Blend is a social networking app for college students that has raised $2.7 million in funding from New Enterprise Associates with participation from Trinity Ventures, Foundation Capital, Lerer Ventures, Maveron, BoxGroup, XG Ventures, and SparkLabs Global Ventures.
Blend is still in beta mode, but the company will be opening up for the public by the end of the summer in 2014. Blend is allowing brands to work with the app from the very beginning of development instead of working with brands later.
Blend’s college demographic seems to be receptive to the brands that are participating in the beta program. The app is seeing over 50,000 daily active users with a higher daily and monthly engagement rate than Pinterest, according to founder Akash Nigam. The app is available in almost every college in the U.S., except for Ohio State University. Nigam deleted 2,000 Ohio State users said Nigam in an interview with TechCrunch.
One of the engaging features in the app is called the “Blend theme of the day.” Users are encouraged to take photos based on that theme. Users with the best photos receive Blend Currency, which can be used for purchasing rewards from advertisers.
There are brands that reach out to get on the app every day, but the team is critical about brands that they worked with. ?We?d say no to Wal-Mart and we have said no to Barnes & Noble,? added Nigam. ?Chegg is hot right now for text books, so we chose them instead.? Some of their customers include Uber, Rowdy Gentleman, and Alex & Ani. Blend launched from the Digital Catalyst accelerator with $1.3 million in funding.