Deal Abstract

Website ( and app that makes recommendations via a single unified “Taste” score. Secret sauce is the calculating of the “Taste” score via benchmarking you to similar people (things you liked in common.) Plans to commercialize via ads and subscription. Would have to go against IMDB, Spotify, Rotten Tomatoes, Spotify, etc.


Not yet.

Why Investing/Passing

  1. Existential business model risk in a winner take all game, with no starting niche. (e.g. Taste is THE app for audiobooks, then podcasts, then all radio, then music, etc.)
  2. The founders seem promising, but they are not the Daniel Ek. To take on such a competitive business without already having some deep experiential and capital reserves is a deep uphill battle.
  3. Unclear what the plan to conversion to freemium looks like. If it’s ad revenues, then these two need someone who knows how to sell B2B to advertisers.

The 6 Calacanis Characteristics (91 161 18)

Passed on 4/6.

1. A startup that is based in SVFail: (New York, NY)
2. Has at least 2 founders Pass
3. Has product in the market Pass
4. 6 months of continuous user growth or 6 months of revenue.Pass
5. Notable investors?Fail
6. Post-funding, will have 18 months of runway Pass: burn rate is $14k/mth, at $300k raise this is 23 months.

Burn for 2018 was ($122,674). Monthly burn is therefore 10.2k/month. At the successful raise of a $753k raise, they have 73 months of burn. Running a very lean ship. Financial Summary (Hosted link.)

The 7 Thiel Questions (ETMPDDS)

  1. The Engineering question:
    • Bad: Uncertain that Taste’s secret sauce is that much better of an algorithm. They need more than 10% marginal improvements, much more like 50% to 500%.
  2. The Timing question
    • Bad: in a time of mass consolidation of taste makers in a market that is independently not growing at a tremendous rate (more that companies are buying/doing in-house recommendations for marginal improvements on

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