Valar Ventures Leads Seed Stage Investment Alongside QED Investors, Western Technology Investment (WTI), Breyer Capital, Entrée Capital and Goodwater Capital
Unicorn Startup Alums to Launch Platform Focused on Personalizing Consumer Leisure Recs Through Content from Like-Minded Tastemakers
NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Seek, a new influencer-centric consumer leisure recommendation platform, today announced it closed $4 million in seed funding from Valar Ventures, QED Investors, WTI, Breyer Capital, Entrée Capital and Goodwater Capital.
Led by co-founders Shanna Liu and Giff Carter – veterans of the unicorn fintech startup, Stash – Seek is a new network where consumers can get carefully curated recommendations from trusted tastemakers wherever they go. It’s a new community where curation from like-minded tastemakers is the currency. According to BrightLocal research, 91% of Generation Z trust the influencers they follow as much as they trust their family and friends. Additionally, they are always looking to this group for guidance in their everyday lives.
Seek focuses on tastemakers and consumers across six key categories: restaurants, cafes and sweets, nightlife, attractions, events, and activities.
Consumers now have the luxury of following a trusted coffee expert for recommendations about the best cafes that match their taste, or discovering a like-minded biking expert to find the right trail rides for their level of experience. When they travel, consumers will be introduced to local tastemakers who match their style so they can explore and discover with confidence. Seek helps consumers save time researching activities and have a good time in their leisure outings.
Current leisure review sites are full of impersonal and unhelpful reviews from random individuals. Seek’s recommendations and secret tips, on the other hand, are from trusted curators whose tastes match those of a particular consumer. Each recommendation is also vetted to meet the platform’s standards for concise, useful, and unique information.
Seek also provides amateur and professional tastemakers in its six verticals a direct relationship with their audiences. On the platform, they become known for their particular expertise with the opportunity to monetize their more exclusive tips and recommendations. Seek allows tastemakers to create premium content on the platform to which consumers can subscribe. This frees curators from inauthentic product advertising as their sole source of revenue and allows them to be fully dedicated to what they love and do best: discovering and sharing unforgettable leisure experiences.
This initial funding will support product development to bring greater features and functionality for the platform’s tastemakers as well as expand and scale its consumer experience.
Additionally, Seek will increase its curator and consumer outreach programs to further engage communities in advance of its consumer launch this fall. Seek is expected to launch with more than 250 Founding Tastemakers and 3,000 recommendations on the platform.
In making the announcement, Shanna Liu, Seek’s Co-Founder and CEO, said, “Seek is creating a space to match the real needs of two sets of people: consumers who are tired of wasting hours searching for places to eat and things to do and tastemakers who have expertise, but have no platform to spread and monetize their knowledge. Seek will fill the void by serving as a trusted destination to discover relevant recommendations and content from like-minded curators.”
Giff Carter, Seek’s Co-Founder and COO, said, “Seek is part of the new generation of social platforms that prioritizes useful content and creators. While previous social networks are focused on peer-to-peer sharing of random photos and life events, Seek puts tastemakers at our platform’s core, turning interests into opportunities. It becomes more valuable to consumers and we empower the tastemakers to create a steady, subscription-based revenue stream driven by their own expertise rather than marketing others’ products.”
James Fitzgerald, partner at Valar Ventures, said, “We’re excited to support Seek from the beginning. It’s clear that consumers crave a different way to navigate a leisure world of infinite choices and a platform is needed to help influencers showcase their expertise and monetize. Seek brings personalized curation into a noisy world and enables influencers to build their passion into a business. This is a massive opportunity and we’re excited to be jumping in.”
Beginning today, tastemakers and consumers can sign up for early access to the platform at https://www.joinseekrecs.com.
Editor’s Note: Brand and Founder images, can be downloaded here. Founders’ bios can be viewed here.
Seek is a content platform that connects tastemakers in the consumer leisure space with millions of consumers seeking trusted and relevant recommendations on where to eat, drink and spend their leisure time. Consumers have access to trusted and vetted recommendations from like-minded experts while tastemakers can showcase and monetize their expertise and passion. Seek currently has thousands of recommendations from tastemakers around the world.
A minority and woman led company, Seek is dedicated to diversity, equity and inclusion and showcasing expertise from experts across interests and personalities. No matter who you are, find and share what you like on Seek.
To learn more and get early access to Seek’s fall consumer launch, visit https://www.joinseekrecs.com.