NEW INVESTORS: The Hunt, the online platform where shoppers seek and identify merchandise spotted on social media, had been on the prowl for high-profile funders and tracked them down. Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary’s A-Grade Investments; Rohan Oza, Vitaminwater’s former chief marketing officer; Keli Lee, executive vice president of casting for ABC Entertainment Group; Anjula Acharia–Bath, chief executive officer of Desi Hits; Michael Banks, founder of Windy Hill Capital, and music producer RedOne participated in the second round of seed financing for San Francisco-based The Hunt to bring its total seed financing to $2.7 million.
Tim Weingarten, cofounder and ceo of The Hunt, emphasized the investors bring experience and credibility from the worlds of entertainment and social commerce that The Hunt can leverage to build its community and its business. Kutcher has already made an impact. During The Hunt’s first meeting with him, Weingarten recounted, “He came with a whole slew of ideas about the site and the design-user interface. He asked about making actions simpler. We took that to our product design team, talked about it, and there are a number of changes that reflect that input.” From an investor standpoint, Weingarten believes Kutcher will definitely get something in return for his expertise and money. When it refers traffic to e-commerce sites, The Hunt is “converting at close to 2 percent and most traffic from others converts at a fraction of that, at 0.2 or 0.3. A visitor to our site most likely has intent to buy,” he said.
This story first appeared in the April 16, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Hunt’s online community has started more than 100,000 hunts, which entail, for instance, asking members to identify a pair of boots that were captured in an image on Instagram, and found over 200,000 matching products. The average age of The Hunt’s members is 22, and 95 percent of them are female. Weingarten said the site is drawing almost 1 million unique visitors a month, and the membership totals in the hundreds of thousands.