October 17, 2023

John Legend’s First-Ever Tech Startup Takes On Yelp And Google Reviews With Personalized Recommendations

John Legend and Mike Rosenthal

Grammy-winning artist John Legend has co-founded his first-ever tech startup, It’s Good, to give users personalized food, travel, and experience recommendations.

The company, co-founded by tech entrepreneur Mike Rosenthal, recently raised $5 million in a seed funding round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Legend previously co-founded Cravings – a food e-commerce site – with his wife, Chrissy Teigen.

The “It’s Good” App

It’s Good is an invite-only platform that delivers travel, food, and experience recommendations from people you know and critics, celebrities, and influencers.

Launched in March with a select group of users, including NBA player Harrison Barners and actress Minka Kelly, the app’s core features aim to make saving, sharing, and exploring your favorite places easier. 

“My friends always reach out to me for “my list” of restaurants in the cities I’ve visited,” said Legend.

“With It’s Good, we sought to create a trusted community for food lovers to recommend their favorite spots and discover new ones through a user-friendly, easily shareable, and beautiful platform.”

Taking On Yelp And Google 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Legend and Rosenthal came up with the idea four years ago and began planning over Zoom calls during the pandemic.

One source of inspiration came from trying to recollect shared travel experiences and pass them along to friends.

“We are looking at a real-world problem that has not been solved since Yelp first started, which was 20-something years ago,” said Rosenthal, the company’s CEO.

While It’s Good is now focused on growth, not revenue, Rosenthal believes the app could eventually get money from partnerships with hospitality and food companies or take a cut of future bookings on the app.

The It’s Good team includes product and design leadership from Meghan Rabb (former Snap) and Kevin Auerbach (former Apple) alongside an engineering team.

$5 million seed round

The company has raised $5 million this month from investors, including Lightspeed Venture Partners – a Silicon Valley venture firm.

“It’s tremendously satisfying to discover a great new place yourself and then share your delight with others,” said Lightspeed Partner Nicole Quinn.

“That’s why I see such enormous potential in It’s Good and a key reason why Lightspeed is leading the company’s $5 million seed round.”

Lightspeed Venture Partners’ portfolio includes other celebrity startups such as Goop (Gwyneth Paltrow), HAUS LABS (Lady Gaga), and Autograph (Tom Brady).

It’s Good will also feature travel authors, restaurant critics, and trusted publications like Eater and Surface Magazine.

The publications will all offer recommendations, lists of favorites organized by location or theme, and places they want to visit.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.