Social Networking Startup With Ties to Facebook Collects $8.75 Million
Path, a social networking startup whose co-founders include former Facebook executive Dave Morin and Napster creator Shawn Fanning, has attracted $8.75 million in venture capital.
The investment came from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures and Digital Garage Japan.
San Francisco-based Path bills itself as “the personal network.” Path, which launched in November 2010, is a social networking-enabled messaging and photo-sharing service for mobile devices.
Path had limited a user’s connections to 50 relatives and close friends. Now, Path allows users to e-mail photos and videos to their contacts. Path users still can’t post to Facebook or Twitter, but a Path account can be synced with a Facebook profile.
“You usually have about five people whom you trust most, 20 whom you consider your BFFs that you hang out with all the time and about 50 or so who are your personal network,” Morin, the startup’s CEO, told the Los Angeles Times in November 2010. “Path is built for that."
Already, more than 2 million photos and videos have been shared on Path through the iPhone and iPod Touch. The company is developing Android and BlackBerry apps.
“It was our hope in the beginning that our experiments around more private sharing and more personal network models would enable shared experiences between people that care about each other, and thus form closer relationships,” Morin wrote in a blog posting.
Previously, Path raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Index Ventures, First Round Capital, Founders Fund and Betaworks, as well as from private investors such as actor Ashton Kutcher, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and blogger Gary Vaynerchuk.
In November 2010, the New York Times reported that Path was created in response to Facebook and Twitter, each of which boasts millions of users and almost unlimited personal connections.
“If you look at how these networks are grown, they start out really high-quality,” Morin told the Times, “and as more and more people join, it becomes hard to find people you care about. With Path, you have to be friends with them in the real world in order for them to pop up on your screen.”