The Concierge in Your Pocket: Welcome Raises $3.5 Million in Funding

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Welcome app

Matthew Rosenberg fell madly in love with a woman at Burning Man a few years back and started traveling the world with her living out of Airbnbs. But the excitement, he said, soon wore off as he found himself constantly planning for the next move.

The co-founder of mobile video editing app Cameo (not to be confused with the celebrity greeting app of the same name) created Welcome to make it easier to travel. A sort of social Yelp for travelers, the AI-fueled app launched in the Apple store on Thursday.


"I found myself in these beautiful places, and instead of enjoying the moment I found myself trying to figure out where we're going to go after," he said. "That meant looking through websites and maps and getting lists from friends. I don't want to worry about that because that's a great thing for tech to figure out."

There are 6.5 million listings in Welcome's database with more than 300,000 curated recommendations from around the world. Those include a map of museums and other events nearby.

Welcome uses "Street Team," professionals that capture custom footage of local eateries, venues and activities providing an immersive experience. Those videos are then placed in feeds.

Similar to other social platforms, Welcome has a feed that allows users to create and share from their profile. That data is then used to determine recommendations for the user. The app also captures account blogs, news articles and other online travel and food stories.

"When we travel, we don't plan the way that our parents did. I've never used a travel agent and I don't really follow itineraries," he said. "For this new generation, the way that people see the world, they will wake up in a place and ask themselves what do I want to do today?"

Rosenberg created the app with the help of his former co-founders at Cameo, Peter Gerard, Mark Armendariz, and Mark Essel, which was sold to Vimeo in 2014 for an undisclosed amount.

The app has three main views. One of them is a smart map that will show you concerts and other events. The second is where your likes are stored and the last tab is your feed similar to how Instagram works.

Welcome raised $3.5 million in seed funding from Accel Ventures, a global venture capital firm that has backed Slack, Spotify, Squarespace with participation from Lakestar Ventures.

Rosenberg said the funds will go toward building up better data points around the world.

"We're an app that always has the answer to where you should go now," Rosenberg said.

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Cadence

Inspectiv Raises $8.6M To Build a Better Cybersecurity Platform

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Inspectiv Raises $8.6M To Build a Better Cybersecurity Platform
Art by NicoElNino/ Shutterstock

What do education startups, maternal care platforms and Minecraft servers have in common? They’re all susceptible to hacking.

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samsonamore@dot.la

Activision Buys Game Studio Proletariat To Expand ‘World of Warcraft’ Staff

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Xbox\u2019s various game developers it now owns: Activision, Blizzard and King.
Courtesy of Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard intends to acquire Proletariat, a Boston-based game studio that developed the wizard-themed battle royale game “Spellbreak.”

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