Hashable has taken an unusual route to get where it is now. Originally founded as Tracked.com, a would-be competitor to Yahoo Finance, the company has already raised over $11 million. After realising Tracked was never going to be as big as he’d hoped, founder and CEO Michael Yavonditte shed most of his staff and took the company in a radically different direction. Now, just a few months after its beta launch, the company is one of the most talked about startups in New York, and has raised money at a pre-money valuation over $25 million.
So, what is Hashable?
At its core, Hashable is a tool for keeping track of your relationships, a ‘personal CRM’. Using Twitter, email, its website, or a forthcoming iPhone app, Hashable has three basic functions:
- Introductions: Hashable lets you introduce any two people you know using their Twitter handles or email addresses. Hashable alerts both people, and checks in with them later to see if they actually met.
- Contact exchange: When you tell Hashable that you ‘just met’ someone, it sets up an ‘icebreaker’ page with both of your contact information. The iPhone app, due in early December, also provides a synchronised contacts list that combines information from your email accounts, phone address book, Twitter account, and Hashable’s own data.
- People check-in: Whenever you meet up with people, you can tell Hashable (or have it automatically pull that information from tweets or emails you send announcing that fact.) Hashable keeps track of how often you interact with whom.
In order to get off the ground, Hashable has heavily emphasised the first function in the early going, encouraging people to use Twitter to make their introductions. Users get points (‘hash cred’) for successfully introducing people, and there are leaderboards showing the ‘top connectors’. This is like crack for people in the people-driven venture world, and VCs and founders have been going wild with it. As a result, if you follow a lot of tech people, especially in New York, your Twitter feed has probably been chock-full of Hashable notifications for the past few months.
For that core demographic, this noisy sort of use-case will probably always be important. But the wider value of the service lies with tracking connections. If people really start logging their every day meetings in Hashable, the company will have an immensely valuable data set on its hands. Rather than just a graph of connections, like LinkedIn or Facebook, Hashable would also know the strength of those connections, based on how often you actually see those people.
Of course, Hashable has a long way to go to get there. Anything on this scale is a long shot. But it’s off to as good a start as one could hope for.
USV was joined in the round by Rhodium, Dace Ventures, John Frankel, Jeff Singer, and other angels.