Trusper said Thursday that it has raised $6.17 million in Series A funding. DCM led the round. Based in Silicon Valley, Trusper is an app that allows users to exchange lifestyle tips with family and friends.
SILICON VALLEY, CA – (March 6, 2014) – Instagram is for photos, Pinterest is for interests, Twitter is for news, and Facebook is for…well, everything. But when people want to learn and share valuable tips on things that are essential to their daily lives, where do they go?
Clearly, they’re going to Trusper—a new marketplace where “trusted helpers” can share their favorite lifestyle tips.
Unveiled in beta eight months ago, Trusper has already attracted more than five million active users under stealth, primarily through word-of-mouth and without any PR or media coverage. Bolstered by a recent $6.17 million Series A funding round led by DCM, the free mobile iOS app and brand-new Android app, together with the website, are now ready to take the Trusper story—the most useful way for people to share personal knowledge and experience on the subjects that matter to them—to the world.
“Some of the very best knowledge and advice we as humans ever receive is through trusted interactions,” said Jack Jia, founder/CEO of Trusper and longtime Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur. “We look to our community of neighbors, family members, friends and acquaintances for tips on everything from how to overcome a backyard deck problem to the best way to use mascara. Trusper lets people easily share personal quotes, pictures and videos about these topics—and they can do so from anywhere, in just seconds to minutes.”
The early success of Trusper validates its potential. Not only has the community grown from no users to more than five million since its beta in June of last year, but also its retention and site use statistics far outpace those of most lifestyle apps. With over ten million tips viewed per day, key user engagement metrics outpacing category benchmarks by six times, and a 4.7/5 average user rating, Trusper has found a strong formula for reaching, attracting and holding millions of engaged, active individuals—primarily women in the 18-45 age group.
“Trusper has gained incredible early traction—all the more remarkable because it was done under stealth,” stated David Chao, DCM founding general partner. “Led by Jack Jia, a successful serial entrepreneur, and backed by an experienced founding team, Trusper has the strong potential to secure a previously untapped and globally-scalable crowdsourced business model.”
Organized around a variety of categories, Trusper gives users an easy way to create tips, embed photos and video, search for specific topics and tips, and help others with comments. The initial focus for Trusper is beauty and fitness, although it plans to expand into relationships, home & garden and a number of other topic categories.
Trusper encourages engagement through a robust rewards system that crowdsources both the creation and editing of content. Users earn points by publishing and sharing tips to other social networks, as well as encouraging others to join the Trusper community. In addition to elevating the user’s status, points can be redeemed for featured products, gift certificates, and store discounts.
Trusper is a natural environment for marketers because of its status as a source of trusted information. “When seen in the context of advice and helpful knowledge, a link to a related product is not an interruption,” noted Jia, who is also the founding CEO of big data solutions company Baynote, Inc. and the founding CTO of Interwoven (NASDAQ: IWOV), a content management solutions provider.
“Major companies have already reached out to Trusper to provide sponsored tips and to attach products and offers to member-generated tips,” he said, cautioning that monetization is not currently a primary focus of Trusper.
With a model that combines the trusted community of a major social network with the utility, value and convenience of sites like Yelp or Quora, Trusper believes it can exist in the exclusive “golden zone” of online social network value.
“One thing that unites us all is the desire to learn from those we trust. There are so many things you need to know in life—and Trusper not only provides a solution, it celebrates the process,” stated Jia.
“Every time you visit Trusper, it’s like being at the ultimate cocktail party where everyone is sharing tips on things in their life that they’ve learned or know something about. Fashion, home, relationships, travel—Trusper will provide it all.”
Trusper (www.trusper.com) is a website and free mobile app for iOS and Android devices that allows people to quickly share and discover tips of daily life with trusted friends, family, and fans. Over five million people currently use Trusper to look for and sharing tips on cosmetics, beauty, DIY and other areas of interest. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Trusper has received $6.17 mil funding from DCM, Charles Schwab, Bob Gunderson, Mark Thompson, and founders/CEOs of major tech companies including WebEx, Fortinet, Interwoven, Netscreen, Telenav, and Juniper Networks.