Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Exclusive: Peppermint, a social site for 55-plus, unwraps $8M seed

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Upheaval at mainstream social media companies and a booming senior population inspired entrepreneur Rich Maggiotto to create senior-focused social network Peppermint.

Why it matters: Maggiotto's New York City-based startup unwrapped $8 million in seed funding with participation from Primetime Partners, he tells Axios exclusively.

Deal details: Peppermint is using the funds to grow membership among its exclusively 55+ crowd.

  • Maggiotto, who is also the company's CEO, declined to say when Peppermint might collect a Series A.

How it works: Built at Redesign Health, Peppermint will initially operate DTC with a $9.99 monthly subscription.

  • Peppermint's "clubhouse guides" virtually greet new members, answer questions and walk them through features such as clubs, workshops, live events and group challenges.
  • Content moderation will be spearheaded by experts the company identifies through other social media sites and academic centers.
  • The company is also exploring partnerships with existing brick-and-mortar senior centers and clubs to supplement their physical sites with Peppermint's virtual one.

What they’re saying: "We felt this audience of people over 55 was underserved by a lot of the platforms out there," says Maggiotto.

  • "A lot of existing social networks are untrustworthy," he adds. "We want to build a community that’s human and not run by bots."
  • Abby Levy, a Peppermint investor and Primetime Partners managing partner, describes the site as a "custom platform that picks up on existing behavior" and benefits further from the leadership its experts provide.

State of play: With mainstream social networks in upheaval and rates of loneliness among U.S. adults remaining at higher levels than pre-pandemic, several new health-focused alternatives have attracted recent venture interest. For example:

  • Eureka Health, a startup focused on connecting chronically ill patients with peers to share treatment experiences, earlier this month closed a $7 million seed round.
  • Jasper Health, which operates a social network for people with cancer, last February raised $25 million in Series A funding.
  • Wisq, developer of an employer-facing social platform, last April booked $20 million in Series A capital.

🍭 One fun thing: The name Peppermint comes from Maggiotto's desire for the company to feel refreshing for its users.

Go deeper