Experience Project Surpasses One Million Life Experiences and Raises Three Million in Funding : Experience Project, the Leading Social Experience Website, Announces Its First Round of Institutional Funding on the Strength of Over One Million Documented Life Experiences

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Today Experience Project, the leading Social Experience Website, announced its first round of institutional funding from The D.E. Shaw Group’s venture capital unit in the amount of three million dollars. Existing investors include premier investment firms Maples Investments and Baseline Ventures. The funding came on the strength of the Experience Project’s growth to over 1 million user experiences documented on their social experience web site.

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With EP, I now feel like I am not alone. It's so nice to finally be in a place where I can be me....I have found so much acceptance and understanding here.

Experience Project members have now shared over one million life experiences, a tremendous milestone representing first-person stories, people, and resources on nearly every aspect of life. The site allows people to share and connect on all the "life experiences"—ideas, issues, situations, hopes, and events—that matter most to them, all while remaining anonymous. The site uses these to connect members who share multiple experiences, building a community where who you are is more important than who you know.

Enjoying tremendous growth since the launch of its public beta in mid-2007, EP attracts a diverse community of contributors looking to connect with like-minded people, as well as readers looking to explore life experiences through first-person stories.

"Achieving such a remarkable milestone in a short period of time is an indicator of the powerful need for people to connect anonymously over the topics they are most passionate about," notes Armen Berjikly, CEO of Experience Project (EP). "The D. E. Shaw group's involvement will allow us to greatly enhance our offering and extend our leadership role in this important new space, and we're very excited to work with a partner of this caliber."

"We believe that Experience Project is redefining the way users interact online by creating a forum that is substantive yet anonymous; it presents a unique opportunity for brands to effectively communicate highly targeted messages to a very receptive audience," says Michael Banks, a senior vice president within the D. E. Shaw group's venture capital unit.

EP members rave about the benefits of being part of a positive, supportive, and open community where all their experiences matter by introducing them to others like them. "EP is helping me in ways I can't fully describe…this site has allowed me to genuinely express my feelings and to learn new things about myself," says one user. Another notes, "With EP, I now feel like I am not alone. It's so nice to finally be in a place where I can be me....I have found so much acceptance and understanding here."

At EP, members can explore over a million life experiences, share their own stories anonymously—both triumphs and challenges—and feel free to be themselves among new friends who 'just get it.' In contrast to traditional social websites, EP members engage through the experiences, ideas, and issues important in their lives, rather than through popularity or appearance, building new friendships rather than reinforcing pre-existing ones. From marital dilemmas to having pets, health problems to raising children, EP is the only place where people share all the topics that matter most to them.

EP stands at the nexus of the most important trends shaping the Internet: blogs, user generated content, social networks, and new media. EP brings together pieces of each, wrapped in anonymity, to create a dynamic and authentic community to support and facilitate personal development amongst its members. With consumer and individual privacy under increasing attack, anonymity unleashes the freedom to share all the things that truly matter, enabling new, meaningful relationships from people who understand each other.

EP was created by Armen Berjikly, a Stanford graduate. Inspired by a close friend's diagnosis with multiple sclerosis (MS), Berjikly created an online support community for those afflicted by the condition. As the site blossomed, the most powerful tool turned out to be the anonymous chat forum, giving people often suffering in misunderstood silence the opportunity to be open among friends who shared and understood their challenges. Recognizing that no one is defined by any one experience, and that connecting with people who understand each other through a multitude of shared experiences can be incredibly powerful, Berjikly created Experience Project.

About Experience Project:

Experience Project is the first Social Experience Website where you can anonymously share and connect around the life experiences that are important to you. Explore over one million life experiences, share your own stories anonymously, and find like-minded people who are open, supportive, and just "get it". Experience Project is the first place on the web where who you are is more important than who you know. Experience Project can be found at http://www.experienceproject.com.

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