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Surfacing the long-lost tips from people you trust is the promise of newly launched startup HashTip.

HashTip is a social network and content aggregator that collects, stores, and categorizes the tips previously posted by your friends on other services. The company ultimately aims to simplify the decision-making process around products, services, and activities by appending extra social insight to the nuggets it surfaces.

“People who are confused and frustrated with numerous options and a deluge of information on products and services are looking for a platform that can simplify all three aspects of a decision-making process: narrowing down options, deeper research on selected options, and finding the best price for the chosen option,” HashTip co-founder and CEO Rohit Vashisht explained to VentureBeat. “Most people perform these steps offline and online, spending hours to make the final decision.”

The startup’s best asset is its ability to grab status updates on Twitter and Facebook with the #tip hashtag, pull them into HashTip, and then tack on all relevant review data from places like Amazon, Yelp, and Rotten Tomatoes. The company can also track down daily deals associated with tips to help members save as they revisit friends’ recommendations.

But HashTip, at first glance, looks overwrought and lacking in a real answer to the, “Okay, I’ve found a great tip, now what?” question. There’s far too many icons mushed together in a muddled interface for the first-timer to understand why she should come back.

That’s not to say HashTip is doomed to irrelevance. The young company will need to move away from the tired social network design to something a bit more novel, focus on mobile discovery, and do more to showcase the underlying technology should it wish to win over web folks.

Edison, New Jersey-based HashTip has raised $200,000 in seed funding.

HashTip is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.

Photo credit: Shutterstock and Dean Takahashi


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