In a recent partnership with Klout, influential users with a score of at least 45 -- 20K spots open for the perk -- get expedited access to Wahooly where they can provide feedback to startups in exchange for becoming a shareholder in the company.
Starting January, Wahooly will present its users with 200 startups that they can choose to support by using their influence as an investment.
"For our model to work, it's critical that our users have a high measure of influence," Wahooly co-founder Dana Severson tells LAUNCH via email. "Our partnership with Klout is allowing us to access the 90th percentile of online influencers (the social equivalent of accredited investors). This is key for the startups that we'll be working with. Additionally, those with high influence are less likely to attempt to game our system, for fear they'll diminish their online reputation. The overall response from Klout users so far has been extremely positive. I'm glad that we were able to deliver that value to Klout."
Dana says that Klout CEO Joe Fernandez reached out to him about a month ago expressing interest in Wahooly. After a few discussions, they formed a beta partnership arrangement.
"Klout users tend to be some of the most passionate early adopters on the web and love having access to exciting new products like Wahooly,"Joe said.
In the first day of the four-week long perk offering, 1K+ influential users signed up for Wahooly. Already, Wahooly is approaching 18K total users at a rate of approximately 400 new users per day.
"We're seeing an average of a tweet per minute and a similar pace with new users," Dana says.
The more feedback you give via social networks, the more shares in the company you receive. Currently, there are 100+ startups for review on Wahooly.
"In general, we're excited about Wahooly because it shows how influence is becoming a currency in today's attention economy," Klout Senior Marketing Manager Megan Berry tells LAUNCH via email. "Startups need attention and help building awareness and the primary thing they have to exchange is equity. Wahooly and Klout are helping connect these influencers with startups."
Back in August, Klout partnered with book publisher Scribner to give influential people first access to Stephen King's ebook "Mile 81." This month, Klout partnered with Microsoft to offer influencers free Windows phones.
In the past couple of months, Klout has received some criticism regarding its algorithm changes and privacy.
"It's quite unfortunate they're receiving so much heat," Dana says. "But it also is an indication of how popular they've become. From what I understand, their algorithm modifications are intended to improve their accuracy. Unfortunately, for those who may have gamed the system in the past, can no longer get away with it, which is were I believe much of criticism stems from."
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