?” While visiting review sites might be helpful, more often than not, there are conflicting reviews.

How does Picky solve that?

“Picky is an intelligent app that learns what you like and recommends based on your personal taste. When users rate restaurants, Picky learns their preferences and recommends restaurants they are most likely to enjoy. So the more they use Picky, the more accurate the recommendations. It’s like asking your best friend where to eat, he or she will know your taste better than any random stranger on the street. We also have options that take your budget, time available and mood into consideration. Another way that Picky stands out is that it’s a beautiful app that is uncluttered and a joy to use, and we integrate all the essential information like credit card offers, pictures and reviews so diners can make an informed decision.” – Kenming

For the current reviews on Picky, there are all seed data from Foursquare. As Picky gets more user generated content, the reviews will also be more tailored towards individual users, and you only see reviews from users who have tastes similar to yours.

Other than pure food discovery, Picky also lets users share their favourite food finds with the Picky “Snap & Share” function. The function comes with eight photo filters that are optimized for food photography using the iPhone camera, as well as the ability to share the photos onto various social channels.

Six figure investment backing from private investors

Picky was launched in the App Store in late January, and claims to have over 10,000 restaurant listings in its database. While its traction and total number of downloads are undisclosed, the company has managed to raise a six figure funding from private investors. The team is looking for talented iOS and PHP developers to join them. Picky is currently preparing for their next funding round.

Read also: Dave McClure is hungry for food tech, says 500 Startups might head to China and Southeast Asia soon

Jacky Yap

Jacky Yap

Having spent one year abroad in Shanghai under the NUS Overseas College Programme, Jacky has an avid interest in entrepreneurship and web based startups. Jacky used to run N-House, Singapore's first entrepreneurial themed residence in NUS, and was also part of the organizing team for Startup Weekend Singapore 2012. You can reach him at jacky [at] e27 [dot] co

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