/// "Luminary" Access Site IfOnly Officially Launches With $3M in Funding From Tech Luminaries
IfOnly , a charitable marketplace for experiences with the top “luminaries” in sports, cooking and entertainment, is officially launching its site, after collecting $3 million in funding from a group of, well , tech luminaries. The San Francisco startup has raised the money from a spate of well-known Silicon Valley players, including Marc Benioff, Yuri Milner, Nirav Tolia, Dave Goldberg, Mark Pincus, Jeremy Stoppelman, Owen Van Natta and Hosain Rahman, among others. The concept behind the business, which has been in beta until now, is to offer the general public the ability to rub shoulders with big names — everything from a dinner with former San Francisco 49ers legendary quarterback Joe Montana, to having super-chef Tyler Florence design your kitchen or to getting singer Brunos Mars to sign a guitar. Or how about spending $116,000 for this : “After a night in The Penthouse Suites at the Bellagio, you and three guests will meet Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf for a private tennis clinic at their local training courts, followed by lunch. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain insight into your game from two tennis legends. Later that evening, relive stories from the afternoon over dinner at the elegant Michael Mina restaurant. You will leave the next morning with personalized and hand-signed memorabilia to help commemorate this special occasion. Perfect for diehard tennis fans.” Perfect for extraordinarily rich diehard tennis fan, actually. But founder and longtime Web entrepreneur Trevor Traina noted that some things offered on IfOnly can be gotten for as low as $35 (that would be a hand-signed guitar pick from Third Eye Blind’s Stephan Jenkins). “We are offering things that cannot be gotten anywhere else and only focus on people who are at the top of their craft,” said Traina. “While a lot of well-known people have gotten comfortable with getting close to fans via social media, it’s largely been one direction and what we are moving toward is bi-directional.” Essentially, it’s literally delivering the A-List to the masses. Unlike online charity auction sites, where celebrity-affiliated items like this have become available, IfOnly prices are fixed, with about 70 percent of the amount paid going to a charity, selected individually by the stars. IfOnly makes money by taking at least 10 percent of the gross.
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