Apps / Startups

Stoop wants to put all your newsletters in one place

For readers, it helps declutter the inbox. For publishers, it means potential access to more readers. Here's a look at the startup, led by former Ticketleap CEO Tim Raybould.

Board Director is software for boards. (Screenshot)
If one thing is clear amid the hazy media landscape in 2018, it’s the eminence of email newsletters as an avenue for engagement.

In a bid to bring some cohesiveness to the act of consuming newsletters, former Ticketleap CEO Tim Raybould has a new venture called Stoop, a mobile app meant to lower the friction of manually subscribing to newsletters while helping to declutter personal inboxes.

“It’s like light switches: easy to subscribe and unsubscribe,” Raybould said. On Monday, the company was featured on popular startup portal ProductHunt and scored the No. 3 “Product of the Day” spot.

“The main belief is that we think that publishers need to get back in the role of delivering content directly to the audience,” Raybould said. “Users have access to a nicely designed email inbox built for organizing reading and managing their newsletter subscriptions. It’s for content, not communication.”

Close to 1,000 newsletters are available through the sleek app’s “Discover” section, a directory of sorts that (obviously) includes your favorite daily blast of local tech news. You can browse newsletters by topic, look at curated lists or staff picks. If the newsletter you want isn’t on there, you just use the dedicated email address to subscribe to it directly.

The story behind Stoop — which is now live for both iOS and Android — has a couple of steps to it.

We last checked in with Raybould as the company he ran was acquired, spinning out a few startups including Port Payments, which he cofounded alongside Ticketleap’s former Chief Product Officer Beah Burger-Lenehan.

The company initially sought to give small businesses a way to offer their products under a subscription model. Like, say, ice cream shops. That company has since pivoted to Open Bundle, a shared news membership platform, of which Stoop is a first act of sorts.

“Open Bundle is an idea that there should be a $12 ‘Netflix of news,'” Raybould said. “It’s a rudimentary analogy but our opinion is that the mechanism to do the bundling can be an open-source protocol.”

The universal feedback from publishers? A content bundle sounds cool, but where’s the demand? As Open Bundle gears up to launch by 2019 or 2020, Stoop is a way to start by creating the demand for a centralized content hub.

“Our idea is that we either publish content ourselves and invite publishers to join over time or we could build software that helps consumers swim in the newsletter waters before launching the bundle,” Raybould said. “Since we’re better at product building, we decided on what is now Stoop, a way to find great newsletters and consume them.”

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