Quirky, a social network for product development, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by RRE Ventures, with Village Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, Lowercase Capital and a small group of angel investors participating in the round. Prior to the closing of this round, Quirky had raised $1.6 million in seed capital from friends and family.
As we reported in our initial review of the site, Quirky is a platform for product ideas that are born on napkin doodles and in other unorthodox ways. The site then tries to use crowdsourcing to develop the product, by engaging participants in collaborating on every aspect of product creation – from ideation, design, naming, manufacturing, marketing, to sales. It’s like a social network for product development.
Founded by serial entrepreneur Ben Kaufman (he created mophie and kluster), Quirky lets users submit their product idea for $99. Users can also vote, rate, and influence other people’s product ideas. Every week users can post ideas on quirky to be rated by the quirky community. After a seven day evaluation period, the quirky community chooses one product from the pool of submitted ideas to move forward through the process. Quirky’s community engages and contributes to every part of the product’s development, weighing in on everything from naming to logo selection to packaging.
Since the site’s launch last summer, the platform and its community have helped developed 12 different products, including a cord untangler, and a portable mug spoon. The new funding will be used towards the construction of a full-scale rapid prototyping shop, the hiring of a global sales force, greater retail distribution, 24-hour design and engineering capacities, and added interactive collaboration tools.