Bragadoo launches a service directory that's all about recommendations

There’s a new service listing site launching today, where users can find things like mechanics, gardeners, babysitters, and more. The site’s name, Bragadoo, suggests how it hopes to stand out from competitors — it’s all about recommendations, specifically “brags” from people you know about service providers they recommend.

That makes Bragadoo different from a review site, said founder Nathan Casey. And there are plenty of review sites — for example, ChoiceVendor launched last month. In fact, Bragadoo’s previous incarnation, Jobvana, was itself a service listings and review site. With Bragadoo, on the other hand, users can search for a plumber and the top results will be the ones recommended by their social connections on the site. That’s a common way of finding service providers in the offline world, but Casey notes said there are lots of missed opportunities.

“I have an electrician who is just fantastic,” Casey said. “I would use him for any kind of electrical job, but all my friends don’t necessarily know that.”

Bragadoo becomes a place to share and store all the information. It should be easy to post a brag to the site, since you only need a few lines of text, not a full review. And if none of your connections have a recommendation for the service that you’re searching for, you can still see results ranked by the number of recommendations from Bragadoo users.

The Seattle company has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from John Chapple of Hawkeye Investments, Dennis Weibling of Rally Capital, and other local angel investors. Casey said likely business models include premium accounts for service providers (they get basic accounts for free) and taking a cut from business transactions that Bragadoo enables through PayPal.

Another service provider startup, Redbeacon, recently added social recommendation features of its own.


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