Atmosfy, an app that helps you discover restaurants and local businesses through short-form videos, has raised $12 million in seed funding led by Redpoint Ventures. The app lets you explore dining, nightlife, hotels and more by browsing quick videos from locals and visitors. Atmosfy is designed to give users a true sense of the atmosphere at a location and what it feels like to be there right now. The concept behind the app is essentially Yelp meets TikTok.
Founded in 2021, Atmosfy has video content in more than 10,000 cities across more than 150 countries. The app was founded by seventeen-year Air Force Captain Michael Ebel, who was previously the Global Program Manager for Meta’s operational machine learning initiatives.
Ebel told TechCrunch that he founded Atmosfy during the COVID-19 pandemic to support local businesses. As a former bartender, Ebel said he knew firsthand how challenging it is to promote a business and drive traffic. Ebel thought about a solution for these challenges in a modern, video-first world.
“I leaned heavily on my experiences from Meta, consulting, and the Air Force to visualize what a solution would look like,” Ebel said. “We realized we could help businesses by giving loyal customers the ability to share their experiences and inspire others to visit local businesses. We knew that real-time videos created by actual customers would persuade more folks to actually get out and support the courageous businesses that continued to serve their communities during turbulent times.”
Atmosfy lets you see what’s happening near you and around the world. You can find what you’re looking for by filtering by hashtag, distance, cuisine, price and more. The app features a Spotlight City view that displays upcoming events near you and hidden local gems. It also includes the top locations across categories like cuisines, real-time deals and new places. Users can capture their experiences on a personal travel map, bookmark places they want to check out in the future and share recommendations with friends.
To post content to Atmosfy, users can record short videos of their experiences, add the business location and then upload them to the app. Once you have uploaded the video, you can add tags and descriptions.
“Everyone is already taking videos of their food, nightlife and group experiences,” Ebel said. “Atmosfy gives them a place to post their most authentic content in the moment without having to worry about creating the perfect video production. We continually hear from our users that they love that Atmosfy content is distinctly authentic, unvarnished, and in the moment.”
When Atmosfy first launched, it focused on dining, but the company quickly found that users also wanted to share their experiences at hotels and nightclubs. Ebel says users didn’t wait for Atmosfy to create more content categories, they naturally began to post outdoor experiences, hotel content and nightlife experiences. Ebel and the team realized that Atmosfy was about so much more than just food. Now, the app includes content from concerts, sports events, museums and parks.
As for the new funding, Atmosfy plans to use it to invest in its technology, improve its personalization features and expand its offerings. In addition, the company plans to expand its team and bring on engineering, marketing and customer support talent. Atmosfy’s team currently includes former employees from Instagram, TripAdvisor, TikTok, OpenTable and Netflix.
The funding round included participation from Kygo, Streamlined Ventures, Industry Ventures, Canaan Partners, Village Global, Progression Fund and Convivialite Ventures.
“One of my favorite things about Atmosfy is its universal appeal. Everyone loves discovering new experiences, and people understand that written reviews don’t capture what it feels like to be there,” Ebel said. “Our authenticity and broad coverage enables us to capture a diverse user base that has one thing in common: they want to discover great places. We’re seeing folks consistently using Atmosfy as the first place they go to discover experiences either in their city and or when they’re traveling.”
In terms of the future, Atmosfy wants to be the first stop for people to find out where to go in their city and when they’re traveling. To do so, the company plans to enhance personalization and find more ways for local businesses to connect with users. Atmosfy plans to continue to heavily invest in AI, as it plays a huge role in the app’s personalization, curation and recommendations.