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Ex-Reddit Exec Quietly Launches ‘Positive’ Reddit Rival

The former second-in-command at Reddit who was pushed out of the online news aggregator last year has launched a competing site of his own, with a focus on “healthy, positive communities.”

Dan McComas, who was known to be critical of Reddit’s inflammatory discussion groups related to topics like race or overweight people, is beta testing the new site on an invitation-only basis. Called Imzy, the site launched earlier this year and already has groups dedicated to specific music genres, comics, movies and video games. It also is aimed at giving existing blog publishers and podcast creators a place for their fans to interact by sharing content and commenting.

In an exclusive interview, Mr. McComas says last year he raised about $3 million from Charles River Ventures and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. (Saar Gur, a partner of Charles River Ventures, is a board director.) Unlike Reddit, Imzy’s business model will not be based on advertising, he says.

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At Reddit, Mr. McComas clashed with then-CEO Ellen Pao. But they both agreed that some of Reddit’s negative, defamatory groups needed to be wiped away,