Social net for daredevils wins VC backing

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Bragster, a social network for dares (think Jackass meets Facebok), has closed a $3.5 million Series A round of venture capital funding led by Intel Capital, the global investment arm of Intel Corp. They were joined by angel investor David Frankel through Puressence Limited. Frankel previously invested in companies including GetMeIn and SiteAdvisor, sold to Ticketmaster and McAfee, respectively. Bragster is the re-launched Gottabet which won a seed round in 2006 but dumped it’s cash bettings model.

In Bragster you don’t place cash bets, you simply ‘brag’ to your friends that you will do something, like turn up at work in your pyjamas. You can even bet that you will graduate from college. Anything you like really. It’s very video oriented as well, so people can see proof of your dare. Revenues will eventually come from ‘sponsored brags’ created by brands which want to distribute a marketing message in a fun way, and they are looking to license a white label version of the platform. Bragster is biggest in English speaking territories like the UK, US and Canada. The site, which has also managed to attract a few celebrities who use it to create brags for their fans, has garnered 800,000 viewers in a year.

Bragster was foundered by Belgium-born Wim Vernaeve and Bertrand Bodson who run the company in London, with a 10 person team. The site is built on Ruby on Rails.

Bragster is a fun idea and likely to attract interest from advertisers looking for a more focused approach to social media. It’s part if a wave of new social startups focusing around people laying non-cash bets on some kind of “social object“, even news events (e.g. HubDub). It’s also the sort of focused social media site that might get picked up by a more generalist entertainment site like Bebo or MySpace looking to expand its portfolio. Or perhaps a media company.

intro from bish muthu on Vimeo.

  • jamescoops

    As i recall they raised an earlier VC round in 2006?

  • Wim

    James, we raised a previous round from David Frankel in August 2006.
    Feel free to contact me at wim [at] bragster [dot] com should you have more questions!

  • Nigel Eccles

    Congratulations on closing your Series A!

    The Bragster community seems to be really buzzing now.

  • Paul J

    The emphasis on the “social object” will become more apparent as the novelty of superficial friends gathering wears off.

    It adds fuel to online interactions because it more closely resembles real life social relationships. In the offline world people commonly form social connections via shared interests (music, sport, stamp collecting, whatever) these all give a meaning to your “social graph” in today’s parlance. Without them the whole raison d’etre for a social network quickly disappears.

    Adding a game structure, as bragster have, not only serves to drive these interactions by incentivising users to join a conversation but also appeals to our competitive nature.

    Congrats on the funding guys – good luck for the future.

  • fizetés + állás

    this is a very good idea, and done nice as well

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