Name: Keepsy

Quick Pitch: Keepsy’s platform allows Facebook (Facebook) friends to collaborate on scrapbooks and to pitch in for group gifts.

Genius Idea: The equivalent of a birthday card on Facebook generally consists of about 100 “happy birthday” wall posts from friends and family. Keepsy hopes to offer a more thoughtful alternative through its collaborative album-making platform, which launched on December 15.

Whoever has the idea to create a birthday scrapbook can invite their Facebook friends to create pages using Facebook photos, text tools, and provided templates. The platform automatically highlights which friends are mutual between the creator and recipient to make this part easy. When friends create their pages, they can also choose to chip in for a group gift — either a hardcover physical version of the book that costs $29.99, or for an Amazon gift card.

Digital scrapbooking and group gift buying have both been done before. Products like Apple’s iPhoto (iPhoto) or Shutterfly could easily be used to create a similar gift album, and eBay launched a group-buying app in November that also leverages Facebook. But Keepsy is the first company, to our knowledge, that has combined the two.

It’s an effective combination. Planning a group gift is usually a pain, but Keepsy makes a gift that is both easy to coordinate and personal. Since the photos and the friends required for the project are already on Facebook, starting an album takes about five minutes.

One challenge for cofounders Peter Weck and Blake Williams is that their first product is a birthday album. Since there’s a surprise component involved, all conversation about the gift album remains between the friends working on the project. Keepsy can’t communicate through public wall posts or in other ways that might attract new users but ruin the surprise.

According to Williams, that’s why expanding to other types of albums, such as class yearbooks or wedding albums, is the startup’s first priority. It’s also looking to add more gift card relationships like the one they have with Amazon. These relationships, along with the physical albums, will be Keepsy’s main source of revenue.

Dave McClure, James Hong, Tim Connors, and other angel investors have agreed that the idea has potential, investing a total of $1.1 million over two rounds of funding.

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Image courtesy of Istockphoto

Source: Mashable