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Family story app Remento launches with $3M – The Business Journals

When Charlie Greene’s mom was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, he started filming a series of interviews with her, to deepen their connection and learn more about the family history. Those interviews yielded a treasure trove of memories, inspiring Greene to create an app that could provide the same tool for others.
“Today’s fast-paced world pressures us to move quickly and be productive, rather than slow down and connect,” Greene said. “At the same time, the past two years have been incredibly isolating and divisive, with the pandemic forcing many of us to miss out on everything from Sunday night family dinners to birthdays, weddings and funerals. As a result, for families who want to reconnect or just develop deeper connections, it can be difficult to know where to start.”
So, Greene teamed up with Alexandre Massonneau to create that starting point — a series of conversational prompts within an app known as Remento. The convos are recorded in the app. And excerpts can then be showcased through a playback mode and shared.
Investors have found Remento’s story compelling. The startup just closed on a $3 million seed round, led by Upfront Ventures, along with a group of angel investors, including Brooke Hammerling and Chuck Davis, among others.
Going deep into family history
Greene acknowledges there are several existing companies that help people better understand themselves and their family of origin, whether it’s DNA genetic testing to create a family tree, written reflections or a photo curation platform.
But he says that Remento can enable family members to dive deeper into their personal stories. The co-founders worked with a team of storytellers, scientists and product experts that created the app’s prompts based on neuroscience and psychology.
“You don’t have to be a famed journalist to uncover these stories,” he said. “Our personalized prompts can coach you through the best way to approach almost any conversation.”
Founding team
Fittingly, Greene’s background is in communications. He got a B.A. in political science from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Massonneau previously co-founded Maptycs, a startup focused on providing risk assessments for the insurance industry. He also led the engineering team at Red Balloon Security, a startup dedicated to the protection of embedded devices against sophisticated attackers. He received a B.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Cornell University.
Business model
Remento has been in a closed beta for the past year and a half leading up to the launch this month. The app is currently free to use. Greene said that’s because the founding team believes “that everyone should be able to access meaningful conversations with loved ones.”
In the future, the company plans to roll out premium paid features and functionalities.
Benefit of being in L.A.
Besides being a tech center, Los Angeles is also a mecca for storytelling, Greene said.
The plans for the seed funding are to expand the team and “we can’t think of a better talent pool to draw from than a city of dreamers, storytellers and changemakers,” he said. “It’s a very attractive place to relocate to, for those around the world, too.”
Happy ending
Greene’s mom, Claudette, survived cancer. He cherishes the initial conversations after her diagnosis, when he learned about the defining moments of her life.
“Details of the day she left home for the first time and the night she met my Dad were particularly powerful to explore,” he said. “And yet, my favorite story is about when she got caught stealing a suitcase of candy in middle school. That moment certainly wasn’t life-defining. But the mischievous smirk on her face as she told the story captured her essence in a way that a photo nor written reflection ever could.”
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