Leap, a platform for people over 55 to learn via social interaction, has raised $3.1 million in a seed round led by European early-stage investor Creandum and SF-based South Park Commons. Also participating was Learn Start/Learn Capital, alongside angels Michelle Kennedy (Peanut founder), Sahil Lavingia and Tim Tuttle.
Leap members gather online to collectively "learn, connect and grow together,” says the company, via small online groups built around shared interests. Users connect over audio and video, in groups of between five and 10. The current beta features conversations and classes hosted by specially recruited members.
Leap was founded by Swedish entrepreneur Caroline Ingeborn, former CEO of Toca Boca, a Swedish app development studio that builds learning apps for kids, and Vishal Kapur, former CTO and co-founder of Screenhero, which was acquired by Slack in 2015. The two founders met through South Park Commons, an intentional learning community that practices many of the concepts applied in Leap.
In a statement, Ingeborn said: "When I looked at other online offerings created for this demographic, I didn't feel that they particularly encouraged meaningful connections. Groups described as 'small' were often bursting at the seams, and experiences often felt flimsy and random. In most instances, it felt like we were all just alone, together. It motivated me to create something far more tailored and intimate."
Fredrik Cassel, general partner at Creandum, added: “Leap is targeting an interesting segment of society: retirees – the wealthiest and fastest-growing demographic who have been largely overlooked by tech developers. It is a generation of people with considerable time, energy, and spending power that have smartphones at their fingertips. The diverse founding team convinced us with their determination and unique experiences to build a product that is truly engaging."