If you want to insert yourself into stories told by celebrities, Kangaroo is the app for you. The interactive platform, co-founded by a trio of innovative women, just raised a $3.3 million funding round led by Human Capital.
At launch, the app is filled with “pre-made narratives,” and much of that content is endorsed by the social media stars and traditional celebrities who have teamed up with Kangaroo. The company’s first wave of partners includes TikTok stars Bailey Spinn and Baby Ariel, who will be represented in the app by the intricate digital personae seen above. Users can create their own avatars in order to become part of Kangaroo’s stories, and fan-made ‘remixes’ of those tales can earn in-app prizes if they find viral success.
The interactive storytelling space was pioneered by companies like Interlude, and recent entrants to the field include Dorian, which has cultivated an organic community by appealing to female users. Kangaroo’s twist on the genre will be star-driven. The fledgling company is working with “celebrities, media franchises, and NFT projects,” including its co-founder Kiernan Shipka. The young actor is known for roles on Mad Men and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and she advised fellow co-founders Katie Mishra and Maria Zlatkova as they developed their startup.
Though Kangaroo is using celebrity appeals to sell its app, it is hardly ignoring its less famous users. “Ultimately we want to enable community-powered storytelling, where fans use our story engine to co-create their own franchises, for which they maintain governance rights, have financial upside, and get creative exposure alongside our larger IP partners,” Mishra said in a statement. “In this launch, our community will be creating a storyline alongside our IP partners. By giving fans access to Hollywood they’ve never had before, Kangaroo is democratizing storytelling.”
In addition to Human Capital, other participants in Kangaroo’s funding round include Greylock Partners and pro poker player Phil Hellmuth. Kangaroo will use its fresh capital to expand its team and build out its IP. The company is currently accepting applications for creative partnerships; you can throw your name into that hat right here.
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