Our Investment in Spare5

by Foundry

We are pleased to announce we have invested in Spare5.  The company is building a software platform that allows experts to monetize their spare time via mobile device.

As our newest theme “Marketplace” evolves, we think about underserved markets that should be working together, but through lack of technology are not.  We have a special interest in markets that involve some sort of remnant asset that needs monetization and that is spoiled and / or lost if not used.

The average American spends four to six hours a day on leisure, commuting or waiting activities.  With over 160 million smartphones in the U.S., plus a population that checks their mobile devices over 100 times a day, there is a huge market of remnant time that exists every day.  Many of these people have particular skills that would be useful for particular tasks.

Spare5 seeks to create value with this wasted time by building a software platform that matches people with particular skills (“experts”) to do discreet tasks for companies interested in a particular demographic.

For instance:  only college-educated people with 3+ years work experience of “interior design” can do Porch.com tagging assignments, and only people who have followed People.com, US Weekly or reality TV shows may tag Getty Images entertainment photos.  In short, Spare5 recruits and aggregates valuable cohorts of experts and sells this expertise to companies, while paying the experts and taking a cut at the same time.

The software platform helps ensure the quality of work and also learns over time how to do certain tasks, which then helps automate some of the lower level work desired by customers.  Initially, the company will focus on tasks involving image tagging, video tagging, image editing, surveys and data verification.

The company was founded by Matt Bencke, Daryn Nakhuda and Patrick O’Donnell.  Matt was formerly an executive at Getty Images, Microsoft and Boeing.  Daryn was the technical lead at Porch and Teachstreet and held senior technical positions at Amazon.  Patrick was a founder and CTO at Urbanspoon.

We are stoked to get to work with the team.  Welcome!