SAN FRANCISCO, June 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Blend announced the close of a $6.3 Million Series A led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Metamorphic Ventures, Red Sea Ventures, Great Oaks Capital and previous investors including CAA Ventures, Foundation Capital, Galvanize Ventures, BaseVC, XG Ventures and others. Sheel Tyle with NEA will be joining the Blend's Board of Directors. The funding from this round will be used to advance Blend's platform, refine the nomination concept, and dig deeper into its brand monetization strategy.
Since its initial $2.7 Million seed fund in March of 2014, co-founders Akash Nigam, Matt Geiger and Evan Rosenbaum have incorporated the concept of the nomination to its original trend-sharing platform. Now, users start a trend (a movement, inside joke, or challenge) and nominate their friends, favorite brands, charities, celebs to join them. Verified accounts such as brands are able to nominate the entire user base for a trend of their choosing and receive thousands of user generated posts. In return, the brands reward the users with the "best content" with gifts and discount codes.
"We took what we had in our original platform and embraced the concept of the nomination to hone in on exclusivity, flirtation, and one-to-one messaging," says Akash Nigam, CEO and co-founder of Blend. "You can almost think of it as the next FB Poke. We love not only what it does for peer-to-peer interaction, but also the opportunities it presents for brands, charities, and celebrities."
Blend was founded in 2013 as a social app available exclusively for college students. The team has since expanded to 20 employees, predominantly engineers, and has partnered with hundreds of brands including marquee names such as Fox Broadcasting, LiveNation, Naked Juice, and Uber. Additionally, the user base has transitioned from millennials to Gen Z, drawing much intrigue from advertisers.
"At NEA we believe theme based, curated content is the future---and at Blend, its creation is being led by a demographic not on Facebook or Twitter," said Sheel Tyle, a Principal with NEA.
"The users of Blend (Gen Z) are telling the story through engagement and seems to be paying off with the volume of organic virility as well as the high profile celebs and brands they are attracting to its platform," says David Hirsch, Metamorphic General Partner. "The Blend team is leveraging the nomination in a unique manner. We're excited to join the journey and help where we can."
Founded in late 2013 by Akash Nigam, Matt Geiger, and Evan Rosenbaum, Blend's mission is to create a new way for the Gen Z community to relate. Users create a trend (a movement, inside joke, or challenge) and nominate their friends, favorite brands, charities, celebs to join them. More information can be found at www.blend.la.