New York-based startup Timehop, which began life in 2011 under the name “4SquareAnd7YearsAgo”, has just raised an additional $3 million in funding, taking its total to a princely $4.12 million. The latest round was led by its existing investor, Spark Capital, with participation from O’Reilly Alphatech Ventures. If you’re a social media manager or community manager who hasn’t heard of Timehop, listen up.
From now to then
Timehop has morphed into a mobile-first social media platform which pulls status updates posted on your social networks from a year or more ago. Users are reminded of friends they were in contact with this day last year, friends they might have now lost contact with. And it just lets you reminisce about the thoughts and preoccupations that were exercising your mind that day. Simple and gentle but, as social media managers will probably appreciate, strangely compelling and addictive, too.
According to the startup’s CEO Jonathan Wegener, the new money will be put to use in expanding the existing seven-strong team and to focus more intently on mobile app development. He describes Timehop like this:
“The big, long-term vision is to be a place to reminisce online. Basically in this world, all social networks are real-time. They’re about what’s happening right now, but there’s no place online to discuss the past.”
Raising funds in a cold climate
Timehop managed to persuade investors to part with their money in the midst of the Series A crunch because of its “stickiness,” Wegener says. Every day, a third of Timehop’s users open the app to reminisce and connect at least mentally with lost or forgotten friends. As social media managers would agree, that’s not at all bad as retention figures go.
Wegener went on:
“Users who try to the product fall in love with it. This helped us make the argument that people are working Timehop into their everyday lives. At first, people don’t understand why they would want this. But they get really addicted to it. They see it as a mirror of their own life, and a reflection of their past self.”
Wegener himself uses the app (which also flicks up old group pictures) to bring to mind friends he’s lost contact with over the years, reminding him, he says, to reconnect.