Back in the day a few startups came along to bring the interface of a time-line to our memories. We’re all familiar with the Facebook news-feed approach, though in fairness, timelines are an age-old way of displaying information, almost as old as writing itself. But the history of startups in this space is patchy. Memolane was mysteriously shut down. It had raised $2.5 million in venture capital to create an interface for exploring your past social networking content. Then thislife was acquired by Shutterfly and 1000memories was acquired by Ancestry.com. One or two others still float around like Rememble and Momentoapp.
So there may well still room for startups prepared to take this idea on.
Into this area has stepped Hiyalife – described as a place to create collaborative stories and recall moments while keeping control of your privacy (naming no names in the social networking space of course).
Hiyalife says it is a cross between a digital scrapbook and an online biography. When you create a memory on the timeline it slots into your “life story” – a good-looking beautiful timeline over which you have full control. Perhaps think of it as a “Tumblr on a Timeline”.
But you choose the privacy for each memory. So you can use it like a journal for friends and family, and they can add their own side of the story. Diary.com has a similar approach, but a far different interface.
Hiyalife’s pitch is that by giving quite a lot of control to the user, they create a natural distribution channel for content marketing, allowing brands to showcase their history in concert with fans. Now, whether the fans are really going to do this or not remains to be seen.
The startup has secured £400,000 from a group of angels from the UK, Germany and Spain, as well as from Telefonica (O2) through the Wayra accelerator programme. They are now looking to raise a bigger seed round, with their eyes on the US market.