Tapiture raises (at least) $450K to prove "Pinterest for bros" critics wrong

By Michael Carney , written on December 17, 2012

From The News Desk

When the founders of hit men’s content and commerce destination The Chive decided to launch Tapiture earlier this Fall and get into the “Pinterest for Dudes” market, they were met with nearly across the board skepticism and negativity. The space is just not a money maker said many. Others went with the more obvious, “What’s wrong with the actual Pinterest, for dudes?” But Leo and John Resig, co-founders of Chive and Tapiture parent company Resignation Media, would have none of it.

Just six weeks post-launch, the brothers were already showing impressive metrics, announcing that the image curation site had crossed 1.5 million monthly unique visitors and 26 million aggregate pageviews of images of beautiful women, cars, luxury destinations, apparel, and the like. It appeared at this early stage that the ability to drive a proven, highly engaged, ecommerce-friendly target audience from its sister sites could actually be the portal that proves the naysayers wrong.

Today, nearly three months later, the Los Angeles-based company has raised at least $450,000 of a planned $1 million financing round, according to an SEC filing. Although company representatives declined to comment, other than to posture that they'd "have much, much more impressive news to announce in January,” the news is significant for two reasons. First, it would be the first outside capital that the profitable Resignation Media has ever raised. Second, it would suggest that investors who presumably had a look under the hood at detailed business metrics see opportunity in Tapiture.

At the time of Tapiture’s launch, Leo Resig laid out plans to partner with premium advertisers and lifestyle brands the likes of Levi’s, Ford, and others – although at the time no contracts had been inked. A few months of healthy traffic later, and with some street pounding by hired-gun CEO John Ellis of Webxu, ValueClick, Yahoo, EarthLink, and Kinko pedigree, and it’s not inconceivable that a few of these trophy fish may already be in the boat.

A quick look at the Tapiture homepage today reveals a few commerce opportunities, including a promoted pair of folding Ray Ban sunglasses with an Amazon affiliate link and a leather duffel that links through to red envelope. The nature of these relationships with the third-party retailers is not yet clear. But given the price point of the items, $150 and $300 respectively, it’s obvious that Resig feels he can drive far higher value commerce through the Tapiture channel than the $20 to $40 t-shirts and hats popular at the Chivery.

Tapiture is far from having "arrived," but if the company is to believed, what we’re seeing from the site today is just the beginning, and there are likely to be additional business and product announcements made in the coming weeks. We’ll be watching with a curious and critical eye. In the meantime, hats off to the entrepreneurs who show no fear of building a commerce business around the most bro-tastic of Internet users.