Originally published as Laffster Raises $750k, Launches ‘Mock the Vote’ App on Technorati Politics
With election season in full swing, there are plenty of news outlets to turn to for information, analysis and insight. But what about satirical sources, the shows and cips that take a humerous and sometimes sarcastic view of the electon process? Do they have a place in the conversation America is currently having about who the next President of the United States should be?
Well according to research cited from Laffster.com, a company building a Pandora type utility for comedic content, nearly one-third of Americans 40 and younger see these souces like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert taking the place of traditional news. This means that outlets such as these do have a place in the election conversation, and in some cases, are replacing traditional news outlets as individuals primary source of political news.
With this in mind, Laffster announced the release of a ‘Mock the Vote’ app for iOS that pulls content from a number of sources, in additon to original content to serve the one-third of Americans 40 and younger who desire this type of content as opposed to something from traditional or mainstream media.
According to Laffster co-founder and CEO Dan Altmann, “the app, which shows the political leanings of each piece of content and allows users to pick a side themselves (or stay neutral), features orginal content and contributed content from Bob Mankoff, New Yorker Cartoon Editor, and TPM, Vox Media’s Callie Schweitzer, partners feeding orginal content like Maker Studios (studio responsible for Bad Lip Reading, Baracks Dubs and Juice Rap News) as well as aggregated content from Buzzfeed, The Onion, Huffington Post, SNL, Stewart, Colbert and more.”
The Mock the Vote app isn’t the only thing that Laffster.com is up to. As a recent graduate of Santa Monica, CA based accelerator program MuckerLab, the company also just announced it raised $750,000 in seed funding from Greylock Partners, former LinkedIn VP Adam Nash,Maker Studio’s Chris Williams and Howard Lindzon of StockTwits among other investors.
The company is the brainchild of CEO and co-founder Dan Altmann, who along with 2 others, ex-Google engineer Geoff Plitt who serves as CTO and Eric Posen who serves as chief prodcut officer, formed the company out of their own experience. According to Posen, “Unlike with music, which has discovery platforms like Pandora and Songza, when we wanted to laugh we had to visit 10 different sites to find just one video that we found funny.”
And according to research from PEW, online humor including funny videos account for the majority of online video content watched. This, along with the lack of any current recommendation engine for comedic content puts the company at a competitive advantage as they are the first to look at the vertical in this way and begin building out the technology and product features to succeed.
According to Howard Lindzon, “Laffster is thinking about comedy and video in a way that just makes sense…simple, organized, on-call and funny,” StockTwits Lindzon said. “When I first met Daniel [Altmann] and his co-founders, I instantly liked their hustle, insights and vision for the vertical. They have put together a great team of developers and investors to attack some solutions for consumers to make consuming hilarious videos fast, easy and repeatable.”