Today Venice Beach, CA-based Tapiture, a ‘Pinterest for dudes’ social discovery site, announced that it closed $825,000 in seed funding from undisclosed angel investors. Co-founded by John Resig and Leo Resig, the brothers behind male-oriented web property theCHIVE, the company will use the funding to develop an ecommerce layer on top of the platform, working with select retail partners to kick things off, and they will also be releasing a mobile app. Though the company has yet to disclose the size of its user base, it was able to rack up 8.6 million visits in Q4 of 2012.
“The focus of the site and the focus of Tapiture in general is to help solve the top end of the sales funnel, kind of that discovery process. We do that by leveraging people’s social graph and interest graph based on the user’s activity on site,” said CEO John Ellis said in an interview with BetaKit. “Unlike being just a typical product ecommerce site, we’re kind of combining entertainment and commerce together. We believe men in particular shop a little different from others.”
In the company’s efforts to connect the dots between commerce and entertainment, the site allows users to ‘tap’ rather than ‘pin’ content from around the web to save images, videos, gadgets, and clothing. Instead of Pinterest’s categories like weddings, gardening, and crafts, which resonate with its largely female audience, categories on the site range more along the lines of beautiful women, gaming, and sports. Each visitor stays for an average of seven minutes, and the company also has curated and sponsored posts that highlight items for its audience.
In terms of the company’s monetization strategy, it will look to add “Tapiture Tastemakers,” or retail buyers who will curate products from select partners and populate them on the site. However, rather than simply providing referral traffic, the company wants users to buy directly from Tapiture, rather than be redirected to a third-party site, and take a percentage of revenue from the sales it drives.
Though there are no shortage of ‘Pinterest for dudes’ sites that popped up when Pinterest took off, with other players like Manteresting, Gentlemint, and Dartitup, the funding and focus on layering in ecommerce elements may give Tapiture an edge. Ellis also noted that the site has benefited from its partnership with theChive and other web properties under the founder’s portfolio with Resignation Media. “We’ve benefited a lot from having close relationship with theChive…although we’re legally a separate entity we work very closely with them in terms of marketing opportunities and cross-promotional stuff that we’re going to be doing to help grow the base,” Ellis added.
The biggest question is whether men will resonate with Tapiture the way women have with Pinterest, given there are already plenty of curation platforms that focus just on entertaining videos, like Showyou, or funny images like imgur, not to mention the fact that Pinterest does have a solid base of men using the platform. The portfolio of sites under Resignation Media may give Tapiture plenty of referral traffic, however whether its enough to drive purchases is another question.