Maisie Williams talent discovery start-up, Daisie, raises $ 2.5 million and reaches 100,000 members – TechCrunch


Maisie Williams' It's time Game of thrones may be over, but his talent discovery app, Daisie, is just starting. Co-founded by film producer Dom Santry, Daisie aims to make it easier for creators to present their work, discover projects and collaborate with each other via a social network platform. Only 11 days after Daisie Officially launched with the public, the application has passed the 100,000 mark. It also recently closed an initial $ 2.5 million financing, the company told TechCrunch.

The cycle was led by Founders Fund, which paid $ 1.5 million. Other investors include 8VC, Kleiner Perkins and the new venture capital firm Shrug Capital, former AngelList marketing director, Niv Dror, who also invested separately. To date – including money from family and friends and the investment of the founders – Daisie has collected about $ 3 million.

Santry explained that this would later lead to a larger A-series.

In Daisie, creators establish a profile like on a social network, search and follow other users, then search for projects based on location, activity or other factors .

"It's about film, music, photography or art, everything is optimized to search for collaborators," says Santry. "So, projects that are actively open and looking for people to get involved are the ones we really push to discover and hope for people to get involved," he says.

The company's goal of providing an alternative path to talent discovery is timely. Today, the creative industry is becoming aware – like many others – of the ramifications of #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. As power-hungry abusers lose their jobs, new ways of working, networking and recruiting talent are needed.

As Williams said at the first presentation of the application last year, the goal of Daisie is to return power to the creator.

"Instead of [creators] having to sell to match the idea of ​​their work, they can let their art speak for themselves, "she said at the time.

The application was launched in an invitation-only beta version on iOS last summer and quickly saw an increase in the number of users. After 37,000 downloads in the first week, he crashed.

"We realized that the community was much bigger than the product we built and that we had to scale that up," Santry told TechCrunch.

The team then realized that there was another problem: once the collaborators found themselves in Daisie, they could not get in touch because the application did not have any communication tools or resources. to share embedded files.

"This journey from design to production was pretty muddy and confusing … so we realized that if we put together teams, we wanted to give them a place to work – give them that creative center … and take their concept project to way to production on Daisie ", notes Santry.

With this expanded concept, Daisie started fundraising in San Francisco shortly after the launch of the beta. The cycle was initially closed in October 2018, but was recently reopened to allow Dror's investment.

With the additional funds, Daisie was able to expand his team from five to eighteen, including new hires from Monzo, Deliveroo, BBC, Microsoft, etc., especially engineers who were familiar with application design at ladder. Responsible for developing a better infrastructure and a larger set of features, the team is set to work to bring Daisie to the Web.

Nine months later, the new version is presented to the public and is stable enough to support the charge. Today, it has more than 100,000 users, most of whom are located in London. However, Daisie plans to focus on applying its application in other cities, including Berlin, New York and L.A.

The company has monetization ideas in mind, but the application does not generate revenue at the moment. However, we are already responding to requests from companies who want Daisie to find the ideal talent for their projects.

"We want the best for the creators on the platform, so if that means attracting customers – and hopefully offering them connectivity opportunities – we're going to [go] on those roads, "says Santry.

The app could also serve as a talent pool for Daisy Chain Productions, Maisie Williams. In fact, Daisie recently launched a campaign called London Creates, connecting emerging young creators with project teams, two led by co-founders Daisy Chain Productions, Santry, Williams and Bill Milner.

Daisy Chain Productions will now produce a film from the Daisie collaboration.

While celebrities sometimes only give their name to projects, Williams was pragmatic in getting Daisie off the ground, Santry says. In the first quarter of 2019, she worked on Daisie 9 to 5, he notes. But since then she has started another film project and plans to continue working as an actress, which will limit her daily involvement. His current and future role could be higher.

"I think his role will become culturally, like where is Daisie? What are we defending? Who are we working with? What are we representing? He said. "How do we help creators everywhere? It's mostly what Maisie wants to make sure Daisie does. "

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