Deals

Obituary site 1000memories not dying for cash, with $2.5M from Greylock Partners

1000memories, an online crowd-sourced obituary service, announced that it has raised $2.5 million in its first round of funding from Greylock Partners.

It’s an online site that creates individual landing pages for people who have died. Anyone can jump to a page and write a few words or post a picture or song. The result is a collage of photos, music and thoughts that’s supposed to capture the essence of an obituary. The site is also working on ways to share memories from the site by creating widgets and other types of sharable content, he said.

The site is free for the time being and there aren’t any near-term plans to monetize the content, Adler said. 1000memories might look into creating personalized websites and having ways to output the content on the site — say, through a “book of memories” — as a way to monetize the site, he said.

“Right now we don’t limit for how people can use it because we’re so interested in seeing how we use it,” said site co-founder Rudy Adler. “People use it to make memorials for pets, and a lot of other unexpected things — we’re in the stage of having a conversation with our users.”

The funding is a pretty big vote of confidence from Greylock Partners, which was a natural fit for the site because of the firm’s storied history with social networking sites, Adler said. The venture firm has invested in the likes of Facebook and LinkedIn.

1000memories seems like a huge emotional investment for a lot of people. Most crowd-sourced sites run into the problem of ruffians and trolls infiltrating the community and trying to disrupt — such as at sites like news aggregator Digg and online message board 4chan. 1000memories seems to have avoided that problem thus far from inspection — most of the publicly available sites seem genuine enough.

“We got a lot of spammers at first, but that seems to have scaled back,” he said. “There have been very few disruptions.”

1000memories participated in the summer 2010 class of Y Combinator, the Silicon Valley incubator, and has raised $3 million in funding to date. Greylock Partners’ David Thacker will join 1000memories’ board as part of the funding deal. A number of angel investors including Keith Rabois, Ron Conway and Chris Sacca also participated in this recent funding round.