Solebrity Gives Your Friends a Kickback
When it comes to making purchases, our friends and family have a lot of influence over the brands we buy. Which is why A.J. Jaghori (above) and Chris Petrakis launched Solebrity. The Ashburn smart data tech company connects consumers with brands through their friends and family, who endorse certain products. For every purchase made, the friend gets a cash reward ranging from 2% to 10% of the product price. The company has 21,000 pre-registered users and plans to grow to 500,000 by the end of the year.
Chris (above) was most recently a director of Kinsey Technical Services. Solebrity, which publicly debuts this spring, makes money by charging the brands a fee to be part of the network. The products are then shipped directly from the brands. Solebrity, which is a combination of the words “social” and “celebrity” (since users endorse brands the way celebrities do), will grow from seven employees to 20 by the end of the year. The company raised a small angel round in November and recently moved out of AJ’s garage into 2,300 SF in One Loudoun in Ashburn.
AJ started coding at age 13, then went to Silicon Valley at 17 to launch his first company, which later failed. He tried again and sold a second company at 19. By 22, he considered himself “semi-retired.” He also worked for several tech firms, including Verizon, Google and L-3 Communications, and served as entrepreneur-in-residence at the Social Genome Project. Chris also invented DeckMATE, a tray that attaches to a deck railing that’s sold through Brookstone, Amazon and Home Depot.