A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty. A music and tech junkie who calls Nashville home, Brad is the Director TNW Academy. You can follow him on Twitter @BradMcCarty.
It’s not every day that we get a pitch from a company that won’t tell us what they’re doing. But that’s exactly what has happened today. GRP Partners, Greycroft, Daher Capital and Google Ventures have combined to pour $2.5 million in funding into an app from Moonfrye. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because it belongs to Soleil Moon Frye, who some of you might recognize better by her 1980’s name of Punky Brewster.
In the years that have passed since her childhood fame, Frye has built somewhat of an empire around being a great parent and raising kids that will follow in those footsteps. The Moonfrye.com site describes itself as ” dedicated not only to giving a voice to families, but supporting their right to play.” This is far from Frye’s first voyage into technology, however. She’s gone so far as to invest in other startups, including Trippy, which is a sort of Pinterest for travel planning.
Speaking to Moonfrye CEO Kara Nortman, I’m told that the app is set to release mid-summer, but right now the team is focused more upon defining the role that they’re looking to fill. Rather than solving more traditional problems such as buying and selling or location suggestions, we’re told that the app will provide ways to plan for do-it-yourself (DIY) and creative projects which will then continue offline.
Nortman’s own credentials lie with companies such as Urbanspoon and Citysearch. She tells us that she and Frye connected around “shared anxiety points” related to wishes for “readily-available, real-world activities that are easily accessible”. In moments such as air travel, the first night with a new nanny or other “now what do we do?” moments, it appears that the app will provide activity suggestions, and then encourage or enable the users to actually complete them.
The company is being advised by an A-list of Silicon Valley names such as Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg, Gina Bianchini and Dan Rosenweig. Kevin Rose has also chimed in, via his role at Google Ventures, to say that the resurgence of DIY is “a refreshing change from the reliance on ready-made goods.”
That’s all of the information that we have for now. As much as we dislike being spoken to in a vague fashion, the powerhouse team of investors and advisers makes the funding an interesting piece of news. Until summer, and the launch of the app, we’ll be keeping an open ear for any further information that we can gather.
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