WisdomArk, a new start-up in Los Altos, has raised $6.3 million in a first round of funding for yet another social networking site. We mention this mainly because of the funding, and because it’s good to know when two known Silicon Valley venture firms like El Dorado Ventures and Venrock make such a large investment. They made it along with existing investor Eric Benhamou
Still, we can’t help scratching our heads on this. This is a major funding, which is a good time to drive publicity, especially when you’ve got a hundred other competitors out there. And yet the site is still closed to users (it is taking requests for a “beta” testing version which will be available later this year).
Erick Benhamou, chairman and CEO of Benhamou Global Ventures, told VentureWire (sub required) that other social networking sites with image uploading capabilities like Friendster are potential competitors. But, he said, “WisdomArk is much more than image storage … it is a ‘proxy biographer.’ It extracts insights from the user about their life and allows them to make connections based on those insights.”
Update: Good comments below, one of them expressing a serious concern:
The majority of users of these social networks are teens….it’s the biographical details supplied by youth that make it a “predator treasure trove”, where information that would be very difficult to obtain without personal contact is “skillfully used to win a child’s confidence.”
What are sites going to do about this?