How does a fledgling startup break through the noise and get more people to download and use its app?
Dysh, whose app lets users find, share and rate individual menu items, is hoping to see some major lift by enlisting a quartet of YouTube stars — Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart, Grace Helbig and Ingrid Nilsen — to promote it. The four digital celebs have equity stakes in Dysh, which was founded in late 2014 as Toast Labs.
Hannah Hart, Mamrie Hart and Grace Helbig have collaborated on multiple projects together over the years, including co-starring in upcoming Lionsgate comedy “Dirty Thirty.” (The two Harts are unrelated.) The trio connected with Nilsen later after she met them at a YouTube convention.
Dysh hooked up with the four new “Taste Buds” partners because they have more than 20 million fans collectively and share a passion for food.
“Working with Hannah, Grace, Mamrie and Ingrid to grow and shape Dysh has been an honor,” Dysh founder and CEO Ashley King said. “Not only are they perfect examples of what it means to be Taste Buds — they trust each other’s tastes and have fun sharing their culinary lives with one another — but they also bring a social and business savvy to building a platform for millennials.”
Mamrie Hart touted Dysh as a “guilt-free” place to post food pics. “I LOVE looking at food,” she wrote in a statement provided by the startup. “But sometimes I feel a little ridiculous uploading my 8th picture of pho to Instagram, but you don’t have to on Dysh!”
Meanwhile, Nilsen said using the Dysh app to find the best food while traveling resonated with her and Helbig liked the idea of building a community. Hannah Hart, who hosts YouTube show “My Drunk Kitchen,” gushed that Dysh “is the perfect tool to merge my passion for apps and appetizers!”
According to the company, the four digital stars have helped shape the app’s features by identifying key social features, such as seeing who “likes” other people’s posts and being able to cross-promote content on multiple social channels.
Investors in El Segundo, Calif.-based Dysh include Brian Lee’s BAM Ventures, Chaotic Investments, John Bendheim Enterprises and Suntoy Enterprises. Other angel investors include Courtney and Carter Reum, Jeff Stibel and Matt Toledo, publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Pictured above (l. to r.): Mamrie Hart, Hannah Hart, Ingrid Nilsen, Grace Helbig