Twizoo: Using the power of Twitter to disrupt the restaurant review space

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Name: Twizoo
Industry/sector: Reviews
Date founded: 2014
Founder: Madeline Parra and John Talbott
Location: London

Having previously worked on social media monitoring projects at GlaxoSmithKline, Madeline Parra and John Talbot realised that social media analysis has traditionally been a B2B business, where big companies and brand gain insights from what people are saying about them on social media.

“I came up with the idea for Twizoo when I was on holiday with friends in Barcelona,” Parra explained. “I got assigned to find us a restaurant one night, so I went straight to review sites to pick a place. Except the place that was ‘recommended’ turned out to be awful. 

“Like, really awful. The reviews must have been fake – written by the manager or family or… who knows. My friends gave me a pretty hard time about picking that restaurant! I’ve always been a big fan of Twitter and thought, wouldn’t it be great if I had a better way of seeing what real people were saying about places right now? That’s how Twizoo came into being.

“I think personally the biggest challenges so far has been figuring out snappy ways to market a mobile app,” Parra revealed. “Restaurant recommendations and reviews is a mature industry, so coming up with catchy ways to market is hard – but we have good plans in mind.”

The company suggested: “No one has leveraged social media analysis to deliver insights to the consumer that helps solve problems or make decisions.” The two co-founders then created Twizoo, aiming to disrupt the customer review market by harnessing the data on Twitter instead, eliminating the need for traditional reviews. 

“We built a prototype and then went through an accelerator and started finding out the problem we wanted to solve,” added Parra. “We used focus groups and found out that the market opportunity was in mobile, the need for quick decision making on where to eat and drink while on the move.”

Thousands of Londoners are already using Twizoo as their new go-to app to find the best restaurants and pubs. The app uses an interface that surfaces restaurant and pub recommendations as fun bubbles that vary in size and colour based on Twitter trends, lending to Twizoo’s groundbreaking second open rate of 92 per cent. 

Twizoo has been recognised as one of the most innovative startups to launch this year, featuring as Best New App, named as one of the UK’s top three social tech companies by the IAB and awarded £25,000 for innovation in hyperlocal advertising.

Twizoo was also recently announced as an official Twitter partner of the tech giant’s new mobile development toolkit, Fabric. On top of that, the company raised a seed investment round of £250,000 this year, backed by Jensons SEIS fund and Paul Forster, former CEO and co-founder of Indeed.

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