Stamped has been a busy little startup. The company just launched version 2.0 of the app, letting people take action on the things their friends have suggested through a stamp of approval. This is thanks in large part to a massive funding round from various celebrities and companies including Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, and the New York Times Company.
But what does it take to rope in big-name investors like that? According to founder Robby Stein, “a shared vision.”
Robby has recently been frustrated with the media outlets and others who lump Stamped in with a lot of other apps that let you “rate everything.” He believes Stamped isn’t about 1 to 5 stars, which is certainly true, but by adding in functionality to listen to the song your friend stamped or make a reservation at a restaurant stamped by your boss, the app is separating itself further and further from those other apps.
But there’s also the issue of bringing on celebrities and companies to stamp real-world places, items, etc. For example, Columbia Records is one of the funding partners, and has an artist using the app. But part of the beauty of the app is that it brings word of mouth, possibly the most powerful marketing tool known to man, into the digital world. By allowing “brands” to stamp things, it seems as though the power of word of mouth might be diluted.
But according to Stein, there aren’t any plans to have “brands” (per se) stamp inside the app, but rather individuals. “If someone is stamping things that aren’t genuine, it will be quickly obvious and users will stop following them,” said Stein. “It’s the same type of behavior you see on Twitter and Instagram, and it’ll kind of take care of itself somewhat naturally.”