The founder of a controversial social media app that has been called “Yelp for people” has found herself in the spotlight after the yet-to-be-released app went viral.
Julia Cordray, of Calgary, Canada, has had to defend and explain the app on social media and in interviews as concern about it grows. She co-founded the company behind the app with Nicole McCullough.
The app’s developers say Peeple will allow you to “rate and comment about the people you interact with in your daily lives.” The app will require users to be over 21, have a Facebook account and user their real name.
“People do so much research when they buy a car or make those kinds of decisions,” Cordray told the Washington Post. “Why not do the same kind of research on other aspects of your life?”
Here’s what you need to know about Cordray and her company:
1. Cordray Founded a Recruiting in Canada Before Working on Peeple
Cordray is the founder and CEO of Career Fox, a recruiting company based in Calgary, Canada. After working as a sales rep for General Mills in Northern Alberta, she founded Career Fox in 2008.
“I knew deep down inside I was an entrepreneur, freedom is my #1 value. So, I knew I was going to start a company that involved my three top skill sets,” she says on Career Fox’s wbesite. “And my three top skill sets are sales, marketing & branding, and people. So I thought, what involves all three? It was recruitment. I get to sell people. And I get to work with companies. It became really clear, really fast that I needed to take those skill sets as an entrepreneur to go for it – and do it my way. That was the why!”
Cordray was born in California and spent her childhood between there and British Columbia, according to the Career Fox website. Her LinkedIn profile says she is also the CEO of 96 Talents, a recruitment software company.
She graduated from the University of Calgary in 2003 with a degree in marketing.
2. She & Her Co-Founder Documented Peeple’s Story on YouTube
The company started to gather some buzz in September.
“We’re setting the precedent for how it should be done,” Cordray told Metro.ca on September 21. “We’re two empathetic female entrepreneurs – we made sure when we built it, we built it with the best features.”
3. She Has Faced Harsh Criticism on Social Media
Backlash to the app spread quickly on social media on Thursday, with much of the concern and anger about the app being directed at Cordray. #Peeple was trending on Thursday, with many people also using #StopPeeple.
The company has also come under attack on Facebook, leading to a response from Cordray:
“As two empathetic, female entrepreneurs in the tech space, we want to spread love and positivity,” Cordray told the Washington Post. “We want to operate with thoughtfulness.”
4. She Says Peeple Is ‘About Uplifting People’
Cordray also defended the company in an interview with Newsweek, saying critics don’t understand the app’s purpose.
“This is all about uplifting each other and helping each other and operating from positivity,” Cordray said. “We all deserve to know who the best of the best are. This is about uplifting people.”
5. Her Company Is Valued at $7.6 Million
According to the Washington Post, the company is valued at $7.6 million.
Cordray told Metro.ca they have raised more than $350,000 in startup capital, and plans to move from Calgary to the Silicon Valley once it launches.
The Washington Post says many of the investors listed on Peeple’s website have personal ties to Cordray.