Nuzzel: News From Your Friends Means News That Matters

June 18, 2014

Have you signed up for Nuzzel and downloaded their iOS app? If not please stop reading this post and do so. It’s ok, we’ll wait…there’s a lot of interesting information being shared on Twitter and Facebook. Nuzzel identifies the content most shared by your friends so you can easily read, listen, purchase, and so on. Sounds simple, right? Don’t confuse an intuitive interface with easy to build. Here’s why we invested:

WHO: Nuzzel founder and CEO, Jonathan Abrams, has been a friend of ours since well before we started Homebrew. And although Jonathan did help kick-off the modern social networking by founding Friendster, we mean friend IRL. As a cofounder of Founder’s Den, Jonathan has been someone who both encourages bold entrepreneurs and calls BS within the broader tech community. We also love when a team gets back together - at Nuzzel, Jonathan has reunited with Kent Lindstrom, who previously served as Friendster’s COO.

WHAT: Nuzzel inverts the standard paradigm of social sharing: it puts the content, not the sharer, first. And Nuzzel aggregates from across social products so you don’t need to worry about monitoring all of your different networks to find needles in haystacks. Nuzzel is a needle magnet. And what you see in the product today is just the beginning.

HOW: Your Facebook friends and the accounts you follow on Twitter are constantly sharing links. Nuzzel sums these shares and gives you a list of content, ranked by the number of people who have shared it. You’re in control of the update intervals and alert frequencies from breaking news to stories you might have missed. To do all this, Jonathan and team have focused on a backend that scales with both the growth of its user base and their connection graphs on social networks.

WHY: Here at Homebrew, we were big users of the Nuzzel product before we ever became investors. When Jonathan had the opportunity to raise additional funding, we were appreciative of the chance to participate. Besides our love for the product, we enjoyed seeing Jonathan do “slow tech” - that is, keeping a small team, avoiding the hype, and letting the product win over users. At Netscape, Hot Links and Friendster, Jonathan has seen rocket ships and very easily could create more noise than substance. But anyone who follows him on Twitter knows that his attitude these days is mirrored not only in Nuzzel but in his own critiques of tech culture: pay attention to what matters.

We couldn’t be happier to partner with the Nuzzel team and their other great investors.