Deals

Social startup Highlight nabs new funding from Benchmark & a host of others

highlight

Highlight, the “traveling dossier for people,” has just raised a round of funding from some well-known names in Silicon Valley venture capital.

Also today, the startup is launching worldwide, and it will release a new version of the app in about one week.

The round was led by Benchmark Capital, arguably one of the best-known venture capital firms in the tech world, with participation from Ron Conway’s SV Angel, Mike Arrington’s Crunchfund, and angel investors Andy Bechtolsheim (a Sun co-founder), Charlie Cheever (a Quora co-founder and former Facebooker), and Ariel Poler (an Internet oldtimer and serial investor).

While we can give you all the names, the terms of the deal, including the amount raised, were not disclosed.

The Highlight app [iTunes link] is a Facebook-connected mobile app that notifies you when a fellow Highlight user is in your vicinity. You can see a snapshot of the person’s social profile, including a picture and any friends you have in common.

“The real world is just this bizarre-o version of Facebook, and every profile is just a single photo,” said founder Paul Davidson said in a recent interview with VentureBeat, concluding, “That version sucks.”

The team is currently working on a new version of the app to be released during SXSW, they noted in a blog post this morning. The app will get new interactions, new search and discovery tools, and improvements for battery life — always a problem with proximity apps. The new version of the app, the startup stated, will end up “surprising you with hidden connections, surfacing information about the people you meet, and helping you remember these people when you bump into them at a random New York coffee shop a year later.”

Finally, the app was previously been available in the U.S. only; with the international launch, the team hopes to have an impact on social experiences during travel by surfacing cross-border commonalities and connections.

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