Taste Labs

AI Powered Personalized Recommendation

Taste Labs

AI Powered Personalized Recommendation

New York, NY
Media
Technology
Taste is an AI company that provides users with personalized reviews and recommendations for products and services.

$254,890

raised
$758,174
previously crowdfunded
221
Investors
$4.97M
Valuation
$0.69
Price per Share
$249.78
Min. Investment
Common
Shares Offered
Equity
Offering Type
$535K
Offering Max
Reg CF
Offering

$254,890

raised
$758,174
previously crowdfunded
221
Investors
$4.97M
Valuation
$0.69
Price per Share
$249.78
Min. Investment
Common
Shares Offered
Equity
Offering Type
$535K
Offering Max
Reg CF
Offering

Rewards

Get rewarded for investing more into Taste Labs:

$249+
Investment
StartEngine Owner’s Bonus
This offering is eligible for the StartEngine Owner’s 10% Bonus program. For details on this program, please see the Offering Summary section below.
$500+
Investment
Tier 1
$500 / Investor Badge
$1,000+
Investment
Tier 2
$1,000 / Investor Badge + Premium Username (4 characters)
$2,500+
Investment
Tier 3
$2,500 / Investor Badge + Premium Username (4 char.) + 5% bonus shares
$10,000+
Investment
Tier 4
$10,000 / Investor Badge + Premium Username (4 char.) + 10% bonus shares

Reasons to Invest

Taste’s organic user base grew by ~76% YoY, and return-on-ad-spend reached 289%.
Taste’s movie and TV platform has gained over 500K registered users, receives about 5.8M screen views per month, and has more than 3,500 five-star reviews.
The review and recommendation industry is mature and growing; in 2019, Yelp saw $1.01B in revenue and TripAdvisor saw $1.56B in revenue.

Overview


Reviews and recommendations tailored to your specific interests

Taste was founded by John Lin and Justin Messina, a marketing and engineering duo with 20 years of experience in personalization technology. 

Their experience in advertising exposed them to the tactics used by marketers to sway consumers. When news broke that many review sites were heavily manipulated (Source), they were inspired to design a technology that improves the experience of finding recommendations online. Taste was born from the simple belief that —”the best online reviews come from those who share your personal taste.”

Taste began as a passion project when the founders set out to build a personalized review platform for movies. Working nights and weekends, they released the first version in late 2016. The product quickly gained traction through Reddit and grew to a sizable community of cinephiles and data enthusiasts. In 2019, the company raised a $725K round and began to expand its technology into more categories across digital media and fashion retail.


The Problem


Online reviews are too generic

With more than 1 billion consumers visiting sites like Yelp and IMDB, online reviews are now the #1 trusted source for purchase decisions among Millennials and Gen-Z. However, we believe these review sites do not offer a truly personalized experience. Why should two people with drastically different tastes see the same ratings and reviews?

The Solution


We personalize to your “taste”

Taste provides personalized reviews and recommendations based on each individual’s taste—it’s like the Netflix “Match%”, but imagine if it worked for just about anything.


Through our app and website,  users can now create a taste profile in seconds and begin seeing recommendations that are uniquely tailored to them.

The Market


Our market space is fast growing and reaching the billions

The review and recommendation industry is mature and growing. Yelp saw $1.01B in revenue for 2019 (Source) and TripAdvisor saw $1.6B in revenue for 2019 (Source), with the majority of revenue coming from lead-generation. Other category-specific platforms like IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, and Goodreads are housed under larger corporations such as Amazon and Comcast. Based on our extensive research, the average revenue per monthly-active-user across the industry ranges from $3-10.

In 2020, we began building one of the first shopping recommendation platforms for fashion, home, and furniture. This allows us to tap into a large space of the lead-gen business through affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing in the fashion alone is expected to reach $2.76B globally by 2021, growing at 10% YoY (Source).

Our Traction


Major YoY growth, millions of views, and plenty of positive feedback from our users

In the past year, our organic user audience grew by 76% YoY, and the ROAS (return-on-ad-spend) reached 286%.

*Year to year growth measured solely based on the increase in organic users and is not a reference to changes in financial conditions.

Our movies and TV platform appears in the top search results in the App store, has over 500K registered users, receives about 5.8M screen views per month, and has over 3,500 five-star reviews. We’ve proven that people are willing to pay for better recommendations through our freemium model where we’ve had more than 4,000 paid users to date.

There are currently 30,000 users participating in our beta program for music, podcasts, games, as well as fashion and retail. We’ve also been featured by major press outlets including The Independent, Gizmodo, Stuff Magazine, IndieWire, PCMag.com and more.

What We Do


Users rate items to refine their taste profiles and receive recommendations

Users create a taste profile by rating items. Our AI technology correlates the preferences of like-minded users and delivers personalized reviews and recommendations in the form of a Match%.

Our technology is designed to work across multiple categories, which means expanding into new categories is seamless; the books you like and your favorite restaurants might help inform the suggestions you get for what shows to binge!

The Business Model


Generating revenue D2C and through advertising

Taste is uniquely positioned to generate revenue as an advertising platform, as well as directly from consumers through a freemium model.

At scale, for lead-gen and advertising, we benchmark at $20 APRU per active user per quarter, with an average order value of $133 and a 15% commission rate.

For in-app-purchase (freemium), we benchmark 3% subscription rate for active users, averaging $15 / year.

How We Are Different


A single platform, to radically simplify how people receive reviews and recommendations

While we don’t compete directly with anyone review or discovery platform, the company's product overlaps with a wide range of other technology companies' products in the online review, shopping discovery, and social shopping spaces.

What sets us apart from other companies is our belief that a person should only need to manage one taste profile across the web. Our products are designed with a consistent experience, focusing only on personalized reviews, specifically from others who share your taste. This will allow us to build a moat by owning a user’s data across multiple categories.

The Vision


We envision that Taste will replace all other platforms for product discovery

Our vision is to simultaneously replace all review platforms and become the new standard for product discovery. By consolidating reviews and recommendations across categories and making them personalized, a person would only need to manage one profile across the web.

OUR LEADERSHIP


User trust is deeply important to us, and at the center of what we do

When it comes to reviews and recommendations, “trust” is often more important than accuracy. Our technical founding team not only has deep roots in predictive algorithms, but also has expertise in marketing and user experience. We have a track record of not only building great technology, but of creating experiences that build community and elicit unprecedented in-app activity, all of which contribute to the accuracy and trustworthiness of our recommendation platform.

Why Invest


Greater personalization is the future, and we’re here to deliver

At Taste, we believe that personalized reviews and recommendations are the future, and our technology and early traction makes us one of the leading candidates to deliver this to consumers. We’ve demonstrated not only the ability to create a mature product and acquire users, but we’ve also skillfully handled valuable data in a transparent, non-invasive manner. Our company is built on the goal of decentralizing data to get more fair recommendations—so it only makes sense for us to be a company funded by the crowd. In our previous round, we raised over $725K from 450+ early users. We are so excited for this opportunity to open our company up to new investors like you!

In the Press

The 30 most divisive movies of the 21st Century so far: Inculding Ghostbusters, Suicide Squad, and Birdman
January 1, 2017

Before the advent of the Internet, film reviews were primarily written only by those privileged few film critics who worked for publications. However, thanks to the likes of IMDB and Taste, anyone can write a review of a film that can be read by anyone with access to the World Wide Web.

好みの傾向でオススメの映画を教えてくれるサイト
January 1, 2017

心理テストみたい! ユーザーの簡単評価をベースに、好みの傾向を解析してオススメの映画を教えてくれる「Taste」というオンラインサービスが始まりました。 使い方はとっても簡単。表示される映画を「最悪」「まぁまぁ」「良い」「最高」「未見」の5つで評価するだけ。すると、システムのアルゴリズムが自動的にユーザーのテイストを解析して、ピッタリの映画を提案してくれるのだそうです。ちなみに、同様のレーティングサービスとは異なる非商業バイアスとのこと。

Distraction plan: the best tools for finding new music, movies and podcasts
January 1, 2017

Treat your eyes and ears to something fresh with the help of these apps and websites

Offering Summary


Company

:

Taste Labs, Inc.

Corporate Address

:

833 Broadway Floor 2, New York, NY 10003

Offering Minimum

:

$9,999.48

Offering Maximum

:

$534,999.78

Minimum Investment Amount

(per investor)

:

$249.78











Terms


Offering Type

:

Equity

Security Name

:

Common Stock

Minimum Number of Shares Offered

:

14,492

Maximum Number of Shares Offered

:

775,362

Price per Share

:

$0.69

Pre-Money Valuation

:

$4,974,088.56











COVID Relief

This offering is being conducted on an expedited basis due to circumstances relating to COVID-19 and pursuant to the SEC’s temporary regulatory COVID-19 relief set out in Regulation Crowdfunding §227.201(z).

Expedited closing sooner than 21 days

In reliance on Regulation Crowdfunding §227.303(g)(2) A funding portal that is an intermediary in a transaction involving the offer or sale of securities initiated between May 4, 2020, and February 28, 2021, in reliance on section 4(a)(6) of the Securities Act (15 U.S.C. 77d(a)(6)) by an issuer that is conducting an offering on an expedited basis due to circumstances relating to COVID-19 shall not be required to comply with the requirement in paragraph (e)(3)(i) of this section that a funding portal shall not direct transmission of funds earlier than 21 days after the date on which the intermediary makes publicly available on its platform the information required to be provided by the issuer under §§227.201 and 227.203(a).

*Maximum Number of Shares Offered subject to adjustment for bonus shares. See Bonus info below.

Company Perks*

Time Based:

By Feb 14 - 15% Bonus Shares

By Feb 28 - 10% Bonus shares

Volumed Based:

Tier 1 - $500 / Investor Badge

Tier 2 - $1,000 / Investor Badge + Premium Username (4 characters)

Tier 3 - $2,500 / Investor Badge + Premium Username (4 char.) + 5% bonus shares

Tier 4 - $10,000 / Investor Badge + Premium Username (4 char.) + 10% bonus shares

*All perks occur when the offering is completed.

The 10% StartEngine Owners' Bonus

Taste Labs, Inc. will offer 10% additional bonus shares for all investments that are committed by investors that are eligible for the StartEngine Crowdfunding Inc. OWNer's bonus.

This means eligible StartEngine shareholders will receive a 10% bonus for any shares they purchase in this offering. For example, if you buy 100 shares of common stock at $0.69/ share, you will receive 110 common stock, meaning you'll own 110 shares for $69. Fractional shares will not be distributed and share bonuses will be determined by rounding down to the nearest whole share.

This 10% Bonus is only valid during the investors eligibility period. Investors eligible for this bonus will also have priority if they are on a waitlist to invest and the company surpasses its maximum funding goal. They will have the first opportunity to invest should room in the offering become available if prior investments are canceled or fail.

Investors will only receive a single bonus, which will be the highest bonus rate they are eligible for.

The Company will not incur any irregular use of proceeds.


Show More
Most recent fiscal year-end:
Prior fiscal year-end:
Total Assets
$135,199.00 USD
$36,625.00 USD
Cash And Cash Equivalents
$86,949.00 USD
$6,625.00 USD
Accounts Receivable
$48,250.00 USD
$0.00 USD
Short Term Debt
$33,415.00 USD
$157,637.00 USD
Long Term Debt
$758,174.00 USD
$105,000.00 USD
Revenues And Sales
$63,123.00 USD
$11,618.00 USD
Costs Of Goods Sold
$0.00 USD
$0.00 USD
Taxes Paid
$0.00 USD
$0.00 USD
Net Income
-$530,378.00 USD
-$126,612.00 USD

Risks

A crowdfunding investment involves risk. You should not invest any funds in this offering unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. In making an investment decision, investors must rely on their own examination of the issuer and the terms of the offering, including the merits and risks involved. These securities have not been recommended or approved by any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority. Furthermore, these authorities have not passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this document. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission does not pass upon the merits of any securities offered or the terms of the offering, nor does it pass upon the accuracy or completeness of any offering document or literature. These securities are offered under an exemption from registration; however, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has not made an independent determination that these securities are exempt from registration.


Updates

Reminder: 48 hours left to receive bonus shares

4 days ago

This is a friendly reminder that our early bird bonus perk is ending this Sunday at 2:30 PM EST. Investments made before the deadline will receive 10% additional shares.

Notice of Funds Disbursement

7 days ago

[The following is an automated notice from the StartEngine team].

Hello!

As you might know, Taste Labs has exceeded its minimum funding goal. When a company reaches its minimum on StartEngine, it's about to begin withdrawing funds. If you invested in Taste Labs be on the lookout for an email that describes more about the disbursement process.


This campaign will continue to accept investments until its indicated closing date.


Thanks for funding the future.

-StartEngine

Meet Our Founders

11 days ago


Meet John & Justin, Co-Founders of Taste

Taste is founded by John Lin (CEO) and Justin Messina (CTO), a design and engineering duo with over 20 years of experience in personalization tech. The two met when they were both working at Square Tomato, a multidisciplinary ad agency in Seattle. As Head of Digital at the agency, John managed brands including Xbox, Neiman Marcus, and Starbucks. Justin, on the other hand, managed the tech team and designed CRM automation processes for clients including Teavana and Corbis (now GettyImages). John graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Washington and Justin graduated with a degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Oregon.

Their experience at the agency exposed them to marketing tactics including manipulation of online reviews. This inspired them to design a better technology that protects the neutrality of the peer review eco-system.

"Taste began as a passion project when Justin and I set out to build a personalized review platform by decentralizing the data. We noticed that there had been few attempts to solve the same issue. Other companies focus on getting recommendations by following influencers or friends, but a user can already do that on Facebook and Instagram. The huge, obvious gap is hearing the opinions of those who actually share your taste. Imagine Yelp, IMDB, TripAdvisor, except all the reviews come from your soulmates.” - John

Reminder: 15% bonus share for Super Early-Birds ends soon

17 days ago

Notice of Funds Disbursement

18 days ago

[The following is an automated notice from the StartEngine team].

Hello!

As you might know, Taste Labs has exceeded its minimum funding goal. When a company reaches its minimum on StartEngine, it's about to begin withdrawing funds. If you invested in Taste Labs be on the lookout for an email that describes more about the disbursement process.


This campaign will continue to accept investments until its indicated closing date.


Thanks for funding the future.

-StartEngine

$ 100,000 raised in less than a week

20 days ago

Show More Updates End of Updates

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