Acquisitions / Startups

MemoryWell acquired life story app Trib as it eyes more growth

Trib's video recording functionality and other offerings will be added to MemoryWell's digital history-sharing platform. The Glover Park-based startup is also working on closing a funding round.

Jay Newton-Small, founder and CEO of MemoryWell. (Courtesy photo)

Glover Park-based MemoryWell, the four-year-old company run by Jay Newton-Small, is eyeing growth and working on closing a funding round following another major milestone: acquiring life story app Trib.

MemoryWell manages a network of more than 700 journalists who interview seniors and their families to publish their stories, along with photos, music and video, on its mobile-responsive web platform. Newton-Small told that this acquisition deal (for which financial details were not disclosed) came about after she got in touch with Trib founders Jay Ashton and Charles Valentine last year to talk about the design and engineering team they worked with to create the app.

Ashton and Valentine founded Trib in 2019 as a storytelling app that makes it easy for generations of family members to privately share their unique stories with one another.

“Charles and I had been connected through a few mutual acquaintances and Jay and I actually went to school together back in the day. As they were testing the app with a select group of families, they were exploring ways to maximize the impact of their app and we reconnected,” Newton Small told “They loved MemoryWell’s mission and felt an acquisition was the best way to launch to an audience who could meaningfully benefit.”

The three tech startup founders had already decided that a partnership of some sort would be best to accomplish their goals once the coronavirus pandemic hit. Trib’s functionality and offerings will be additives to MemoryWell’s platform, including the ability to record video directly within the app and other fun gamification features.

Trib’s app “will facilitate more DIY story formation on our site, which we love as we’re helping connect families separated from elder loved ones during this era of COVID [through] intergenerational storytelling,” she said.

Back in March, as a response to the pandemic, MemoryWell began offering its digital timelines product free of charge for families seeking to use this time to create digital family history projects. Newton-Small said the company saw a 400% increase in new timeline formation, and gained some consumer feedback from new users who are looking for those offerings MemoryWell will be adding from Trib.

With this acquisition, Ashton and Valentine are joining MemoryWell in advisory roles for a year, and Newton-Small said she hopes to keep them on full time pending that funding raise. MemoryWell currently has a team of three full-time employees, three part-time employees and a catalogue of freelance writers using its platform.

As far as other company updates, MemoryWell is in week four of Techstars’ Future of Longevity Accelerator, and Newton-Small said she’s exhausted from the intensive program — in a good way. This new program providing support for elder care innovators welcomed 10 companies, seven of which were founded by women, to the inaugural cohort. MemoryWell also recently launched a partnership with the Hospice of Washington County, which grants patients and their families access to MemoryWell’s network of journalists to curate their own digital stories.


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