Digital Planner The Nudge Raises $2M Seed Round

The Nudge, a text-based planning service based in San Francisco, raised $2 million in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and NextView Ventures, the company announced Tuesday.

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The Nudge aims to be every user’s “planner friend”–the friend that knows all the best restaurants, what to do, what events are happening, and never has a shortage of recommendations. Users receive a text message of, for example, planned out weekend activities like floating the Russian River or hiking in the Bay Area.

The company, founded by siblings John and Sarah Peterson, started with city-specific plans, texting users itineraries for exploring different neighborhoods in their city or planning a date night in San Francisco, Austin, Seattle or New York.

It’s also expanded into other specialized verticals like cooking and camping, and The Ally Nudge, which sends recommendations for how users can do work to be better allies to the Black community.

“We sort of realized early on that what we do for people is not specific to city lifestyles, but the format of a planner friend who makes your life easier applies to a lot of things,” John Peterson said.

The company also raised a $500,000 pre-seed round from NextView Ventures last year, bringing its total funding to $2.5 million. Lightspeed Venture Partners joined The Nudge for the seed round after the company was connected to the firm through All Raise.

With the new funding, the company plans to expand its city planning services to Los Angeles and Chicago, and expand into other lifestyle verticals like dating, the siblings told Crunchbase News in an interview. The company also plans on improving the experiences it already offers to make plans easier to execute for users (such as making it easier to book activities).

Since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, The Nudge has adjusted its plans to fit users’ lifestyles. There are more outdoor and socially distant plans like hiking or going to a drive-in movie, instead of going to a local bar or restaurant.

While the city versions of the subscription service are free, the specialized verticals are paid, with proceeds from The Ally Nudge going to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Across all of its programs, The Nudge has more than 100,000 members, with San Francisco being its largest market.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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