Narvii Nabs $6.5M for Amino Apps Connecting Doctor Who, Anime Fans

Xconomy Boston — 

[Updated 11:55 a.m. with CEO comments.] Narvii, the Techstars Boston alumni startup that runs Amino, a group of mobile app communities for people interested in everything from Harry Potter to makeup, has raised $6.5 million from investors, according to a new SEC filing.

Boston-based Narvii has raised at least $8.3 million from investors since its 2011 founding, SEC filings show. It went through the Techstars Boston program in winter 2014.

The new round was led by Venrock, with participation by New York-based Union Square Ventures, co-founder and CEO Benjamin Anderson says in an e-mail message. Union Square led Narvii’s seed round last year, which also included money from Google Ventures, SV Angel, Box Group, Scott Belsky, Slow Ventures, Kayak co-founder Paul English, Kal Vepuri, Launch Angels, and David Chang, TechCrunch reported.

Narvii’s flagship product is Amino, a group of mobile apps that connect fans of a variety of topics, including specific shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and more general arenas like science or country music. Some of the groups target teens, like communities for Pokemon and toys, while others have attracted an audience with wider-ranging ages, such as a food community where adults and kids like to post their kitchen concoctions.

Amino has grown from 15 apps in July 2014 to 41 app communities today. The apps allow users to post photos, videos, and discussion topics that other users can comment on or like. They also track the most popular users in each community.

“Our vision is to create a close-knit community for every interest in the world,” Anderson says in the e-mail. “Every popular TV show, movie franchise, sports team, video game, and hobby. This means tens of thousands of apps, so we are working to open up the Amino platform, giving individual users the power to build a community for any interest they can dream of.”

The company isn’t generating revenue yet, and Anderson declines to share how many people have downloaded its apps. But he’s excited about how much users are engaging with the Amino apps—people in some of its largest communities are on the app for an average of more than 40 minutes per day, he says.

Narvii will use the new money to grow its current staff of 14 people by more than 10, including more sales and marketing employees in Boston and more software developers at its office in China, where co-founder Yin Wang is based, Anderson says.

Although the Boston area isn’t known for producing lots of consumer apps, it does have companies that have had success attracting lots of users, DraftKings and Runkeeper among the recent crop.