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General Catalyst, TMT back start-up focusing on helping you to curate experiences
If you're like me, you have tons of videos and photos that are taken during a vacation or event, that rarely ever get shared. Sure, you end up sharing a few photos via email or posting on Facebook. And, those who shared the same experience do the same. But in the end, you end up with snippets of memories that are disorganized, rather than curated in one repository that can be contributed by all and viewed by all.
For those who find themselves with this problem, you might try Tracks, a new mobile app that brings people together based on their experiences.
NY-based Tracks, which was founded in 2010, announced Wednesday that it's received $1 million in seed funding from the venture arm of General Catalyst, TMT Investments, and Eniac Ventures, as well as a handful of others, including Alex Welch, founder of Photobucket, who will be joining Tracks' board.
"The big idea is building the 'experience graph,'" said Vic Singh, founder and CEO of Tracks, and also a partner at Eniac Ventures. "There's a bunch of networks that come in and out of experiences. We call these experiences tracks, such as conferences, birthdays, weekend getaways." By allowing people to jointly share in that experience on their own private platform, the experience can be captured and organized.
"The idea is that you're capturing content on a daily basis anyway, and there's no way to curate it in an experience."
There are many use cases for Tracks. Singh uses it by having a "date night" track with his wife. They both contribute photos so they can refer back to the track and always have those memories easily accessible. The nice thing about Tracks is that the tracks made are only visible to those you invite to contribute and view. They're not designed to be public.
At the moment, you have to have an iPhone to create and contribute to a track. But anyone you invite can view a track.
While Tracks is not disclosing any figures, since its September launch, Tracks has been downloaded more than 100,000 times in more than 82 countries.
While Tracks is fairly young, it's already had one modest iteration. Initially started as a more public-facing application, many people likened Tracks to Tumblr. To that end, Tracks switched gears and focused on making each experience track a collaboration for private groups.
What about similar products? There is Path, which also allows people to view your path in life. Singh says, however, that in life no one has just one path. Life is a series of paths, or in other words, a series of "tracks" that are shared with different sets of people.
Ultimately, Tracks wants to build a network of networks around experience. Sounds a little like Ning? A little. But Tracks is different in that it's focusing on experiences with people you know. It's not about having a platform for random networks. Said Singh: "Tracks is a network of networks around experiences with people you know."
That's all good for now, but what happens with Tracks looks to monetize? Ultimately, Tracks will have to look toward brands who might want to sponsor tracks or have their own tracks. But in many ways these types of "public" forums are alreay available via Facebook Pages and now Google+'s brand pages. One differentiation said Singh is that Tracks is a mobile-first platform. To the extent that Tracks can be effective on a mobile device, then monetization and scale won't be a problem.
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Tracks is building the experience graph. The Tracks mobile and web service that lets users effortlessly make micro-social networks around real world experiences. 'Tracks’ can be geo, temporal or last forever. Make tracks for a family cruise, football season, date nights, pub crawls, a year in college. Each track is a living social network based on thematic experiences in the real world. Tracks are framed around rich media and made over time and across locations. This lightweight concept lets users map fluid real world networks.