Friendster founder raises $1.7M for social startup Nuzzel

Jonathan Abrams' latest project raises seed round from investors including 500 Startups' Dave McClure.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
2 min read
Jonathan Abrams' Nuzzel.
Jonathan Abrams' Nuzzel. Screenshot by Casey Newton/CNET

A decade after his startup Friendster paved the way for online social networks, Jonathan Abrams is back with a new social project. And as of today, he has some high-profile investors supporting his plan.

Nuzzel, a startup that collects all the most-shared links in your Facebook and Twitter feeds and presents them in a clean, easy-to-read format, raised $1.7 million in seed funding from investors including 500 Startups' Dave McClure, "The Lean Startup" author Eric Ries, Slide's Max Levchin, Andreessen Horowitz's Ronny Conway, and the Founders Den's Zachary Bogue, who is also the husband of Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.)

"Many of these investors are people I have known for several years, or who have been very active Nuzzel beta users, or both," Abrams said in an e-mail. "This is the best group of investors I have ever had for one of my startups. Now the pressure is really on for Nuzzel to build great (stuff)!"

Nuzzel, currently invitation only, allows you to sign in with Facebook and Twitter to let the service analyze what links are being shared in your network. Each day, Nuzzel sends users an e-mail letting them know what's being shared in their feed. It's a handy way of seeing the day's most important news at a glance, and seeing what quirky or viral stories you may have missed.

One of the service's most addictive features is checking out what other Nuzzel users are seeing in their own feeds. You can follow other users to see what they're seeing -- and it's amazing, even when you follow friends who work in the same field as you do, how different their feeds can look.

Nuzzel isn't the first startup to play the link-aggregating game; Summify did the same thing, until it was acquired by Twitter and its product was incorporated into Twitter itself. But it does have a clean look and a fresh approach. And as of today, it has real money to expand the service.

"As soon as I hire some engineers, we will be ready to make improvements and add more cool stuff," Abrams told me via e-mail. Also: he's hiring.

The complete list of Nuzzel seed investors:

  • Alex Rosen, IDG Ventures
  • Anthony Soohoo, Rumpus
  • Dave McClure, 500 Startups
  • Diego Canoso, Sideline
  • Eric Ries, The Lean Startup
  • George Zachary, Charles River Ventures
  • Gil Penchina
  • James Hong, HotOrNot
  • Jeff Clavier & Stephanie Palmeri, SoftTech VC
  • Jim Young, Perceptual Networks
  • Jon Nordmark, UsingMiles
  • Kent Lindstrom, New Context
  • Mark Jacobstein, Qualcomm iSkoot
  • Max & Nellie Levchin
  • Michael Birch, Monkey Inferno
  • Michael Marquez & Ash Patel, Morado Venture Partners
  • Naval Ravikant, AngelList
  • Philip Kaplan, Fandalism
  • Raymond Tonsing, Orange Wall Capital
  • Rick Marini, BranchOut
  • Ron Palmeri
  • Ronny Conway, Andreessen Horowitz
  • Stan Chudnovsky & James Currier, Ooga Labs
  • Steve Chen, ScreenDate & 5A5
  • Zachary Bogue, Founders Den