Social media funding: Chirply’s crowdsourcing model attracts investors
Location: San Francisco
Sector: Social commerce/crowdsourced content
Description: Chirply maintains an online community of artists and graphic designers, and it crowdsources creative designs from the community for paper-based greeting cards.
Big Wins: April 7 – Chirply reportedly lands $1.1 million series A round of investment. Investors including Netflix founder Marc Randolph, Sling Media’s Blake Krikorian, Keith Rabois of Square, Ash Patel of Yahoo, Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Y Combinator and Founder Collective. Since its launch in February, Chirply has attracted over 200,000 page views and over 100 design submissions, and it has already made its first payment to the designer community.
Challenges: Can the web, home of the e-card, really spur innovation and fresh ideas in the $7.5 billion greeting cards market, a market dominated by Hallmark? Where Hallmark pays its designers a flat fee without royalties and doesn’t accept outsourced designs, Chirply is tapping into the web’s deep artistic side through community building. The company’s biggest challenge will be to keep the community happy. As Paperchase found out a year ago, that’s not so easy.