SAN FRANCISCO - Trolling the Internet is an obsession for millions. Joy of discovery is often the journey's reward. That's the premise of Qloo (pronounced "clue"), a new website and soon-to-be app for iPhone, iPad and Android devices that make recommendations based on your affinities.
Company CEO Alex Elias calls the service a "cultural discovery platform."
"It's about themes of detection," says Elias, who co-founded Qloo with Jay Alger, CEO of digital agency Deepend. "Give a clue, and get clued in."
Qloo offers culture aficionados a digital display on which movies, music, fashion and eateries appeal to them, based on their tastes and those of others. The cross-cultural intelligence goes beyond what Netflix (movies), Pandora (music) and Amazon.com (books) do in suggested content, says Elias.
The idea is that folks who are movie buffs, but not necessarily the literati, can get suggestions on which books best match their tastes in film. Or they can view the profiles of others with similar tastes for hints. People who share similar views are "taste buds."
Gartner analyst Michael Gartenberg says Qloo is different from other online experiences in that it's "providing two core value propositions: How do I make better decisions about things I care about? and, How do I find new stuff that I will like?" he says.
"The difference from Netflix, Pandora and Amazon.com is, their suggestions are locked within the silo of what you like," Elias says. "We are pioneering taste across cultures."
There are no ads on Qloo. It gleans revenue from a model in which it gets a cut of sales from recommendation of books, movies, music, fashion, restaurants, bars and more. Qloo intends to build a computing platform upon which developers can build apps.
The New York-based company's investors include Kindler Capital, Cedric the Entertainer and actor Danny Masterson.
By Jon Swartz