We Heart It, Image Site That’s a Favorite of Young Ladies, Raises $8M
We Heart It, an image-sharing social network popular with girls, has raised $8 million in Series A funding.
The company is a mix of standard and unconventional. It was started in Brazil in 2008 as a personal project. Founder Fabio Giolito, who moved to San Francisco last summer, said he wanted to raise funding, but not traditional venture capital, out of concern that VCs would try to dictate too much. But he agreed that he needed management help, so former tech and media execs Ranah Edelin and Dave Williams joined as CEO and president, respectively, and scrapped a social gifting startup they were working on. They have now raised $8 million from White Oak (an advisory firm from a former Goldman exec) and IDG Ventures.
Meanwhile, the site itself is somewhere in the Pinterest-Tumblr spectrum, with no business model to speak of. It’s a sort of shiny-happy supportive environment filled with stuff young women like, at the opposite end of the Internet from something like 9GAG.
We Heart It is about “expressiveness,” Giolito said. It’s a way for people to show “how I’m feeling at the moment” with a picture. Usually, that picture is grabbed from elsewhere on the Web — the site is only starting to allow uploads. Many users are anonymous.
We Heart It has 20 million monthly unique visitors, and is starting to skew almost half mobile overall, though it only just released its Android app six weeks ago, and its iPhone app nine months ago.
By Liz Gannes