Timehop, the app that serves as a personal “today in history” memo by surfacing your social networking photos and posts from a year ago or more, has raised $10 million in new funding.
The funding, which is Timehop‘s Series B, was led by Shasta Ventures with the participation of previous investors Spark and O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures and angel investors including Randi Zuckerberg. This brings the total amount of money invested in the three-year-old company to $14.1 million.
Timehop co-founder and CEO Jonathan Wegener said in an interview that the new funding will be used to add more employees to its 10 person staff to support Timehop’s growth. Timehop currently has more than 3 million people opening the app daily across iOS and Android, Wegener said, pointing out that more people read Timehop each day than read USA Today or the New York Times.
Going forward, Timehop could expand the types of actions its service tracks. “Our digital footprints are just exploding, and we’re creating more overall content than ever,” Wegener said. “Your digital history as Timehop sees it is currently on social networks, but there are also things like your photos on your phone and your computer, your text messages, your wearable fitness trackers, and even your credit card swipes. There’s all this digital exhaust you produce while going about your day… we could be the place where all that stuff goes.”
The company is also interested in potentially producing diary tools to help people keep even better track of their days. “We want to help you flesh out the story of your day and how you’re spending your time,” Wegener said.
The vision for Timehop’s future makes me think of Evernote, the software company known for its notetaking services that promises to help you “remember everything.” Where Evernote is often used for documenting personal things like thoughts and ideas, Timehop seems focused on documenting more concrete actions. It seems to me that the services could be quite complementary in the future — but right now, Timehop seems focused on growing independently.
Asked whether Timehop could be threatened by the emergence of ephemeral digital services such as Snapchat, Wegener said that while ephemerality is natural for personal communication, people will likely always want to preserve certain actions and moments for posterity. “Often the whole reason you take a photo is to be able to see it later. There will always be a market of people creating content for the purpose of an archive.”
Timehop currently does not make any money, and Wegener said it does not plan to implement any monetization strategies in the near-term. Eventually, he said that Timehop could make money through sponsored content, such as letting brands advertise that on this day in history, Coca-Cola was invented, for instance.
It’s been fun to root for Timehop as it’s evolved from its inception as a quick project at a Foursquare-sponsored hack day to a full-fledged independent company. Social networking today is all about where you are right now, but Timehop has shown that there is also value in pausing to look back at where you’ve been.