Building With It’s Good—The social travel app founded by Mike Rosenthal and John Legend
I used to live in Nolita, New York and would love going to the Little Italy pizza restaurants and seeing photos of the famous people who’ve eaten there. Whether it’s a fine dining Italian or a corner pizza joint, it usually means the same thing: This place is good.
Over the past few years, we have started relying on the opinions of strangers on Yelp, Trip Advisor or Google Reviews. These strangers may not have similar taste to us, may not give authentic reviews… and may even be a bot. Instead of following thousands of strangers, why not follow the few people whose taste you most respect and admire?
That’s the concept behind It’s Good. This invite-only social app delivers recommendations for travel, food, and experiences from people you know personally, as well as those whose opinions you trust — like critics, celebrities, influencers, and other tastemakers. The app’s core features make saving, sharing and exploring your favorite places a breeze.
At Lightspeed, one of the things I look for when considering investment opportunities are solutions that provide a technological overlay to basic human desires. We desire to go to new hotspots or quality institutions that bring us joy, and now we have the tool to access that.
There are few things more joyful than eating great food, having memorable experiences, or visiting new places we might not have otherwise known about. It’s also tremendously satisfying to discover a great new place yourself and then share your delight with others. 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.
Another reason, of course, is the fantastic pedigree of It’s Good’s founding team. It starts with CEO Mike Rosenthal, a director and photographer. It includes product & design leadership from Meghan Raab (former Snap) and Kevin Auerbach (former Apple) alongside a top-flight engineering team.
The founding team also features Grammy-winning artist and activist John Legend, who along with wife Chrissy Tiegen launched Cravings, a food ecommerce site. Being associated with a Hollywood power couple who boast a combined 50 million followers on Instagram brings immediate visibility to It’s Good, lending it a cachet other social startups struggle to match.
It also fits well within the Lightspeed consumer portfolio, which includes Goop (Gwyneth Paltrow), HAUS LABS (Lady Gaga), Autograph (Tom Brady), and The Honest Company (Jessica Alba). Rising above the noise is never easy and product is always #1, but having star power on your side almost always helps.
Plus your foodie friends
It’s Good is about more than celebrity, of course. Aside from well-known users like actress Jessica Alba, restaurateur David Chang, and NBA star Harrison Barnes, the app also features travel authors and restaurant critics, as well as trusted publications like Eater and Surface Magazine. All offer their unsolicited recommendations, lists of favorites organized by location or theme (coffee, cocktails, tacos), and places they want to visit. Add your foodie friends to this mix, and the combination is virtually unbeatable.
Travel apps are a mature category, and there’s never any guarantee of success. But online travel also represents an enormous total addressable market ($521 billion in 2023), growing in double digits each year. And despite being in a limited beta, It’s Good already has an international footprint, with recommendations spanning five continents.
The company’s global focus is yet another reason why this is such a good fit for us at Lightspeed. We firmly believe companies that aspire to reach beyond their national borders have the greatest opportunities for success. It’s Good is not merely good; it could be the start of something great.