If you’re curious to learn about the latest investment out of San Francisco-based True Ventures, you’ll have to be patient. Though the firm is disclosing that it has led a whopping $12 million Series A round in new startup Brava, details about the startup are scarce.
What we do know: Brava is a new IoT company that plans to create a suite of domestic hardware and software products, beginning with a kitchen appliance that aims to make cooking easier. It also just brought aboard John Pleasants as CEO.
If that name is familiar, it’s because Pleasants has led a number of digital media companies over the last couple of decades, including as co-president of Disney Interactive Media Group, COO of Electronic Arts, CEO of Ticketmaster, and most recently as an EVP at Samsung.
Pleasants also spent a year as the CEO of Playdom, a social gaming company that was acquired for $563 million by Disney in 2010 (thus Pleasants’s role there). It was at Playdom where he met Brava cofounder Dan Yue, who went to high school with Brava’s other cofounder, Thomas Cheng.
Yue was Playdom’s chief product officer and headed to Disney with Pleasants after the sale, logging a couple of years with the entertainment giant as an SVP of product. Cheng meanwhile cofounded the smart parking company Streetline and recently spent a year as the head of hardware at August, the smart lock company.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where True Ventures fits into all of this, the firm sold an earlier portfolio company, social gaming startup Hive7, to Playdom back in 2010 and got to know Pleasants then.
We had the chance to talk with Pleasants yesterday about Brava, which quietly came together about a year ago. He couldn’t share a whole lot but he said the 14-person outfit hopes to have a product in the market by sometime next year (“and not on December 31”). Asked about the demographic Brava is targeting, he said its first product is “not a luxury item; it’s for everyone. We’re aspiring to [produce something that is] well-regarded and high-quality but not for the superrich.”
In addition to True, other investors in the round include Chris Anderson, who runs the TED conference; Rob Reid, founder of the Rhapsody music service; and Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee.
Pictured, left to right: Thomas Cheng, John Pleasants, and Dan Yue.