John Legend launches app to rival Yelp and Google Reviews

BY Preta Peace Namasaba October 21, 2023 9:56 PM EDT
John Legend. Photo credit: PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

John Legend is launching It’s Good, a social app that provides users with personalized food and travel recommendations from their social circles. Geared to open to the public soon, the tech startup is geared to rival existing competition such as Yelp and Google Reviews.

It’s Good is solving the existing challenges within the food and travel recommendations sphere. With the overwhelmingly negative and fake reviews, it has become difficult for diners and tourists to effectively utilise the available resources. By only allowing recommendations, It’s Good is eliminating the negativity and complaints that its competitors are riddled with.

In an approach similar to sites like Instagram and Facebook, restaurant recommendations are generated from within the user’s personal social networks. In addition, users will have access to endorsements from travel authors, influencers, restaurant critics, celebrities, and other public figures. It’s Good is premised on the idea that people trust each other’s recommendations with the sense of intimacy being a vital selling point. This personalised approach gives the app an edge over future competition such as Yelp and Google Reviews.

It’s actually not even built for negative comments. Either you recommend it or you don’t. And actually that’s what you wanna know about a restaurant. Not whether it’s a three or four, but whether or not if they were going out, they would recommend that kind of place to you.

John Legend in The Wall Street Journal

At the moment, the app is in a limited beta stage and is taking waitlist submissions. Launched in March, it is invite-only and features a select group of users. Among those given early access are actresses Jessica Alba and Minka Kelly, restaurateur David Chang, and NBA player Harrison Barnes. In addition, travel writers and restaurant critics also have access to the beta version. When It’s Good goes live, reputable publications such as Eater and Surface Magazine will suggest recommendations, lists of favorites organized by location or theme, and places to visit.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the app recently raised $5 million in a funding round. As it gears to officially open to the public, It’s Good is focusing on growth instead of revenue. The company plans on building its user base before prioritising revenue. Projected revenue streams include partnerships with hospitality and food companies and taking a commission off reservations booked through the app.

While exchanging travel experiences four years ago, John Legend and cofounder Mike Rosenthal, a director and photographer conceived the idea behind It’s Good. During the pandemic, they connected virtually and sorted out the details. Although It’s Good is his first start-up, the EGOT winner has launched and invested in various entrepreneurial ventures. Earlier this year he launched Loved01, a skincare line for melanin-rich skin and in 2022, alongside LeBron James, invested in Neutral Foods, a climate-conscious agricultural company.