Now find the wonders of Philippines : looloo the app designed for explore, review and recommend

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Philippines based startup looloo is helping you discover the best places, explore nearby, trending, open, or top-rated places in Metro Manila.

Here you can review places you visit and tell your friends all about them, you can also recommend places to your friends on the app and receive credit for your reviews.

In a country, where smartphone use is still in infancy, coming up with an App for searching places is really a great Idea. Apart from the app, they are also providing insights out of their search base, e.g., “The Top 10 Most-Reviewed Places on looloo” etc. Techaloo got an opportunity to have a chit-chat with EJ from looloo. Lets have a look, what does he want to say?

Techaloo : When did you start your journey?
looloo officially launched in November 2012. But there was so much more before that. From the idea’s conception, to building the app, to spending 9 months physically mapping places all over the country, by the time we launched, it had been quite a while in the making.

Techaloo : Where are you based in?
You can find the looloo headquarters in Metro Manila! While we’ve been pretty secretive with our exact location, our doors are open to users and friends who find themselves dropping by.

Techaloo : What was your vision/mission while starting LooLoo?
We want to give curious and adventurous Filipinos a simple yet powerful tool to discover places they’ll love in the Philippines and share them with friends.

Techaloo : What hurdles did you face while starting?
Smartphone use in the Philippines is still in its infancy, but at the same time, is experiencing really rapid growth. Using mobile apps isn’t something everyone in the country is used to yet. The constant challenge we face is how to keep building new and helpful features for the app, while at the same time managing the learning curve for first time users.

Techaloo : Have you got any kind of funding?
We are funded by private investors.

Techaloo : Explain a little more about LooLoo and its concept?
At its core, looloo is a review app first and foremost. People discover places by reading reviews from people they follow, or through the Explore feature on the app or website. Reviews allow people to make smart and informed decisions on where to go (whether it’s a restaurant, or some other service-based establishment). We call it “killing kahitsaan”, which means getting rid of the annoying answer, “wherever!” when asking where to go.

Techaloo : What is looloo’s current user base?
Currently, we have over 80,000 registered users on looloo. This community’s a huge part of looloo! Our users have submitted over 90,000 reviews for places all over the country, making us the number 1 resource for discovering places in the Philippines. For those who aren’t able to download the app, we get thousands of people finding places on looloo.com as well.

Techaloo : Are you targeting to expand to other parts of Philippines well?
After initially launching the app just for Metro Manila, we’ve expanded to other major cities and popular tourist spots in the Philippines like Cebu, Davao, Boracay, and Bohol. As we did before, we sent teams to physically map these places, but this time with the help of some of our really active users in the area.

Techaloo : You are being considered as the “Friend Only” app in this category; how do you see it?
When it comes to discovering places, TRUST is a huge factor. The voice of the crowd is a big part of looloo, but at the same time we want the experience to be very personal. It’s for this reason that we allow users to follow specific people whose reviews they find really helpful, and receive direct recommendations just from friends on the app. After all, who else knows your tastes and preferences better than your friends?

Techaloo : What are your plans for next 3 years?
Our plans haven’t changed much, we still want users discover places they’ll love. Getting people to read reviews is just the tip of the iceberg for us. At the moment, we’re experimenting with ways to help places discover customers they’ll love. Our latest feature for instance, looloo Specials, gives businesses the ability to promote exclusive offers to our users and to know whether these offers actually brought customers through their door.

If it’s a good place, we want people to find it — this has always been something we’ve believed in. You don’t have to be a “big fish” or have tons of money to get the word out on the great products and services you provide.

Techaloo : What will be your advice for budding entrepreneurs?
I don’t feel like I’ve yet earned the position to be giving advice to entrepreneurs as I’m still learning myself. The best advice I can give right now is to ask lots of questions and read a lot.

Techaloo : What do you think about techaloo.com?
We’re really happy that interest in start-ups has grown over the past few years and we think learning about entrepreneurship can never start too early! We’re excited to see sites like techaloo that bring such insights and information to young people who are at that phase where they really start thinking about what they want to do once they head
out into the real world. Kudos!
 
 
Wanna Try !! click here to get the app!
 

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Mohit Bansal(23) is B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India. He has interest in business and entrepreneurship and has published couple of research articles. He is also associated with various NGOs. He is with Techaloo when it was just in concept stage. The Techaloo site was not existing even then. Currently Mohit is working with Mu Sigma as a Business Analyst Profile.

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