Former Disney execs launch new social network Maverick with $2.7m funding

Ben Heathcote | April 29, 2018

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Maverick, a new type of social network for young women founded by two former Disney executives, has launched with $2.7m in seed funding. The round was led by Matt Robinson of Heroic Ventures with added investment from Susan Lyne and Nisha Dua of BBG Ventures and Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

Founded by digital media entrepreneur Brooke Chaffin and renowned academic and influencer Catherine Connors, Maverick is billed as a next-generation social network that enables Gen Z girls and young women to create, connect and collaborate. Users can browse through videos from inspiring creators and role models, respond to creative or physical challenges and connect with fellow Mavericks.

Connors, co-founder and chief content officer, said:

“The research on girls’ social development has shown us the same thing for decades. During early adolescence, the majority of girls stop raising their hands, participating in sports and extra-curricular activities, taking risks, and stepping into leadership roles. In short, they stop believing in themselves. And it’s not because we don’t tell them that they should believe in themselves — it’s that they don’t get enough real opportunity to prove to themselves that they can.”

The company says its platform provides new opportunities for girls and young women to exercise and share their creative powers and connect with the next generation of leaders, innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs. Maverick can be accessed via a free iOS app and web platform.

Jeff Weiner added:

“Creating inspiring and constructive communities in the digital and physical world is critical for this next generation. Now is the right time for a network like this, architected towards a set of positive and collaborative interactions, that while purpose driven, is designed to be a sustainable business.”

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