That’s what CheckThis is shooting for. The newest micro-blogging platform, which launched out of Brussels, Belgium, announced today that it had raised $910,000 in seed money from a group of big-name investors. New York-based Lerer Ventures led the round, with Index Ventures, Betaworks, SV Angel, Hudson River Angels, Taavet Hinrikus and GroupeMe founders Jared Hecht and Steve Martocci participating.
With the new funds, founder Frédéric della Faille said, he and his co-founder are re-locating to New York in July to grow the business in a bigger market. While the pair spent time checking out different parts of the country, he said that with New York it was “instant love.”
“It’s about the community… and also the publishing and the media,” he said.
The more-than-Twitter-less-than-blogging positioning seems competitive with Tumblr, but della Faille said he believes they’re complementary because CheckThis is meant to create “temporary posters,” not time-intensive or long-lasting “posts.” It falls somewhere on the social publishing scale “between nothing and a blog,” he said, letting users express themselves spontaneously and easily.
The super lightweight platform doesn’t require any registration or setup. It just prompts users to “tell,” “sell,” “ask” or “invite,” and then provides a basic template for filling in details (with words and pictures) and the tools for sharing it. Just as Instagram enables instant publishing for beautiful pictures, della Faille said, “we want to have instant publishing for beautiful posters.” (The Instagram connection seems to be more than just rhetoric as Instragam designer Tim Van Damme, also a Belgium native, is an advisor, della Faille said.)
Della Faille said he came up with the idea and built the company with friends three years ago. It picked up bursts of attention from users in Japan and Brazil, he said, but didn’t actually gain momentum until it was admitted to — and then won — the European accelerator SeedCamp earlier this year.
“We decided to apply like naive guys… [and then] we won,” he said. “Since then, it’s been going really, really crazy.”
In addition to the funding, he said, the company has grown from three employees to eight over the past two months. And, he added, with just organic, word-of-mouth promotion, users have created about 36,000 pages, with each receiving an average of 260 views.