Clover Letter

This daily newsletter is betting you don't have to reach teens through Snapchat

New York CityNY 

Growing up in a small Missouri town without any sisters, Casey Lewis felt alienated from other women. "Teen magazines were my gateway into women's health and the world," she says. Her experience became the launch point for Clover Letter, an email newsletter and community for teenage girls. Her readers, Lewis explains, probably don't visit traditional outlets like The New York Times or CNN, but they have a desire to stay informed on the most pressing current events. In 2015, Lewis and her co-founder, Liza Darwin, quit their media jobs to start Clover Letter, which now counts more than 50,000 readers. Based in New York City, Clover Letter generates revenue mostly by charging its clients, which include Penguin and Dove, a fee to run branded content. Still, one major challenge has been convincing investors that Generation Z does, in fact, spend time on email--as opposed to Snapchat, which now has more than 150 million daily active users. "Every investor we've met with said we needed to get on Snapchat Discover," says Lewis. "But we said we're going to try this other thing." Clover Letter recently closed a seed funding round of $300,000. The founders, both 29, say the U.S. presidential election--as well as the new administration--has given them a renewed sense of purpose for their readers. "As we're watching the government implode," says Darwin, "these girls still find optimism." --Zoë Henry