Tellmewhere revamps iPhone app, prepares for US expansion

[France] Social location-based search service Tellmewhere or Dismoioù has released a new version of its iPhone app as part of its quest to conquer local markets. The Paris-based startup is also preparing for US expansion later this year.

The company’s current platform – a personalized local search engine – grew out of a former wiki map project, officially launched in 2008. Today, the site counts over 500,000 members and allows users to find and share places with their friends. Yet, not only does Tellmewhere identify the places that match a given search criteria, it goes further by ranking the results based on the user’s previous reviews and tastes. The company’s engine thus gets smarter with use – which reflects Tellmewhere’s philosophy: users are more likely to be interested in results that match their taste or are leveraged from their network.

The improvements made to the existing iPhone application include a number of additional and improved social features, speed optimization as well as a new design. The application is available in English, French, German and Italian and is also available for Android.

While some of the company’s social and personalization features differentiate it from similar services, such as Yelp, Tellmewhere is not alone when it comes to the French location-based search market.

Yelp may currently count over 26 million monthly unique visitors and over 9 million reviews, but the site is still yet to launch in France. Germany’s Qype, however, launched in France in 2008 and currently has over 3 million French users – which accounts for one fifth of its total user base. French Nomao and Cityvox also offer location-based search and reviews; Nomao even integrates a social component by allowing users to search for results recommended by their Facebook friends.

In addition to releasing a new iPhone app, Tellmewhere raised an additional €550,000 from business angels at the end of 2009 for its development and US expansion plans. The company has also registered over 800 businesses on the site to offer local deals to customers via its platform and plans to launch applications on additional mobile devices later this year.