AboutGiraf is user-funded software supporting the arts and culture economy

Giraf's mission is to benefit the arts and culture economy by building tools for sharing, discovering, and creating cultural life. We believe in the power of culture to positively transform the way people relate to each other.

Giraf is incorporated as a public benefit corporation. The public benefit in our corporate charter is "to benefit artists through the sharing and discovery of their works and events".

Our values

Long-term relationships
  • We seek to build long-term relationships with our users by promoting their best interests. We reject the short-term vision of many technology companies that seem to aim for the maximal extraction of people's attention.
Taking responsibility
  • Giraf contributes 1% of membership revenue to carbon removal, via Stripe Climate.
Equalizing opportunity
  • A world of increasing returns to scale, where power easily reinforces power, requires conscious effort to level the playing field. For us, this means orienting our thinking around how Giraf helps nascent or outsider artists to establish themselves.
  • Giraf will never sell your data. Privacy is a tenet around which Giraf is designed; it is not an add-on. If you have questions about how Giraf protects your privacy, please email us at privacy@giraf.app.
World-class quality
  • We're here to do excellent work. We see this as a matter of respect and gratitude for our users who invest their time and energy into Giraf.

Our story

Giraf grew out of my discovery in 2011 of Our Garden Needs Its Flowers, an album from 1985 by musicians Jess Sah Bi and Peter One from the Ivory Coast. The album's singular mixture of Ivorian folk and American country music was a revelation to me, and planted the seed of an idea in my mind, for an app dedicated to the sharing of favorite "obscure" works of art. I had learned about the album thanks to a music blog (Awesome Tapes from Africa), which was the latest in a series of music recommendations, going back many years, from a friend.

The idea lay dormant through the mid-2010's, while I learned to make software. Then an unforeseen series of events culminated in 2018 with Our Garden Needs Its Flowers being reissued, enabling me to produce a short documentary about Jess and Peter. This experience changed my sense of the possible and convinced me of the power that lies in people sharing cultural knowledge with each other.

I began writing the code for Giraf soon afterwards. I dropped the focus on "obscurity" from the original idea, and imagined a general-purpose tool that would serve people's ongoing journey of cultural exploration. The first version of Giraf was released in April 2019.

Who we are

Ian Hinsdale

Giraf is produced by Ian Hinsdale in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Questions or comments about Giraf are welcome at ian@giraf.app.



Giraf participates in the affiliate programs of Bookshop.org and Amazon.com and earns from qualifying purchases under those programs.

Giraf uses the TMDb API but is not endorsed or certified by TMDb.