Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Familiar Raises $1.3M for Social Screen Savers and Slideshows

If you’ve taken a personal pledge to stop reading blog posts about photo-sharing apps, you’d best stop now. But if you want to hear about a little start-up that’s breathing new life into some tired old formats, this one’s for you.

Here’s the premise: Familiar automatically shares photos among multiple generations within a family.

So, as parents snap photos and upload them to Facebook, Picasa, Instagram, Flickr and iPhoto, their own parents can get an updated stream of pictures of their grandkids.

(People without kids can try the app too, but families with children are the main demographic so far.)

Familiar, which first came out for Mac and Windows late last year, now has Android, Kindle Fire and iOS apps. These viewing apps display screen savers (how terribly old school!) or slideshows shared by users within a private circle of family and friends.

Driven largely by being featured by Apple, Familiar already has some loyal fans. In August, Familiar users displayed 21 million of each others’ photos (which is not a terrifically useful stat, but it’s all I have at the moment, as the company isn’t sharing actual user or usage numbers).

Apparently, a lot of investors love the idea of a nifty app to share pictures of their kids. Seattle-based Familiar, whose team came out of music start-up iLike (acquired by Myspace in 2009), has now raised $1.3 million from a large group of backers, among them Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, Acequia Capital, Allen & Company, Hadi and Ali Partovi, Nat Brown, Dave Goldberg, Blake Krikorian, Emil Michael and Owen Van Natta.


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