Storytelling school

Remento, a storytelling app to preserve family stories, raises $3 million and launches its iOS app • TechCrunch

Remento, a company focused on capturing and preserving family stories, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Upfront Ventures. The Los Angeles-based company is also launching its iOS app today after beta testing it for a year.

The company’s new iOS app is designed to give users conversation prompts to inspire family members to share stories about their lives. Once you’ve selected a prompt, you can record a conversation directly in the app. Individual stories from these sessions are then displayed in the app’s interactive reading experience, where they can be shared with other loved ones with no editing required.

Remento was founded in 2020 by Charlie Greene, who came up with the idea for the company after filming a series of interviews with his mother shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. Greene told TechCrunch in an interview that his parents recorded many home videos when he was growing up, and it wasn’t until his father died in 2001 that his family realized how valuable those videos were, as they allowed him to hear his father’s voice. Five years ago, Greene’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and her family realized they were on the verge of losing stories about her life.

“Even with a background in documentary filmmaking, I didn’t know where to start,” Greene said. “We came up with a solution to record a series of conversations about my mother’s life which we placed on this digital timeline that our family could access and add to. I found out more about who I was by taking the time to ask questions about his life. We soon realized that this problem we solved was not unique to our family. Families everywhere are faced with these realities of aging parents, children and grandchildren who don’t know them, and that’s why we created Remento.

Greene thinks recorded conversations capture much more than cluttered photo libraries and static family trees. He says Remento is built on a foundation of expertise in neuroscience, psychology and storytelling. The app is designed to make it easy to capture family stories through guided conversations. Remento aims to make getting started easier by recommending prompts tailored to specific members of a family. Greene says the app is designed to break down the idea of ​​persevering family stories into small pieces.

Remento App

Picture credits: Remento

The app is free, which Greene says reflects the company’s belief that everyone should be able to have meaningful experiences that shape their lives.

Greene says the company plans to build a monetization model that will include additional features and functionality. The additional features will make it easier to start conversations and improve how the app is able to recommend prompts to storytellers. In the future, the app will use artificial intelligence and natural language processing to automate the organizing process once content is created. Additionally, the company plans to add the ability for users to add photos to recorded conversations. For example, if your mom is sharing a story about her high school prom experience, the feature will allow you to add a photo of her in her prom dress.

Although Remento plans to launch an Android app in the future, Greene says it’s difficult to determine the timing of a potential release. The company is currently focused on developing its technology and will expand availability in the future, he says.

As for the new funding, Remento will use it to increase hiring and expand current research and development efforts, including building features that will stay true to the company’s mission of helping people create family memories. durable.

The company’s seed funding round was led by Upfront Ventures, with a group of angel investors including Brooke Hammerling, Chuck Davis, Dan Nova, Emmy Rossum, Sam Esmail and Sarah Harden.

“I’ve been working on this project for two years at this point,” Greene said. “We have learned so much throughout this journey. With every beta customer we spoke to, it became clear to me that there had never been a better time to release this product. If the connections and conversations that have taken place through Windows and FaceTime during the pandemic have taught us anything, it’s to never take anything or anyone for granted. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time for families to be connected and that’s why we’re excited to develop this technology which we don’t see as a substitute for the human experience, but really as a complement to our more expensive products. relationships.”