The Hunt has added Tyra Banks to its trophy count of celebrity backers. With its focus on fashion and beauty trends, the product-scavenging social network is a suitable fit for the A-list beauty queen.
While the sum remains confidential, Hunt CEO Tim Weingarten has indicated that the funds will go towards platform upgrades and network expansions. Banks’ investment marks the latest in a series of high-profile backings for the San Francisco-based company, which has also raised $700,000 from a pool involving Ashton Kutcher and Madonna’s manager Guy Oseary.
Banks is no stranger to the realm of tech startups, having already expressed interest in the Bay Area mobile-booking services Airbnb and Uber, which respectively facilitate foreign accommodations and limo transportation. The former supermodel and talk-show host also launched Fierce Capital LLC, an investment arm of the Tyra Banks Company.
Unlike the sites Pinterest, Polyvore and Wanelo – which primarily facilitate browsing – Weingarten’s brainchild functions as a bounty platform, where users place “hunts” on elusive, desired merchandise. With more than 300,000 users sorting through 250,000 items, the numbers translate to around 55 hunts per user with a satisfaction rate of 75 percent.
In terms of product access, The Hunt has an edge over Pinterest, where users often encounter products with no purchase pathway. As the latter site monetizes and others – Fancy, Wanelo, etc – extend their reach, time will tell if Weingarten’s platform remains a happy hunting ground.