Arianna Huffington, Huffington Post editor-in-chief, will join the Board at Twenty. Image source: Flickr
Diesel Peltz, 25, son of hedge fund billionaire Nelson Peltz, is on a mission to cure FOMO (fear of missing out) with Twenty, an app that encourages offline interactions in the real world. Launched on Tuesday, Twenty, formerly known as InSite, seeks to relieve users sense of FOMO by alerting them to the location of their friends, who have to varying degrees disclosed their location, in hopes that offline plans to meet up, or “Hangouts” can be set.
“Our service is fundamentally about what you can share in the analog world,” Peltz told Forbes. “We tell people when they sign up to only add the people you actually want to hang out with in real life.”
For now, the company and its flagship app, have no way to monetize its services.
“The one KPI that we’ve optimized for is the number of real-life experiences,” Peltz said. In the last month, the number of IRL experiences initiated on Twenty has risen to 25,000, “over half” of users signed up in the past month continue to use the platform one month out.
Serial entrepreneur and co-founder Mark French adds that the value proposition for partnering and investing companies like Live Nation, Roc Nation, and talent agency Endeavor (formerly WME/IMG) is that the app will drive transactions, which Twenty hopes to monetize through purchases on the platform within six months.
By taking interaction offline and into the real world, Peltz and French hope to move users away from, “overutilization of social media”.
Elements of the social networking app may feel familiar, the location updates of Foursquare, friends and sharing aspects of Facebook, Instagram, and one could argue the immediacy of Twitter, but Peltz and backers of the project including Khaled Mohamed Khaled, more popularly known as DJ Khaled, argue that this is something different.
“I told my team two years ago, tech that helps people spend time together in real life is going to be the next big thing,” Khaled said in a company-issued statement.
It is ironic and perhaps unlikely that a solution to the endless scroll of social media would come via yet another mobile app, but those backing the product believe it can be a solution.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Thrive Global, a health and wellness startup and Huffington Post editor-in-chief along with former model and Casamigos Tequila founder Rande Gerber will join the board at Twenty once it is formed.
In the four years since Peltz dropped out of NYU and founded the company, he has taken his time to bring the company’s first product to market beta testing the app on college campuses including the University of Florida, the University of Wisconsin and Tulane University. Neither founder has felt the pressure to monetize.
Help from dad may have relieved the pressure.
The company completed two undisclosed funding rounds, the first led by Nelson Peltz, and market manager Ron Conway and his seed fund SV Angel. Dad still seems to be lending a hand in the last round of funding which added restaurant developer Tao Group, which is owned by Madison Square Garden, where Nelson Peltz is a board member. Nelson Peltz' net worth stands at $1.6 billion, the investor started his career in food distribution and founded Trian Fund Management in 2005, which currently has $11 billion AUM.
Peltz says that the app doesn’t solve for users looking to experience JOMO (the joy of missing out) and acknowledges that the market is saturated with tools to share what you’ve already done.
“You construct your friend network for specific purposes, most people have a bloated network of people they don’t actually interact with,” said Peltz. Barring being ghosted, Peltz recommends only adding friend’s whose company you enjoy.