New York-based start-up and TechStars graduate Timehop has received $1.1 million from a host of investors including the founders of Foursquare, after starting up at a Foursquare hackathon.
Timehop, which began as 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo, was created by Jonathan Wegener and Benny Wong at Foursquare’s inaugural hackathon in February last year.
Foursquare is a location-based social networking site, allowing users with GPS-enabled devices to announce their location to friends by “checking in” at venues.
The original intention was to build a service that would replay users’ past Foursquare check-ins over their present in real time. The product was eventually simplified into a daily email.
Although Wegener and Wong were working on another product as part of their involvement in TechStars, the success of 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo became “impossible to ignore”.
They decided to make 4SquareAnd7YearsAgo their core focus, launching versions for Facebook and Instagram before merging all of these under a single brand known as Timehop.
Timehop has closed a $1.1 million funding round from investors including O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Spark Capital, and Foursquare founders Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai.
Other investors include GroupMe founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht, Alex Rainert, Rick Webb and Kevin Slavin.
Crowley said he invested in Timehop because “I love what those guys are doing, and I love that it’s one of the first breakout apps using our API”.
Timehop intends to use the funding to recruit engineers for the Timehop team, and further integrate the product with other services.
According to Wegener, Timehop is being built “into the best way of recording, remembering and reconnecting around our digital histories”.
“The data exhaust of today’s services can tell your life story, but so far this data remains disaggregated and silo’d across devices and services,” Wegener told TechCrunch.
“The ‘history’ sections of most websites leave a lot to be desired and represent an opportunity to build a service that helps you celebrate the past and reconnect with others around it.”
Wegener also hit out at critics who claim Timehop doesn’t solve a problem.
“Asking what ‘problem’ Timehop solves may be asking the wrong question. That’s the equivalent of asking ‘What problem do photographs solve?’” he said.
“Clearly, taking photos is a mainstream and frequent activity, but it doesn’t really solve a ‘problem’ but rather scratches a deeply human itch. Timehop scratches that same itch.”