A Dublin-based mobile chat startup, Quorum, has raised $2m (€1.7m) from investors that include Paddy Cosgrave and Robin Klein.
The company, co-founded by CEO Patrick Finlay, COO Romy Lynch and CTO David Newell, is the second version of a startup that was showcased in San Francisco’s famous Y Combinator ‘Demo Day’ last year.
It describes itself as ‘Whatsapp with community management built in’.
It’s the fourth publicly-disclosed investment from Amaranthine, the investment firm set up by Web Summit co-founder David Kelly and former Goldman Sachs executive Patrick Murphy and backed by Paddy Cosgrave.
Previous investments include participation in rounds for the US online insurance tech startup Huckleberry ($18m), a British virtual events platform, Hopin (£5m) and a British automated code startup, Northflank ($2.6m).
The lead investors are Robin Klein’s UK-based LocalGlobe and Adjacent, while Y Combinator is also a backer.
Quorum says that it “serves the passion economy, giving creators more control and opportunity to directly monetise their services to a small group of loyal fans or customers, rather than advertising products to a much larger audience”.
Some of its early users, it says, include business coaches, personal stylists, and learning and development groups.
“Micro-businesses are under added pressure to provide services digitally as a consequence of Covid-19, and we’re incredibly excited to make it easy for them to build a paid community,” said Patrick Finlay, the startup’s CEO.
“We found that creators were concerned about a whole range of missing features from current chat platforms. Simple things like having no control over what kind of media was shared by participants, to bigger problems around privacy and participant data being accessible to all group members, make it a frustrating experience to try and host these conversations on other platforms.”
The startup “lets creators and service providers communicate directly to their clients via chat, with enhanced features to moderate, manage users and monetise the interactions”, the company adds.
Founded in 2019 by Mr Finlay, Ms Lynch and Mr Newell, Quorum lets “educators, business coaches and personal stylists” communicate directly with their clients via chat. with enhanced features to moderate, manage users and monetise the interactions.
Under the name Monaru, it was selected to take part in Y Combinator’s programme in San Francisco in 2019.” After realising the range of administration features missing from current chat platforms, [we] pivoted to chat, founding Quorum,” a company statement said.
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