Young Upstarts

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A Brief Interview with Jon Petersen of is a mobile location-based restaurant guide application for the iPhone and Android devices that helps you locate the best eating and drinking places around town. The service covers Singapore, as well as various cities in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and other countries.'s opening screen.'s opening screen.

We grabbed hold of Jon Petersen, founder of, for a short interview. In the spirit of all things brief, British-born Jon decided to do things a little bit Twitter-esque – in answers less than 140 characters each: 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and the team that developed

Malaysia, Singapore, England.
Biologist, Entrepreneur, Economist. (75 characters)

2. Where is based?

Wherever we can get a connection. (33)

3. What is the inspiration behind

People need to eat near where they are. Restaurants need customers near where they are. (87)

4. How did you come up with this idea, or what was the opportunity you saw that prompted you to start this?

The smartphone will be your life in your pocket. (48)

5. What do you think is the key USP behind

Changes regularly depending on how fast we can innovate. (56)

6. What kind of users are you targeting?

People who eat; restaurants that sell. (38)

7. How many users has the service signed up so far?

70,000. (7)

8. What is‘s business and revenue model?

Long term: match buyers and sellers in real time, by location and take a cut of the proceeds. Short term: last until the long term. (131)

9. What have your achievements been so far?

1) 70000 users in 10 months. 2) Building a scalable platform for providing information on location-based, real-time services. (125)

10. What have been the key challenges?

Staying sane while dealing with the telco providers. Negotiating the Apple app store maze. (90)

11. Who are your key competitors?

Time, energy and intellect. And maybe Yelp and Urbanspoon. (58)

12. Who are your investors and backers, and how much have been pumped into the company to date? Any support from the Singapore government or the various startup funds?

S$50,000 from iJAM via Frontedge Capital. We’re lean. Lots of sweat equity. (75)

13. Key growth strategies moving forward?

More cities + more devices = more users. (33)

14. Tell us a little about your views on entrepreneurship and why you have chosen this path.

To paraphrase Dilbert, I could no longer face being surrounded by idiots. (73)

15. What’s an important lesson you’ve learnt?

A small startup can get a lot of free publicity and attention riding the coattails of large incumbents in an industry undergoing disruption. (140)

16. Anything else you’d like to share.

Keep things brief. (18)


You can find out more about here on iMerlion.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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