A new recommendations startup hits the scene. Its sole investor? Bill Gates

The Bill Gates-backed Likewise, a new peer-to-peer recommendations app, launched yesterday after more than a year in development.

October 4, 2018

Bill Gates has some recommendations for you (and so do we).

Likewise, a new social recommendations platform, has finally surfaced after more than a year in development.

The app is a hub to find and build trusted recommendations for restaurants, TV shows, movies, books and more, with the ability to follow other users, as well as in-house tastemakers, and their lists of favorites.

You only need one Bill

The free app began as a brainchild of Larry Cohen, a longtime Gates aide who serves as CEO of Gates Ventures.

Cohen pitched the idea for the app to Gates, where he reportedly flipped. “He jumps from his chair, and he starts talking, and he really gets into it,” Cohen recalled.

Likewise is not under the web of any of Gates’ existing organizations, though the idea was born in his private office. For now, Gates is the sole investor in the 20-person, Bellevue, Washington-based company.

Now the real work begins… 

It doesn’t hurt to have one of the richest, most innovative humans on Earth in your corner — but the market holds no bias. And, like all app companies, it will be an uphill battle for Likewise to grow its audience. 

The app hopes to generate some initial interest with recommendations from Gates and celebrities like Tom Friedman, Howard Schultz, and Bono… because nobody knows the top fondue spots better than Bono.

The company also hopes to expand to new categories in the future, including podcasts, electronics, and recipes.

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