Jason Goldberg, the founder behind Fab.com, announced today that his new project, a social media messaging app called Pepo, earned $2.35 million in a seed funding round.
The funding round was reportedly led by Chinese company Tencent, along with Greycroft, Vectr and Correlation. Goldberg and seven previous Fab.com investors and board members, including James Mitchell of Tencent, Geoff Prentice of Oriente, Allen Morgan, David Bohnett, Howard Morgan and Nishith Shah, additionally participated in the funding round. In all, seven of the 10 board members of Fab.com are reportedly involved in funding Pepo.
Pepo allows users to post on, read and interact with users’ digital content based on specific interests — some of which Pepo has created, others that users can create themselves. Conversation and posting topics include travel, cooking and culinary, politics, fashion, dog lovers, gym and fitness, and LGBTQ+. Goldberg reported repeat engagement of new Pepo users at 50 percent, with a roughly estimated tens of thousands of downloads so far.
Goldberg was quoted as saying, “The idea for Pepo was derived from my own experience trying to pursue one of my passions: avocado toast. It hit me that it should be possible to instantly connect with and message with other avocado toast enthusiasts around the world, instantly, via a messaging platform that connects people with unique passions and expertise, indelible, always searchable. We want to be the platform of choice for people driving conversation around specific subjects, subjects that people are passionate about.”
In the future, Pepo will monetize the platform by incorporating sponsored content and native advertising. The company is reportedly in talks with major brands to build channels and produce content for the app.
Goldberg’s major endeavor prior was Fab.com, which joined the startup scene in 2011 as a flash sale site. Analysts anticipated large growth for the eCommerce company after it raised $330 million in total funding. It was eventually sold to PCH in a firesale in early 2015.