Michelle Kennedy: Peanut
A platonic match-making site for new mums, Peanut uses its own special algorithm to combat post-childbirth blues
Michelle Kennedy, 35
Having helped millions of people find romance through dating site Badoo, now Michelle Kennedy has turned her attention to the next stage of life.
Peanut, the app she has developed with co-founder Greg Orlowski, is aimed at helping mothers deal with the stresses of having children, specifically the maternal loneliness and isolation which often accompany it.
The app harnesses the algorithms more commonly associated with dating and uses them to bring women together, helping them to build the social networks which are vital after giving birth. The algorithms take a user’s location, interests, self-perception and the age of their child, harnessing the data to match them with people who will share and enhance their motherhood experience.
Kennedy says she was spurred to create Peanut after struggling with loneliness as a new mum. She says that friends tried to help her by suggesting people to meet up with, but their well-intentioned attempts to play friendship Cupid only led to a series of awkward and unfulfilling ‘mummy dates’.
Working with Orlowski, who brings his own distinguished backstory as co-founder of Deliveroo, Kennedy pushed out the app in October 2016 and success has been instant.
Peanut already has over 300,000 users in the UK and USA, and has generated over 17 million ‘swipes’ since it went live.
The investment community has been quick to catch on. Peanut closed a seed funding round in November, led by Sweet Capital, founders of Candy Crush, and has also received financial backing from Sound Ventures, the VC firm founded by Ashton Kutcher.
Now Kennedy and her team are planning to grow the team and focus on building the user base, as well as adding fresh features to make the app even more intuitive. Over time, they want to build a global community, inspired by Facebook and Instagram.
There’ll be plenty of obstacles in the way but with 353,000 babies born every day around the world, the potential audience is huge.