Fabulis, a social net and lifestyle site aimed at gay men, has raised $625,000 in a first round funding, founder and CEO Jason Goldberg told paidContent. The site is currently in stealth mode and Goldberg, who founded Socialmedian and sold it to professional social net Xing last year, expects to fully launch Fabulis’ site and iPhone app in the spring. Investors in the round include The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO), Mayfield Fund’s Allen Morgan, Xing founder Lars Hinrichs, and Burson-Marsteller’s Don Baer. All of Fabulis’ backers had previously invested in Socialmedian.
After selling his social news site to Xing, Goldberg decided he wanted to create a site that would interest him and his friends personally. In creating a social net strictly for gay men, Goldberg emphasized that the intention is not to exclude lesbians or people who are trans-gender. He says that too many sites tend to lump these individuals together, when they have clearly defined and distinct lifestyle interests.
Fabulis will have elements of reviews site Yelp and location-based social net Foursquare. Eventually, Fabulis could strike a content partnership with another media company — as an investor, The Washington Post would be a natural ally — for its lifestyle reviews and guides. “Fabulis is about the gay take on life, not just a guide to ‘gay places,'” he said. “But gay men tend to be at the forefront of cultural trends. By the time a great new restaurant or vacation spot is written about in the mainstream media, it’s already four months too late. That’s definitely something we can offer and it’s an area we’re exploring.”
For now, Goldberg is mainly concentrated on the launch. The New York-based company has 10 staffers and an office in Pune, India. It’s also working with developers in Belgium.