Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Greylock Goes Hollywood, Adds to WhoSay Funding

A start-up that counts megastars like Tom Hanks, Steven Tyler and Ellen DeGeneres among its active users now has a high-profile Silicon Valley investor: Greylock Partners.

In an interview last week, Greylock partner David Sze said he thinks a celebrity content management system will be a big business. “It used to be when these platforms first started, the top users were always digital stars — the Kevin Rose and Robert Scoble types. If you look at it today, there’s an amazing shift going on — it’s all general celebrities and the scale is order-of-magnitude multiples of when the tech stars were dominating the system.”

As I’ve described it before, WhoSay is a social media tool for celebrities, aimed at “helping them manage their social media presence and making sure photos and videos are posted on a page the stars themselves can control and eventually monetize.”

Tom Hanks' photo Back from vacation. Here's a photo of my refrigerator door.  Hanx

For instance, here’s a picture of Tom Hanks’s refrigerator, via an embed code that allows the actor to maintain the rights to his image. Hanks also used WhoSay last week to bitch about how RSS feed readers of Gawker’s headline about his new movie might think he was actually dead. (Tom Hanks knows what RSS is?!)

Greylock has one of the most extensive venture capital portfolios of the leading social Web companies, among them general and open platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pandora, Airbnb and Tumblr. WhoSay, by contrast, is a much more specific publishing tool.

WhoSay — which was incubated by Creative Artists Agency but operates independently — had already raised $6 million from investors including Amazon and High Peaks Ventures. Greylock is adding an undisclosed amount into a previous Series B round.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus