Peanut, a social networking app for women, is launching a new “Peanut Pro” expansion designed to give women access to information from trusted experts. The company has partnered with 100 experts from its existing network, including doulas, psychologists, therapists, sex coaches and sleep consultants. Peanut is also launching a new tipping feature that will allow experts and creators on the platform to monetize their work.
Founded in 2017, Peanut is an online community that is designed to connect women throughout all stages of their lives, from puberty to menopause. The app currently has more than 2.5 million users. Peanut provides access to a community of women who are part of the network to share information and offer advice.
The new Pro offering works by connecting experts with women and helping them build their own networks on the Peanut app. The experts will connect with women on the platform through group discussions, live audio content and one-on-one direct messages. Users on the app can then send tips to the experts during these interactions. In the future, Peanut plans to launch monthly subscriptions that will give members access to exclusive content.
Michelle Kennedy, the founder and CEO of Peanut, told TechCrunch that the goal of Peanut Pro is to “democratize access to expertise.” Kennedy notes that the expertise may be formal, and through a therapist or psychologist. In other cases, the expertise may be experience-led through someone with a public profile who has gathered a wealth of information on a specific topic. The company also wants to break down economic barriers that women may face when trying to access experts.
“We want to break down huge fees into manageable, accessible subscriptions and one-off payments,” Kennedy said. “Not everyone can afford $200 for one-on-one consultations across sleep training or sex therapy, so if we instead provide access to short form Q&As or online courses, suddenly support is decentralized. And, whilst we do that, women with expertise, our Pros, get paid regularly, with less invisible labor because their content is valued.”
In terms of the future, Kennedy outlined that the next step for the company is to introduce online courses and paywalled content via its upcoming monthly membership.
“A lot of the women with expertise who already use Peanut to share advice and support have their own online courses. Until now, they have been unable to share them with our audience due to our guidelines on advertising businesses and services. Peanut Pro permits women to share their content and courses with our audience and ultimately, monetize their hard work,” she said.
Peanut has been adding new features and enhancing its product over the past few years. Last year, the company launched “Peanut Menopause,” a dedicated space in the app where women can meet others who are at a similar life stage — whether that’s other premenopausal, menopausal or postmenopausal women. Peanut also added live audio rooms last year as a way for women on its app to have better connections in a more supportive, safer environment than other social audio platforms may provide.
The company has raised $23 million in funding to date. Most recently, Peanut announced the close of a $12 million Series A round of funding in May 2020. The round was led by EQT Ventures, a multi-stage VC firm that invests in companies across Europe and the U.S.
Kennedy noted Peanut’s long-term vision is to serve women at every life stage so that three women in the same family at varying stages of womanhood can all find community and support on the app. The company plans to introduce more experts onto the platform to cater to more needs. Peanut is already seeing requests from women for access to information across topics like financial health, legal support and more.