I’m a supremely disorganized person (I’d post a picture of my desk, but I can’t find my phone right now), so I recently took to Facebook to attempt to crowdsource some life hacks from my friends. I was looking for stuff like “here’s how I avoid letting mail stack up on the counter” or “here’s how I get the last bit of ketchup out of the bottle.” Instead I got a lot of vague “I try to remember the important things in life and keep my priorities straight.”
Thanks, asshole. I’ll do more of that while mail accumulates on my counter and three almost-empty ketchup bottles sit in my fridge.
So naturally, someone came up with an app for life hacks. Behold: Trusper, a DIY/lifestyle tips app created by serial entrepreneur Jack Jia. The startup announced Thursday that it has raised $6.17 million in a Series A round led by DCM.
Trusper (a hybridization of “trusted helper”) has seen some pretty strong traction since launching in June 2013. Despite being in beta, word of mouth has grown the Trusper community to five million users who are sharing and viewing 10 million tips per day—all while still in stealth.
And damn it, these are the kinds of tips I was trying to get from my ill-fated Facebook search. Things like: “make candles last longer by putting them in the freezer before you light them to make the wax melt more slowly.” And “make perfume last longer by putting Vaseline on your skin first so that the perfume slowly absorbs into your skin as the Vaseline does.” I may just start wearing perfume just so I can try this one.
“If you observe cocktail parties among friends and family, 80% of the conversations are around tip sharing – I planted this flower recently, cooked this meal for my family, my kids attended this school, my family travelled to this resort… We are just extending that conversation to your phone asynchronously,” said founder and CEO Jack Jia.
Trusper is a big departure from Jia’s past projects. Most recently, Jia was the founder and CEO of Baynote, a software company that observes users’ search behavior to offer businesses and websites more accurate recommendation and search technology. Jia is still the Chairman of Baynote. Prior to that, he was the SVP and founding CTO of Autonomy (formerly Interwoven), a content management software company.
So how did Jia make the jump from software to a consumer-facing mobile app?
“Trusper is really my professional career meeting my personal passion,” he told me. “My two prior companies Interwoven and Baynote were about empowering business users to publish content to the web without knowing HTML and helping consumers find content by using the user behaviors and the wisdom of silent crowds. My personal passion is DIY home & garden (my favorite TV channel is HGTV).”
Jia said he’s “hardwired to build and fix things around the home” and has been sharing his DIY tips with friends and family for years.
The app’s users are predominantly women between the ages of 18 and 45, which Jia said was the plan from the beginning. In order for the app to be effective, it needs a large enough community so that large numbers of people are sharing and viewing tips. To build its community quickly, the app focused on women with categories in beauty and wellness. In the future, it plans to expand to other categories as well, such as home and garden, family, relationships, travel, and more.
The company plans to use the new Series A capital for product development and user and market expansion.