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Yapert raises $1.2M to simplify stalking celebrities online (exclusive)

Image Credit: Flickr user UnorthdoxY

Want to know what Justin Bieber ate for breakfast? Yapert can help you find out.

The startup has closed $1.2 million in seed financing to develop its “interactive mobile magazine” that keeps you up-to-date on Rihanna’s latest hair style or the fact that Jake Gyllenhaal brunched with his new girlfriend in New York City last weekend.

Yapert aggregates social media content from around the web about famous people and presents it as a digital magazine. The app focuses on visual content like photos and videos and tracks stars across the music, entertainment, sports, fashion, fitness, and lifestyle sectors. You can customize the magazine by ‘favoriting’ the stars and brands they like the most, and you can receive updates in real time about new postings and trends. You can also share and comment on all the content.

“Our vision is to have a platform that allows entertainers and brands to deliver their messages the exact way they intended without any restrictions — no 140 characters, no censorship and no EdgeRank algorithms,” said founder Phil Kelly to VentureBeat. “There are billions of social media accounts out there right now. The market is inundated with news, updates, pictures, videos and all kinds of information. Yapert was founded to bring some order to the chaos of social media.”

The Internet is filled with places to get celebrity gossip. Many celebrities now put their entire lives on social media, and there are hordes of paparazzi and tabloids posting information about them every day. Regular people now have unprecedented access to the day-to-day minutiae of the rich and famous. This has only fueled America’s obsession with celebrities and our tendency to live vicariously through celebrities and hold the illusion of intimacy. Psychologists have found that ‘celebrity worship’ can become an addiction and ┬ánegatively impact people’s actual relationships.

Be that as it may, people are still hungry for photos of Kim Kardashian’s new baby, and Yapert is serving it to them on mobile devices, so it is accessible anytime and anywhere. Yapert distinguishes itself from other sources for celebrity gossip with its curation features. The engine only draws from celebrities’ official social media accounts and allows users to self-select what they want to see.

The San Diego-based company said it is one of the only mobile apps in the iTunes store that is approved to sell tickets via Ticketmaster, and it plans to roll out this feature soon. Yapert was founded in 2012 by Phil Kelly, who is a former Motorola VP and President of Dell Asia-Pacific, as well as Rick Cooper and Michael Young. Tech Coast Angels led this round with additional investment from Desert Angels, Pasadena Angels, and individual investors. This brings Yapert’s total funding to $1.7 million.

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