Peanut — which TechCrunch understands will launch as early as next month — is a new London startup founded by ex-Badoo deputy CEO Michelle Kennedy and Deliveroo co-founder and former CTO Greg Orlowski.
Initially available for iOS, the app appears to be a social networking platform, designed to connect new or recent ‘likeminded’ mums. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Kennedy’s roots at European dating company Badoo, where I gather she remains a member of the Board, the UX borrows heavily from mobile dating apps and is based around discovery and chat.
The pre-launch startup has already picked up a round of undisclosed funding from a list of fairly notable backers. They include VCs NEA, Felix Capital, and Partech, and a number of angel investors. I understand that the latter includes Julien Codorniou, who heads up Facebook’s ‘Workplace’ efforts.
Although subject to change before Peanut hits the App Store in a matter of weeks, here’s what I know about the app so far:
Targeting mums or soon-to-be mums, you log in via Facebook and are asked to answer a few questions such as how far along your pregnancy you are or the age of your existing children.
Then, based on location and the aforementioned social and interest graph data collected, the app shows you mums with similar interests and things you have in common. I’m also told machine learning is being employed, not only to aid and improve discovery but also to enable Peanut to provide a much more personalised experience.
Whilst not widely reported, Deliveroo co-founder Orlowski actually left his role as CTO at the London headquartered food delivery company back in February last year. He has since relocated to Chicago in the U.S. and has been working with Kennedy remotely. In addition to London, Peanut has team members based in New York, which, along with the U.K. capital city, is likely a target for its planned launch.
Meanwhile, Kennedy’s background at Badoo is interesting. She spent nearly 6 years at the online dating company, including being General Council and later deputy CEO, before leaving to found Peanut. She also played an important but little known role in the creation of Bumble, the Badoo majority-owned dating app co-founded by ex-Tinder founding team member Whitney Wolfe.
In fact, Kennedy’s contribution to Bumble appears to be reflected in a Companies House filing last September that lists her as minority shareholder in the company, rendering my cap table coverage last March out of date already.