SocialSafe, the social media back-up tool co-founded by Julian Ranger‘s iBundle and 1minus1, has announced that it’s raised £250,000 (~$400k) in what’s being called a Series A round. That’s because Ranger, who is a prominent angel investor in the UK, has already funded the startup to the tune of £300k, bringing the total raised by SocialSafe to £550k (~$885k).
Today’s round comes from Marco Sodi, plus other unnamed UK-based angels, and is said to be used to “fast-track” the technical development of the app to add new functionality such as analytics and support for more networks, including Pinterest.
SocialSafe is a Mac/Windows app built using Adobe Air, which lets users download and back up their content from social media accounts, with support for Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Viadeo. The resulting archive is then searchable or can be browsed via a handy calendar view.
Interestingly, however, unlike the likes of Backupify, SocialSafe shuns the cloud for the actual back-ups. Instead all data is stored locally on a user’s PC where, of course, it can still be manually pushed to the cloud using a complementary online back-up service. I’m told that this is in part because the Term of Service of most social networks and their associated developer APIs prohibit storing a full duplicate of their data in the cloud. It also ensures that SocialSafe never sees a user’s data, significantly strengthening its privacy card. In the future, however, the company plans to add third-party cloud storage support to make a DIY approach simpler.
As for why you’d use SocialSafe over Twitter’s own slowly rolling out back-up functionality, or Facebook and LinkedIn’s existing archive support, it’s fair to say that the app goes a lot deeper in terms of exactly what data is backed up and the way it makes it browsable. For example, Twitter only exports a user’s tweets, not their follow/follower graph, DMs, or mentions, all of which SocialSafe retrieves.
In the future, SocialSafe’s competitive advantage should also extend to what the startup is calling “smart visualisation of usage insights,” which presumably pushes the app towards social media professionals/companies, not just consumers. In fact, when I met up with Ranger recently, he did suggest that one use for an app like SocialSafe is for regulatory compliance, where in the UK, for example, companies can be required to keep a record of all official communication. And, yes, that could include tweets and Facebook Page updates.