The First AI-Powered App for Place Discovery, Welcome, Secures $3M in Seed Funding

Welcome is the only personalized city guide powered by friends and experts that is made smart by a real-time AI. Launch of Beta in addition to $3.5M in seed funding led by Accel with participation from Lakestar Ventures, was announced by the company.

Founded by Matthew Rosenberg, Peter Gerard, Mark Armendariz, and Mark Essel. The team earlier co-founded an Apple award-winning mobile video editing platform, Cameo, now acquired by Vimeo.


Welcome's app utilizes real time search. This mode considers dozens of data points to make the most relevant and personalized recommendations in the exact moment the user opens the app. The utility of a maps/location app and an immersive, social experience are combined to allow users to see smart, custom suggestions alongside access to friends' recommendations and lists.


This app provides relevant articles and reviews from trusted travel and lifestyle sites and respected brands in real time to its users. App's algorithms line up local, owner-operated businesses that capture the unique culture and spirit of a city, street, or neighborhood. This apps' search looks for factors such as weather, time of day, user preferences and habits, and local holidays.


"How do we get our eyes off our phones and back on life? The vision for Welcome began during a frustrating travel experience. I wanted to experience the best of each new city, but it was impossible to curate an authentic experience in a place that I knew nothing about. Most of what I found was advertised placements on mainstream search platforms," explains Rosenberg.


Data from over 50,000 Beta users in more than 350 global cities has been utilized to list over 6.5 million places in Welcome's database, and more than 300,000 curated recommendations from around the world.


"Street Teams", currently located in New York City, Austin, and Miami create custom video content to enhance the app experience and are unique to the app. They soon will be expanding to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, and Nashville.


What Welcome does?

1. Brings all the information users need together in one unified, comprehensive page.

Each place recommendation includes logistics (hours, directions, amenities); reasons to visit affinity score, reasons); vetted reviews (from other users, publications); and next steps (save it, like it, make a reservation).

2. Makes recommendations based on users' interests and learns about them over time through interactions in the app.

Every recommendation has an affinity score, which illustrates how aligned it is with the user's interests, and lists the reasons why each place was chosen.

3. Collects users' Likes and Saves so they can easily access their lists, friends' lists, and influencers' lists through the profile page.

With one click, Welcome seamlessly imports place lists from articles, links, and other social platforms to save in one convenient place.


Many place recommendations will be accompanied by an immersive video created by the street team so users can see what a place is truly like before going. This next-generation experience in search gives users a transparent, unadulterated view of a place.

The free app is currently available on iOS, click here.