Foodie app Mango Plate secures sizable investment from Softbank Ventures
On Oct. 23, the CEO of Softbank Ventures, Moon Gyu hak, announced that Mango Plate has secured an investment from Softbank Ventures. The amount has not been disclosed.
Kim Dae Woong, the CEO of Mango Plate, hopes to increase Mango Plate’s user base with the investment. “We will try to come ahead in the restaurant recommendation app service market, in which notable leaders have yet to emerge.”
Since its official launch in October of last year, the restaurant-finding app has racked up more than 200,000 downloads.
Mango Plate is one of many foodie apps that tap into South Korea’s recent matjib culture – seeking out restaurants with good food. Many popular television programs are devoted solely to introducing up-and-coming restaurants, and amateur and professional blogs publish reviews of new and hip restaurants.
Originally marketed toward foreigners in South Korea, Mango Plate has gained a steady user base among natives, particularly among the tech-savvy, younger generation of Koreans, for whom searching for restaurant recommendations in search portals has become common practice. However, search results were not reliable, as it was hard to separate genuine reviews from posts written by bloggers who were given commissions. Mango Plate stepped in to act as a reliable platform for restaurant recommendations for foodies.
What differentiates Mango Plate from similar competitors is its use of big data. The app’s algorithm uses information from users’ social networks, like Facebook and KakaoTalk, to provide personalized restaurant recommendations. Moreover, the more users use Mango Plate, the more their personal taste is figured in to the results as the app accounts for user patterns in selection.
The app was designed to stimulate the experience of asking your friends for recommendations. Users can rate restaurants as “recommend,” “alright” or “not recommend.” Users can “follow” other users with similar taste in food to incorporate the restaurants they recommended into their own results page.
Mango Plate is available in English and Chinese, as well as Korean.