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Why We Invested in The Nudge

Sometimes we just need little push to take action.  A little motivation to make things happen.  And having a plan already put together makes things just that much easier.  Yep, sometimes all you need is just little a nudge.

Enter just that, The Nudge.  It’s a “planner friend in your pocket,” as the team calls it.  A personal digital lifestyle advisor which sends SMS-based ideas about things to do (with a link to an detailed entire plan to make it easier to follow through).  Activities range from a night out at SF’s best Secret Bar, to an exclusive “Date Night at the SF Ballet,” to the top day hikes suggested by the Nudge community.  Through the attention of local influencers and virally shared activity plans, the service has quietly but quickly become the “go to” for thousands of in-the-know millennials in San Francisco who receive locally-focused texts three times per week.

Our experience at NextView with other our investments that utilize SMS as a communications channel to reach consumers has shown us that the intimacy and immediacy of text messages delivers unparalleled deliberate attention and a call to action.  In contrast, email doesn’t catch consumers or invite response like a simple text message does.  Of course, value and trust is paramount with risk that an SMS could become too intrusive.  But what if, with a mix of humor and trusted content, these instead messages become welcomed interruptions?

It’s already become conventional wisdom that Millennials prefer to spend more money on experiences than on material things (and 72% say so).  But vast majority also state that they “have fewer new experiences than I’d like to” and agree with the statement that “planning new experiences is too difficult.”  The Nudge solves this everyday problem, fueling consumer spending directly in the Everyday Economy focus of NextView’s thematic investment approach.

I was so impressed when I first met the sibling Founder duo behind The Nudge, of Sarah Peterson and John Peterson.  Sarah has demonstrated a unique gift of in setting a distinct and compelling editorial voice for the service.  John has strong vision for what a lifestyle advisor service could be, and has been working tirelessly to make that happen on short resources to date.

Today John & Sarah are relaunching the service and corresponding app, announcing that they’ve surpassed ten thousand Millennials in SF who are Nudge members, and sharing that they’ve raised a $540K pre-seed round led by NextView Ventures.  I’m excited about that they’ve built so far, the plans for upcoming plans new city expansion (stay tuned!), and the service evolving even closer towards the planner friend in your pocket.  Sometimes is better to have just a little nudge with the whole plan ready there for you.

David Beisel

David Beisel is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures. He has been focused on early stage Internet startups his entire career, both as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. As an investor in the digital media space, David was most recently a Vice President at Venrock and previously a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners. Prior to becoming a venture capitalist, David co-founded Sombasa Media, an e-mail marketing company best known for its flagship product BargainDog. Sombasa was successfully acquired by About.com where David served as Vice President of Marketing. David holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and an AB in Economics, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Duke University. He also founded and leads the Boston Innovators Group, an organization which holds quarterly entrepreneur events drawing a thousand attendees.