A mere two months after its September 2012 launch, startup social news aggregator Nuzzel has just secured an impressive $1.7 million in seed funding.
It’s stretching semantics a little to call Nuzzel a “startup firm” right now — it’s more of a one man band. At present, its only full-time employee is its founder, Jonathan Abrams, although thanks to the new funding it’s now advertising for new recruits (specifically, a full-stack software engineer, an iOS engineer, a DevOps engineer and a growth/analytics engineer). Nuzzel clearly plans to launch apps for iPhones and iPads.
Abrams is no stranger to the world of social networking startups and has quite the catalogue of achievements to his name. He either founded or co-founded a glittering list of social sites (the Founders Den, Friendster, Socializr and HotLinks) although this is his first foray into social news.
What’s new about Nuzzel
But hard-nosed chief technology officers, chief revenue officers and business development associates will be asking what, in a market saturated with social news apps, is unique about Nuzzel?
From the outset, it aims to make social news aggregation as clean, simple and fast as possible. It’s essentially a link collector, pulling the most shared news posted by the people you’re following on Facebook or Twitter. It then delivers the relevant news to you directly either via a daily email or on the online dashboard. Users aren’t confined to content shared on their immediate social network, however: there’s a “news you might have missed” page containing links from “friends of friends” too, so that the social feeds of a broader range of users can be viewed.
It needs minimal set-up on the part of new users and it’s proving in beta to be a reliable indicator of interesting content. Just sign in through Twitter, and Nuzzel gets to work immediately, aggregating all the news your friends have found interesting.
An ‘A’ list of investors
Until now, the site has been built solely by Abrams without external funding. But with his reputation and contacts to assist him, he’s attracted a veritable “Hollywood ‘A’ List” of Silicon Valley investors, including Dave McClure of 500 Startups fame, Ronny Conway of Andreessen Horowitz, George Zachary of Charles River Ventures, Eric Reiss of The Lean Startup and Stephanie Palmeri and Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC.