Tipped seeks funds after public launch

Tipped is looking for venture funding both in the US and Europe following its full launch out of a three month public beta.

Founder Joel Brazil, until the end of last year the head of mobile for Microsoft UK’s Online Services Group, is right now in the US at meetings about the social mobile startup which combines Tipped.co.uk with a mobile version at Tipped.mobi.

The Ruby on Rails social networking site is free and allows users to discover and get information on new places and services based on recommendations from other users, offering a mix of local search, customer reviews and social networking. It has a lot of the usual social networking tick-boxes which US sites like Yelp had a while back – tags, recommendations, and a kind’ve Facebook mini-feed called “Tip Stream”. It also allows you to send a venue to a mobile – complete with map and become a “Top Tipper”.

Tipped boasts 4,000 unique users gained after its beta period and hopes to tap into the 25 million web searches for local businesses online each month in the UK. (Blue Flavor is the Seattle-based design house used for the site while acting CTO Richard Stobart’s London-based Unboxed Consulting worked on the development, alongside the six person in-house team).

As Joel says, Tipped is about tapping into the “long tail” places to review: “It gives anyone the opportunity to review anything they like and helps uncover some real hidden gems, or avoid potential disasters!”

But guess what? A few other people have had this idea already, among them Wehanghere, FridayCities (still in a public invite-only beta) and TrustedPlaces, to name just three such sites.

Comparing sites in this space on Alexa, once finds that Trusted Places is still among the best known – and they have been helped with their £0.5m funding in March this year. They are followed by FridayCities, but Tipped barely appeared on the graph until its PR launched last week. Is this a “PR bounce”?

And a quick comparison on search between the sites revealed that Tipped does not appear to be capable of a postcode search, which is a pretty limiting omission in this area, even though it uses Google , while it can search on postcode, was not able to display anything “near” my South West London postcode, even though the area is chockablock with restaurants and other venues. 


Even so, the ‘social networking around place’ is still so new in the UK that it’s impossible to say at this stage which site will win out in the end.