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Ousted Reddit Employees Form a Rival, Less Toxic Community Site


It's true that the startup world is competitive, but not just from the outside -- a former employee could turn into a real rival.


Imzy, a recently launched community platform that is staffed largely by a group of former Reddit employees, including its CEO and co-founder Dan McComas -- previously Reddit's head of product -- has raised $3 million in funding to date and has brought on two big name content partners in Lena Dunham's newsletter LennyLetter and Feral Audio, the podcast network co-founded by Community creator Dan Harmon.

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McComas told Recode that the impetus behind founding the platform was to see if it was possible to remove the toxicity that is so often the baseline for online communities. "What if someone tried building a community platform from day one?" he asked. "Is the terribleness just an inherent part of the Internet [or] can communities be made online in a healthy way? It might not work out, but I hope it does."

It stands to reason that if you are striking out on your own after quitting or being fired, that you would want to stick with a variation on what you know. And in case there was any confusion about whether Imzy is meant to rival Reddit, the newer site's mascot -- an adorable, smiling green alien creature -- speaks volumes.

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To access the site, users have to sign up for an invitation. Imzy is currently accessible on desktop and mobile devices, with Android and iOS apps on the way.

McComas is certainly far from the only ex-staffer of a tech company to set up a company operating in the same space. Former Facebook staffer Dave Morin launched embattled social network Path, which was bought by South Korean Internet company Daum Kakao last year. Before Marc Lore founded ecommerce startup, he logged time at Amazon after selling his first company, Quidsi, to the ecommerce giant. And after a public and litigious exit from dating app Tinder, the company's co-founder and former VP of marketing Whitney Wolfe launched rival app Bumble.


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