Richard Branson Looks At Tech Startup Investing

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Amen, the ‘strong opinions’ app that’s making waves and has high profile investors like Ashton Kutcher, released a new version of its iPhone app this week. It’s staying deliciously simple but Version 1.5 of the app added some long needed new features. It also took in a fresh $1m (taking its total pot to $2.9m) from Sunstone Capital and Path’s Dave Morin, came on board as an angel investor via his vehicle Slow Ventures.

But we understand that Amen may well take in a new investor who you might have heard of: noted global entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson. We have also heard from well placed sources that Branson is a silent partner in Slow Ventures with Morin. We’ve reached out to them for comment.

[Update: Dave Morin tells us that Branson is not involved in his fund. Also, Morin adds that he's almost entirely focused on Path, with most of his investments having been made in past years.]

Amen cofounder Caitlin Winner recently pitched to Branson on his private island as is evidenced by a post on Amen by CEO Felix Peterson and on Winner’s site and Twitter. We’ve confirmed this via sources.

This is pretty interesting news for technology startups. Branson is an icon of entrepreneurship in the UK because of the success of his Virgin brand and known globally for his airline and space ventures.

Amen, where you air a strong opinion about something (something is ‘the best’ or the ‘worst thing ever’). You can now add pictures to posts, the ability to listen to a 30-second preview of an iTunes song and buy it, commenting, Facebook timeline and contact support.

CEO Felix Peterson says that Amen is getting “industry leading retention and activity numbers.”

The other investors in Amen are Index (Danny Rimer); A Grade (Ashton Kutcher, Ron Burkle, Guy Oseary); Christophe Maire, and SoundCloud founders Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss.