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Ex-Gowalla Founders Raise $2.1 Million for Last, a Stealth Mobile Startup

Spoiler: It has to do with the phone, and geolocation services.

The Last Guide Company

Josh Williams has been involved in geolocation services for quite some time. He’s one of the founders of Gowalla, a mobile-focused location sharing startup he sold to Facebook in 2011, and worked on more mobile products inside the social network.

But after leaving Facebook last year, he’s still chasing an idea that he has worked on for the better part of the last six to seven years: The phone as a portal to discovering the real world around you.

That’s at least part of the motivation behind Last — or The Last Guide Company — a still-stealthy startup that Williams co-founded seven months ago with Adam Michela, a Gowalla co-founder and former Facebook and Dropbox employee. The two announced a seed round of $2.1 million led by Josh Felser’s Freestyle Capital, with participation from a number of firms including Greylock Partners, Google Ventures, Founders Fund and a number of angel investors.

“Our aim is to make it more fun to go out and explore,” Williams wrote in a blog post on Thursday morning.

Williams isn’t tipping his hand much on the new venture, aside from saying the five-person team plans to reveal the product in full later this year.

But I imagine it will riff on themes that Gowalla started but never got to truly finish in 2011, as the company was locked in a neck-and-neck race with Foursquare to be the “winner” in geolocation and check-in apps before being acquired by Facebook. (It’s interesting, too, that Foursquare has had to change its strategy to a more discovery-focused service in the past year.)

Williams said the funding will be used to hire more talent for the small but growing San Francisco-based product team.

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