Incubator network TechStars unveils its New York class on Thursday. Prior to demo day, many of its 13 companies are meeting with investors for what can be called the “institutional” round of funding. Post-demo day, the “retail” investors swarm in.
Today the first one has revealed a seed round from a long list of investors. Rewind.me raised $800,000 from First Round Capital, TechStars, New World Ventures, KBS+P Ventures, Silicon Alley Venture Partners, and Esther Dyson, Erik Jansen, Barry Silbert, Jonathan Peachey, Greg Cangialosi, Ed Zimmerman, Greg Raifman, and Josh Guttman.
First Round led funding on Rewind.me founder Craig Danuloff’s previous company ClickEquations, which sold to Channel Intelligence in 2011. Danuloff has worked with Dyson before as well — she sat on the board of his ecommerce company iCat Corporation, which sold to Intel in 1998.
Rewind.me uses social media to track a user’s personal history. Pulling in feeds from Facebook, Foursquare, TripIt, Fitbit, and others, the company will create a digital history for users with the premise that we should own their own data and benefit from it.
The phrase Rewind.me uses is “reclaiming our digital exhaust.” The company touts the personal and social benefits of personal data, hinting at potential future economic ones as well. Browser plug-in Voyurl launched with the same premise of empowering Web surfers with their own data. It’s being bought and sold anyways, we may as well get a piece of the action, the idea goes.
Currently, Rewind.me only has a Foursquare edition available in iOS. The most similar company I can think of is Timehop, which grew out of a Foursquare hackathon (initially named 4 Square and 7 Years Ago), and is itself a TechStars alum. The company raised $1.1 million earlier this year from an equally long list of investors that includes Foursquare’s founders.
The difference, I think, is that Timehop and others like it (including Momento) are more focused on nostalgia and memories. Timehop tells you via email what you were doing one year ago today based on your Twitter feed, Foursquare check-ins and texts. That’s a component of Rewind.me, but not the central experience, from what I understand. Ultimately, Rewind.me will be more about function and the practical information you can glean from your data.
[Disclosure: First Round Capital partners Josh Kopelman is an investor in PandoDaily.]