As we heard last year, Flickr and Hunch co-founder Caterina Fake was in the process of launching a new startup, with $2 million in funding from a number of high-profile investors, including True Ventures, Founder Collective, SV Angel, Keith Rabois, James Joaquin and Shoshana Berger. Today, Fake is revealing a number of new details on the startup, called Pinwheel, and named additional investors (Redpoint, Betaworks, and Ev Williams’ and Biz Stone’s Obvious Corp.)
We haven’t played with the product yet, but here’s what we know from Fake’s post. Pinwheel, which is in private beta on the web and mobile web, appears to be a way to leave notes, annotations, tips and photos for fellow users and friends at designated locations and places. As Fake notes, while there is a web presence for the product, she anticipates the mobile version (an iOS will be launched next) to be the ‘primary experience.’
With Pinwheel, you can find and leave public or private notes at places all over the world. These notes can be shared with one person, or everyone; and can be categorized. Fake uses the examples of “Best Spots for Butterfly Hunting”, “Every place that you told me that you loved me, circa 2008″ or “Find me a Nearby Toilet NOW” as sample note sets that you can leave and find via Pinwheel.
Similar to other social and mobile experiences, you create a social graph of people you follow, places you follow and sets you follow. Eventually, you’ll also see notifications on your phone from who and what you choose.
Fake herself compares the experience to a Flickr for Places (‘ish’), because the note can be a container or social object for a given place. Notes are really meant to be any sort of contextual information that can add to a place’s value, such as stories, advice, jokes, information, memories, facts, advertisements, and more. And in terms of monetization, businesses will be able to create their own sponsored notes at given places.
As mentioned above, we haven’t used Pinwheel yet, but these are just a few of the initial interactions and details that Fake revealed. When we get our hands on the app, we’ll let you know and post a review. Oh and Pinwheel is hiring.
Caterina Fake is a business woman and entrepreneur. She currently serves as Chief Product Officer at Hunch. She is a boardmember at Etsy.com. She co-founded Flickr along with Stewart Butterfield in 2004. After being acquired by Yahoo!, she ran the Technology Development Group at Yahoo, founded Yahoo’s Brickhouse, and ran the Hack Yahoo program.