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Google Acquires Alfred-maker Clever Sense 2011.12.18

Silicon Valley, USA - December 13, 2011 - Google is acquiring the Silicon Valley-based startup Clever Sense, both companies are announcing today. Clever Sense is the maker of the mobile application "Alfred" which delivers personalized recommendations for nearby restaurants, coffee shops, bars and nightclubs using a combination of artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms.

Photo courtesy of Google

Silicon Valley, USA - December 13, 2011

Google is acquiring the Silicon Valley-based startup Clever Sense, both companies are announcing today.

Clever Sense is the maker of the mobile application “Alfred,” which delivers personalized recommendations for nearby restaurants, coffee shops, bars and nightclubs using a combination of artificial intelligence and machine-learning algorithms

Alfred is a free mobile app for Android and iOS that puts serendipitous recommendations in the palm of a consumer's hand.
Dubbed "Pandora for the real world," Alfred is a personal robot that can learn users' tastes when they teach it about their favorite places in the real world.  
Alfred operates on the groundbreaking Clever Sense technology platform: he includes a personalized score of how well a place matches user preferences, as well as specific reasons each place is being recommended. Users can simply tap for reviews, directions, and more.
Alfred currently curates restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and nightlife.
Courtesy of Clever Sense
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Clever Sense team will be joining Google’s local services division immediately, the home to the business directory and reviews service Google Places

Courtesy of Clever Sense

We are delighted to announce that

Clever Sense has been acquired by Google!

When we embarked on our mission to curate the world around us, we knew we were taking on a huge challenge. We worked hard to build the Clever Sense Platform to tackle the problem of information overload in the real world.

Using that platform, we built Alfred to create a simple, enjoyable, and powerful way to discover new places and help make decisions on the go. It’s exciting to see that our passion turned into something people around the world use regularly to make everyday decisions that are just right for them.

Babak Pahlavan, Co-founder & CEO at Clever Sense
Courtesy of Clever Sense / YouTube
Today, we are excited to join Google and start a new chapter in curating the world around us! Together with the Google team, we will accelerate our efforts toward this shared vision. Google helps local businesses connect with potential customers, and its worldwide presence can bring the value of Clever Sense to a much larger audience.

Discovering local information is extremely important to both users and businesses, and the acquisition of Clever Sense will benefit both.

The journey has been nothing short of incredible.
Our vision has only become bigger, and our commitment stronger.
With Google and Clever Sense working together, our entire team looks forward to building more intelligent, serendipitous and magical services!

We didn’t achieve this success alone.
We sincerely want to thank our users, investors, our amazing board and superb advisors.
We will be your loyal fans for life.


- Babak Pahlavan

Co-founder and CEO

P.S. Please send all press inquiries to: press@google.com  

Courtesy of Clever Sense

Alfred Reviewerʼs Guide

Who is Alfred?

Alfred provides high-quality, curated recommendations from the start tailored to the userʼs tastes.

His recommendations are extremely personalized, based on what you teach him about your tastes and his extensive knowledge of the general web.

Alfred Home
Courtesy of Clever Sense
Alfred filters through the wealth of information available on the web to find places that will truly shine for you.

Use Alfred to explore hidden gems in your own city, and rely on him when youʼre travelling to make you feel at home.

With Alfred, never miss places youʼll love.

Whatʼs new with Alfred?

The latest version of Alfred is even smarter and more personalized, offering an entirely new way to browse recommendations as well as the beginning of integration with other apps.

• The iPad: iPad users, get ready for a sleek, new, native iPad version!

• Personalized Google Maps: Experience Google maps in highly personalized way to your taste

• Learns from Facebook: Alfred now learns from your interactions with Facebook to improve your results

• Interest Graph Revealed: More information from Clever Sense interest graph on each place

Alfred for iPad

Alfred like youʼve never seen before! Now itʼs even easier to discover places youʼll love on the iPad.

Alfred splash screen
Courtesy of Clever Sense
Users who want Alfred on both iPhone and iPad can simply connect with Facebook on both devices, and likes will be synced!

Personalized Google Maps

Alfred now offers a sleek way to browse and discovery recommendations through Map view.

Alfred-Personalized Map View
Courtesy of Clever Sense
Get a visual spread of all the places nearby that you might love! Browse Alfredʼs relevant pins with the easy-access menu bar, and find new results as you move within the map.

Learns from Facebook

Alfred learns from Facebook, now, making sense of Check-Ins and Location-tagged posts.

Alfred-Learns from Facebook
Courtesy of Clever Sense
When you tag a place in a status update, Alfred will remember that youʼve been there and ask you to rate it to provide you with better recommendations.

Soon, heʼll learn from your Facebook Likes, too.

Interest Graph Revealed

Alfredʼs recommendations now all come with more information – revealing more of the Clever Sense interest graph to show how users interacted with each place.

Alfred splash screen - Personalized Card View
Courtesy of Clever Sense
There are also more recommendations available!

Simply swipe after the last card, and Alfred will find more places for you.

Alfred brings serendipity to your life.

Described as “Pandora for the real world,” Alfred, relying on his AI-based platform, crawls the web to learn about places based on how people describe them.

When you tell Alfred about a favorite place of yours, he uses this knowledge base to find places that match your preferences and needs at this exact moment.

Alfred-Results Delfina
Courtesy of Clever Sense
Alfred is powered by the Clever Sense Serendipity Engine, a personalized, contextaware discovery engine.

The Serendipity Engine learns about your interests and preferences, making an anonymous interest profile is part of what makes Alfredʼs recommendations so great.

Alfred is just starting to learn from Facebook and other sources like Twitter to make his recommendations even better.

His results improve the more you teach him.

Alfred-Details Delfina
Courtesy of Clever Sense
If you see a place you know while you browse his suggestions, you can rate it, and Alfred will adjust his results accordingly, immediately.

Alfred also uses information from your mobile device, like time and location, to narrow his recommendations to those relevant to you at your exact moment.

Alfred-Fans Also Like
Courtesy of Clever Sense
Even the ideas he presents, like Lunch or Dinner, are rearranged based on the time.

Walking out of San Francisco International at 8am and need a morning boost?

Alfred-Action Menu
Courtesy of Clever Sense
You can use Alfred to find a café with a cup of coffee reminiscent of your favorite spot at home to get you ready for your next adventure.

Zero-Query Search

Youʼve already taught Alfred about your favorite places – so no need to think of queries, anymore!

Alfred will have ideas for you from the start.

Courtesy of Clever Sense
Not sure if youʼre craving ramen or ravioli?

Alfred can provide a diverse stream of personalized recommendations so you can consider all your options.

Alfred gives you smart summaries.

As you look through Alfredʼs suggestions, youʼll have access vital information like hours, location, price range, and how others like it.

Interested in learning more about a place?

Courtesy of Clever Sense
On the details page, Alfred will share highlights from a particular place, based on hundreds of comments heʼs already read for you.

You can also look at photos and menus, to give you everything you need to make an informed decision.

What should I order?

Alfred will continue to assist you even after youʼve chosen a place heʼs recommended.

He has searched the web for information about a place and can let you know whatʼs great and whatʼs not-so-great at each place.

Alfred-Share Results
Courtesy of Clever Sense
With Alfred, you never have to miss the legendary grilled cheese or awe-inspiring salad at any place you visit

Customizable Search

If youʼve got something more specific in mind, Alfred can name a few places that fit the bill.

Build a more detailed search by telling Alfred your group size, cuisine preferences, or price range, and he will filter your recommendations accordingly.

You can also use Alfred to find a place with certain characteristics – like outdoor seating and type of cuisine - without taking your previous preferences into account, using the Find feature.

Alfred's goal is to make sure you never miss places you'll love. Teach him about your favorite places and he'll find your new favorites in your city or when you travel.
Courtesy of Clever Sense / YouTube
Alfred knows about other places fans of one place also like.

He has analyzed patterns on the web and can provide Amazon-like recommendations based on localsʼ expert opinions, so you can easily plan your next move.

Save, Share, and Sync

You can bookmark great finds in My Places for easy access to your favorites.
If you tell Alfred you like something, heʼll add it to My Places automatically.

Connect Alfred with Facebook, and you can ask your friends what they think of a specific place.
After you check into a place, heʼll remember that youʼve been there.

Alfred can also send you newsletters with places he thinks youʼll like. For users who want to have Alfred on both the iPhone and iPad, connecting with Facebook on both devices will sync your likes!

Never miss places youʼll love.

Alfred works all over the country.

Teach him about your favorite places in your city.

Alfred's goal is to make sure you never miss places you'll love. Teach him about your favorite places and he'll find your new favorites in your city or when you travel.
Courtesy of Clever Sense / YouTube
Anywhere else you go, you'll have a trusted robot at your disposal who will take you to places that you'll love

Alfred is your personal robot who recommends places based on your favorites.

Source: Clever Sense


Babak Pahlavan

Co-founder & CEO at Clever Sense

Babak Pahlavan
Courtesy of Clever Sense
By the age of 15, Babak had already penned over 10,000 lines of code.
But that was just the start.

Since those first 10,000 lines, Babak has created numerous e-commerce businesses and managed product development at companies such as Intel and Wyse Technology.

As a product line manager for mobile platforms at Wyse Technology, he was responsible for successfully launching the company's smartphone software business.

Since 2008, mobile product design and development has been a passion for Babak.

Having shipped products on iPhone, Android and the iPad, he is very detail oriented and understands the nuances that are involved in designing a high quality mobile product.

Babak is the head of the Product Design Committee at Clever Sense.

Babak bootstrapped Clever Sense during its first 2 years and has since secured equity financing from angel investors.

He earned his dual-degree bachelor's with honors from UC Berkeley in EE and CS and earned his master's degree with honors from Stanford in EE, with emphases on CS & data mining.

Source: Clever Sense


Meet Alfred, your personal robot!


Clever Sense


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