With technology making its presence felt in nearly every aspect of the global economy, it is no surprise that tech-based startups are making such a splash. When it comes to the outlook of tech-based industries, the mobile industry has a very brightly projected future. By the year 2020, the mobile app industry is projected to generate $189 billion in annual revenue.
According to the information that has been released on the startup to this point, Peanut is expected to be launched within the next several weeks. This new startup was founded by Deliveroo co-founder and former CTO Greg Orlowski and ex-Badoo deputy CEO Michelle Kennedy. For some, Kennedy’s involvement is somewhat of a shock, considering her connection with Badoo, and the fact that she is likely still holding a seat on the board there.
The concept surrounding the Peanut rollout borrows significantly from existing dating mobile apps, with a heavy focus on chat and discovery. While the company has been rather straightforward concerning the concept and the projected launch date, it has not been completely straight forward concerning its ability to raise the necessary funding to push the company out. In fact, the word is that the pre-launch entity has already successfully secured its first round of funding; however, the exact amount raised during the initial round has not been disclosed. What has been noted is that the backers who have already invested in the company are quite noteworthy, with some notable names being Felix Capital, VCs NEA and Partech. Additionally, the company was also able to secure funding from a number of angel investors, with Julien Codorniou, the head of Facebook’s Workplace, being one of them.
While the current details are subject to change, what is known about the app is that it targets moms, or soon-to-be moms, who are able to log on via Facebook access. When creating the initial profile, the users will be asked several questions associated with parenthood. One question that is likely to be asked is, “how far along in your pregnancy are you? Another question asks existing mothers the age of their children.
Once the app has collected the necessary data, it will use the information that it has gathered to locate other moms with the same interests, within a certain geographical location. The app will allow mothers with similar interests to connect with one another. Additionally, the word is the machine learning will be implemented and employed in the use of the app. Machine learning will serve at least two purposes — improving the discovery process, and allowing the company to provide its users a significantly more personalized experience. In a global market that has placed an enormous amount of emphasis on the customer experience, having the ability to provide its users with a highly personalized experience will be a huge asset in an ever-increasing competitive environment.
In a somewhat quiet and subtle manner, Deliveroo co-founder, Orlowski, surrendered his role as CTO at the food delivery company that is headquartered in London. His quiet exit took place in February of last year. He has since relocated to the U.S. and he is now residing in Chicago, while working with Kennedy remotely on efforts to get this new startup up and running. In addition to its team members in London, Peanut has members who are based in New York as well, which will likely, along with London, be the target of the planned launch in the upcoming weeks.
On the other hand, Kennedy has a taken an interesting route to the launch of this latest startup. She spent more than six years at the online dating company, Badoo, where she filled several roles, including CEO and General Council. She finally left Badoo with plans of launching Peanut. What many may not know is that Kennedy has also played a little known role in the creation and development of Bumble, the data app in which Badoo is a majority owner.
With Peanut borrowing its concepts and approach from the dating app market, it is likely that Kennedy’s involvement and influence will be significant — especially early in the launch process.
While Kennedys influence will be significant, the company has not yet revealed what the long-term goals for the company will be. With tech-innovation being a highly evolutionary dynamic, it is important for startups have a strong entry plan, but it is also immensely important to have a long-term strategy of how the company will remain relevant as everything around it continues to change. Again, this may be where Kennedy’s role will be magnified.
What does seem to be clear is that Kennedy definitely has her sights set on being busy, as an owner and founder. Based on Bumble’s house filings last September, Kennedy is listed as a majority shareholder, so she is obviously more than just slightly engaged in the development of that company. How her connection to Bumble will impact her role at Peanut is yet to be determined, if it will have an impact on her at all.
With the launch of Peanut, mothers in the UK and eventually mothers in the U.S. will be able to participate in a network of like minded mothers, an activity that can prove to be highly beneficial. For mothers who are primarily stay-at-home mothers, it can be difficult to connect with other mothers who can share insight into parenting. It is not as if there is a pub for new mothers. This app will create a simplistic, yet highly leveraged, an environment that will allow mothers to find their comfort zone while making connections that will likely offer the insight and support so integral to effective parenting.
With the original funding round out of the way, it is not yet clear what the future plans are as far as fundraising is concerned. At this point, funding does not seem to be of concern to either of the founders, and it may very well be that the initial round has provided a certain level of stability and financial security necessary to settle the minds of all interested parties.
Written by Garrett Parker
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