Napster co-founder and early Facebook president Sean Parker is stepping in as CEO of Brigade Media, a new startup that wants to get Americans more involved with politics, reports Politico. Parker has invested over $9 million in Brigade, which has reportedly received investments of unknown sizes from two other big Silicon Valley investors as well. The startup will apparently focus on increasing voter engagement at federal, state, and local levels, though exactly how it plans to do this is still unknown.
Parker's startups haven't all been successes
Though Parker's résumé is filled with success stories — he was also a fairly early investor in Spotify — he's seen a number of flops recently as well, including the interest-matching video chat service Airtime, which for the most part quietly disappeared less than a year after its launch. But the Silicon Valley elite have been trying to mix tech and politics more and more lately, from Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us to Google's emergence as a major lobbying force in Washington. Parker has even previously worked with politically minded startups, investing in Votizen before it was later purchased by a startup that he co-founded, Causes, according to Forbes.
Brigade seems to come from this same mindset: it may not specifically try to push users in any one direction, but there's a good chance that it hopes to mobilize its users to push for the causes supported by the biggest names in tech. Politico reports that Brigade is unlikely to launch for several more months, but it suggests that the startup may be interesting in launching ahead of this November's midterm elections.