Pioneer Square Labs pairs with Dance Church to build out Seattle company’s on-demand platform – GeekWire
Pioneer Square Labs is trying out some new moves when it comes to spinning a company out of the Seattle startup studio and venture capital firm.
PSL is partnering with Dance Church, the Seattle-based creators of a high-energy, dance-focused movement class that was founded in 2010. The COVID-19 pandemic turned the dancing to livestreaming — and attracted a large new audience of participants — and now Dance Class is launching a dance-on-demand product called “Dance Church Go” with PSL’s help.
Dance Church Go is a membership platform where users can get access to a library of online classes for $19 a month or $199 per year. A live-only option allows users to pay as they go for access to live classes.
The move to pair with PSL and gain key expertise comes as Dance Church has added former Facebook Product Manager Clara Siegel as CEO. Siegel was also previously a senior product manager at Tableau and Amazon. At Facebook, she managed products on the Messenger and Gaming teams.
Pioneer Square Labs typically comes up with an idea and finds CEOs to launch a company, or it partners with entrepreneurs who come to the studio with their own idea. The deal with Dance Church and founder Kate Wallich is unique.
“In the case of Dance Church, Kate had a big ambition to evolve her in-person dance classes — that had built an obsessed following! — into a global scale technology platform,” said PSL Partner David Zager. “The resulting spinout is the marriage of everything Kate had built on the in-person classes, plus the time, resources, and investment from PSL.”
Announcing our newest spinout, @Dance_Church!https://t.co/DSRBpyhfT6
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— Pioneer Square Labs (@psl) June 15, 2021
PSL launched its startup studio in 2015, has raised $29 million to date and spun out more than two dozen startups along the way. PSL raised $100 million for its second venture fund in March.
Dance Church is known for its carefully curated playlists and the professional dance artists who drive the experience. During the pandemic lockdowns when people were searching for ways to exercise and connect with a community, Dance Church launched a livestream alternative to its in-person classes.
“I have always said that I want Dance Church to be as big as it wants to be,” Wallich said in a news release. “When we were turning 50+ people away at the door for classes, and then getting thousands of emails and DMs during COVID, I knew we needed strong infrastructure to intentionally scale our 10+ year old organization along with the needs of the community.”
In partnership with Nordstrom, Dance Church is also returning to its in-person format with a national tour. The tour will make a stop at The Seattle Center on July 10.