Swipely Testing Shoppers Social Network - InformationWeek

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Swipely Testing Shoppers Social Network

Swipely has begun invitation-only testing of its social Web site that lets shoppers share information about their purchases.

Swipely describes itself as providing a service that offers people "an easy way to turn their purchases into conversations."

"Our mission is to fundamentally change the way consumers shop and share by adding value to every swipe," Angus Davis, founder and chief executive of Swipely. Besides founding Swipely, Davis was co-founder of Tellme Networks, which was sold to Microsoft in 2007 for nearly $800 million.

By "swipe," Davis is referring to people's use of credit and debit cards. The site imports purchases from these cards, as well as information from purchases made at online stores.

People can rate their purchases and add comments or photos. The site automatically geo-locates purchases to specific store locations and integrates product details from catalogs and menus from more than a quarter million stores and restaurants.

Swipely is not the first to offer such a service. Blippy is a rival that recently stumbled in the area of security. The site last month leaked four credit card numbers, but quickly plugged the hole.

Swipely says it places a "strong emphasis on protecting consumer privacy and security," and has passed reviews and audits from third-party security and privacy organizations. People using the site decide which swipes get posted and the specific amounts spent are not posted.

In announcing the latest round of funding, Swipely said Danny Rimer of Index Ventures will join the company's board, and Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners will server as an observer on the board. Angel investors include former Google executive Chris Sacca and well-known Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway.

In addition, the site said Tuesday that it has completed its first-round of funding, bringing the total amount of money raised to $8.5 million. Index Ventures led the Series A funding, with venture firms Greylock Partners and previous investor First Round Capital also participating.

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