Poncho raises $2 mln from Lerer, Greycroft, Comcast, RRE, others

Poncho said it raised $2 million of seed funding in a deal led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures and joined by Greycroft Partners, Comcast Ventures, Venture51 Capital Partners, RRE Ventures and betaworks, the New York start-up studio where Poncho got its start. Also investing were Broadway Video Ventures, Ore Ventures, David Shen, and former Wall Street Journal executives Gordon Crovitz, Craig Forman and Jim Friedlich, through NextNews Ventures.


Poncho Announces $2MM in Seed Funding; Top Investors Excited About Thin Content Forecast

First round of outside funding for mobile-generation weather service

NEW YORK, NY – (April 28, 2016) Poncho, the personalized weather-forecasting service fronted by the eponymous cat from Brooklyn, today announces it has closed a $2MM seed funding round, led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures. With the additional funds, the Poncho team will continue to build the most advanced, most fun chatbot interface, deepening its data science and artificial intelligence backbone to make the user experience more conversational and learning-driven.

“We’ve been watching Poncho as it has built cutting edge technology, expanded into new channels, and pushed the envelope of what is possible in conversational interfaces,” said Eric Hippeau, Managing Partner at Lerer Hippeau Ventures. “The combination of great tech, content, constant innovation, and smart partnerships makes us very excited for the future.”

Greycroft Partners, Comcast Ventures LP, Venture51 Capital Partners, and RRE Ventures also participated in the financing along with betaworks, the New York start-up studio where Poncho was born. Rounding out the investment group are Broadway Video Ventures, Ore Ventures, David Shen, and former Wall Street Journal executives Gordon Crovitz, Craig Forman, and Jim Friedlich through NextNews Ventures.

Poncho specializes in quick and light on-demand information, called “thin content.” The company has pushed this type of content into a number of new platforms, evolving from SMS and email to iOS and chattable interfaces like Slack. And just this month on April 12, 2016, Poncho launched as a premier chat bot partner on Facebook’s Messenger platform. An Android app and additional messaging platforms are next on Poncho’s agenda.

“It’s been incredible to receive this kind of support from a strong group of investors over such a short period of time,” said Sam Mandel, CEO of Poncho and partner at betaworks. “This speaks to the importance of what we’re doing: using data science and talented humans to create delightful and genuine light content experiences that drive continued engagement across text, email, notification and messaging platforms.”

For more information about Poncho, please visit: www.poncho.is and https://medium.com/@hiponcho.

About Poncho
Poncho creates personalized weather forecasts tailored to user routines and delivered by email, text message, apps and notifications, and now bot interaction via Facebook Messenger or Slack. Based on a quick survey of wake-up time, morning commute and allergy and hair concerns, users immediately begin receiving two witty weather updates daily. Based in New York City as part of betaworks, Poncho puts boring meteorology into an easy-to-understand and fun message, crafted by a team of top-notch writers. It’s like being pals with your local weatherman, if he were a cat from Brooklyn.


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