February 6, 2015
We can all agree that the best way to discover a new city is by following tips from the locals. But what happens when you don't know anyone? Meet Cloe, an SMS-based recommendation engine that provides users with personal tips curated by real people.
Cloe is very easy to use. You don’t have to download, install, or sign up for anything. You just text what you’re looking for, and where you’re located, then she gives you her best recommendation. Using a search algorithm and human input, Cloe is able to give users recommendations in over 85 different categories. From fitness to nightlife tips, you can ask her anything on a text and get a response right away.
Cloe's co-founder Chase Hildebrand hopes his text-based service will become the best social discovery solution for everything around you. The idea for Cloe came to him when he first visited New York City, and wanted to eat an authentic NY style bagel:
“Instead, I was recommended Dunkin Donuts,” said Hildebrand.
He realized that so many recommendation apps, like Yelp and Foursquare, fail to give users the recommendation they exactly need. By creating Cloe, he aims to provide users with a reliable yet personal experience.
“There is an app for everything. We don't need more apps, we need better experiences,” explained Hildebrand.
Texting Cloe feels like you are talking to a friend, who happens to know a city better than you do. She is polite, helpful and even kind of funny.
Hildebrand does not go into details on how much of Cloe is human response versus artificial intelligence, but you get the sense that an actual person is texting you back. You get the sense that Cloe is not just a robot.
Now before you start developing a crush on Cloe, the bad news is that you won't be getting Cloe's number any time soon. There is a waiting list of over 2,000 people. Hildebrand says that the plan is to keep invitations exclusive for now, but he assured Tech.Co that soon enough it will be open to everyone.
The startup also plan to roll out in other major cities in the country, Los Angeles being Cloe's next stop.
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