Swipp, a stealth social network, has announced that it raised $3.5 million in funding from Old Willow Partners.
Still more than a year in stealth mode, Swipp is gearing up for a summer release that will offer consumers and businesses a new way to monetize social data.
The Palo Alto company is planning to roll out the social network in stages over the next several months and will be inviting users around the world to test the new approach, contribute to its development, and participate in its new take on the "new social" conversation.
Swipp is an attempt to build a new social platform that is the "intersection of social media, personal data, and commerce." The company has attracted a deep bench of technologists, product developers, and marketers from companies as diverse as Apple, Nokia, Cisco, BT, and TiVo.
The funder in this first institutional round is Old Willow Partners -- an early investor in Groupon.
CEO and co-founder Don Thorson knows his way around tech companies. He was one of the earliest employees at Atari, a creative director at Apple, the vice president of marketing at telephony startup Jajah (which was later sold to Telefonica), and has served as the chief marking officer at Ribbit.
"It's time to accelerate the next generation of social," said Thorson, in a statement. "The users are the most important part of the network, they should get more return for their involvement, and they should be treated with the respect they deserve. Users are not just eyeballs to deliver ads to, they are actually the core value of the network. Imagine social that's not only more delightful, but way more informative. Social that gets smarter the more people use it. Social that tells us more about us as individuals, as a people, as a planet."