1000Memories has raised a $2.5 million round led by Greylock Partners, with the participation of some high-profile angel investors including Caterina Fake, Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, Mike Maples, Paul Buchheit and Chris Sacca. Greylock’s David Thacker is joining the board.
1000Memories aims to be a site where loved ones can commemorate the lives of those that have passed away. Several sites have tried to do this, and previous attempts have come off as cheesy or morbid. 1000Memories has struck a chord with its stylish design, and its commitment to always offer the product for free without garish ads.
Obituaries are one of the only bastions of newspaper classifieds that haven’t been disrupted, Thacker says. In San Francisco, a basic obit can cost up of $1,500, and it’s a static, non-collaborative mention that only runs one day.
1000Memories’ timing couldn’t be better. Facebook and other social networks have brought people closer to people they’d fallen out of touch with, providing an efficient medium for communicating a death and for sending condolences and remembrances. And increasingly, those memories are already captured digitally, via photos, videos and emails. And as newspapers become increasingly irrelevant, it’s natural that there’s some solution for celebrating someone’s life online.
So while it’s easy to see that something like 1000Memories should exist in the world, the question is how long it will take to build a laudable service like this into a real business. Co-founder Jonathan Good stopped by our studios to talk about the news– unfortunately he didn’t come prepared with many details on what the funding means for the company or what the money would be used for. He also refused to give us any sense of how big the user base was or even any basic idea of how much the service has grown or how many tribute pages have been built.
It’s a shame, because those are key questions. Customer acquisition will be a challenge for the site, since most people don’t have a death in their families or communities several times a year. Given the emotional investment people make in 1000Memories, I hope the company will be a bit more forthcoming in the future.