Besomebody, a diverse, global, social community and passion platform, has closed a $1 million seed funding round from The E.W. Scripps Company, a 135-year-old entrepreneurial media company based in Cincinnati. The distribution of the funding is linked to the company meeting key milestones.
Besomebody plans to use the money to build the World’s Platform for Passion™, a mobile-based technology platform that will enable its users to explore their passions through curated inspirational content; discover people around them who share their passions; and unleash their passions by learning from experts, called “Passionaries”.
“Passion is the most overused, underserved word in human history,” founder and CEO Kash Shaikh said. “Every single one of us knows the power of following our passion, but 99 percent of us don’t go all in on it. A lot of the reasons are internal, and our movement hits those head on. But the systems and structures around us don’t help. The world isn’t organized by passion, and we are changing that.”
After a very successful 10-year career as a brand builder at Procter & Gamble and GoPro, Shaikh left his job in March 2013 with the vision of transforming his personal mantra of “besomebody” into a brand and platform built in a completely unconventional way. He had no product or service at the onset, instead growing it with content, community and grassroots experiences across the world, allowing people to decide what the phrase and movement meant to them. Today, #besomebody content – ranging from user generated tweets and Instagram photos to music videos and graffiti murals – reaches more than 4 million people in over 180 countries.
“The community that #besomebody has built organically is remarkable,” said Adam Symson, chief digital officer at Scripps. “They’ve built a powerful and authentic following through quality content, storytelling and audience engagement. While #besomebody is building community exclusively through today’s most interactive platforms, this has been the mission of Scripps for the past 135 years. We’re big believers in the vision of a single platform to help audiences unleash their passion, and we’re excited to help bring it to life.”
Besomebody plans to take a small fee for creating the connection between the person and the Passionary. The platform is slated to launch in Austin, Texas, this year, and then spread to other cities.
Shaikh says the company can learn from the immense success of sharing or peer-to-peer economy companies such as AirBnB, Uber and Lyft and unlock people’s intrinsic desire to do what they love. He says tapping into this desire will lead to the next economic revolution – what he has dubbed the passion economy.
“Your house or your car or your suits or your jewelry are not your most valuable assets. What you love – your personal passion – that thing that you would do anything to do everyday, that thing you wake up early thinking about, and the thing you can’t sleep because you’re dreaming about it – that’s your most valuable asset. And you should be able to make a living on it.
“There’s no single platform that enables this in a passion-centric, people-focused, content-rich way. It’s about you and what you love. And we’re building it together.”
Sign-up for the beta launch of the Besomebody platform and explore #besomebody content at http://besomebody.co.