Archive for the ‘felicis ventures’ tag
Airbnb has grown dramatically over the last year, announcing last month that it topped 10 million total nights booked, with more than 200,000 active properties listed on its site. But one area where it expects huge growth is on mobile, which is fast becoming a key focus for the company. About 20 percent of Airbnb’s traffic comes from the iPhone, iPad, Android, and mobile web browsers, and it fully expects that traffic to skyrocket over the coming years, especially in international markets.
Airbnb recently redesigned its website and iPhone app, but it also recognizes the need to continue improving the mobile experience and get on new platforms. With the talent wars heating up, many companies are finding that it’s easier to acquire talent than to hire it, Airbnb among them. To that end, Airbnb has acquired DailyBooth, in what is essentially an acqui-hire of CEO Brian Pokorny and key design and engineering talent behind the company’s DailyBooth and Batch apps.
Dailybooth was incubated out of Y Combinator in 2009, as a way for users to share daily photos of themselves with each other on the web. The startup went on to raise $7 million since then, including a $6 million Series A round that was led by Ignition Partners last spring. Other prominent investors include Sequoia Capital, Betaworks, True Ventures, SV Angel, Kevin Rose, Caterina Fake, VaynerMedia, Lowercase Capital, Felicis Ventures, Joshua Schachter, and Chris Sacca.
As for Pokorny — he joined Dailybooth as CEO a little less than two years ago, leaving SV Angel to do so. In his time there, he focused on taking the company mobile and expanding its product line, including the launch of popular photo-sharing app Batch last November. As a fellow Y Combinator alum, he also knows Airbnb founders Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia from way back, so it’s an opportunity for the friends to all work together.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but the acqui-hire will probably be seen as a big bummer to rabid Batch and Dailybooth users: While there are no plans as of yet to shut those services down, development on both will stop, as the team will be focused on building product for the new mothership. An Airbnb spokesperson told me that if plans change in the future, Dailybooth and Batch users will be given ample notice before those services are closed.
Following $16.7 Million Series B, Brazil’s Baby.com.br Expands With Kid-Focused Flash Sales Site Dinda.com.br
With today’s launch of Dinda.com.br, the founding team behind Brazil-based Baby.com.br, is expanding into a new vertical following the success of its original, but more traditional, e-commerce offering targeting new parents. While Baby.com.br is like a Diapers.com for Brazil (and local competitor to Bebestore), with Dinda.com.br, the company is introducing Brazil’s first flash sales site for moms with kids and babies.
“Dinda,” which means godmother in Portuguese, is a popular word in Brazil, Baby.com.br co-founder David Smith tells me. “In the U.S., ‘godmother’ doesn’t mean a whole lot, but in Brazil, every baby has a godmother,” he says. “You hear the word constantly.” He says the “baby culture” in Brazil, as whole, is different, too. Expectant mother parking is as common as handicapped parking is here, and pregnant women get to cut in line everywhere they go. “It’s really fun,” he says, “they love children, they love babies, they love giving gifts…it’s pretty special.”
The new flash sales site Dinda has been operating in private beta for the past month, and the company has already grown its Facebook fan base to 125,000 users, Smith says. These were not users brought over from the Baby.com.br fan base, he clarifies, but represent an organically grown base.
For those unfamiliar with the company, Baby.com.br was started by Smith and co-founder Kimball Thomas last year – the same team who previously founded and sold PoolTables.com. The startup raised a $4.4 million Series A from Tiger Global Management, Monashees Capital, SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, Chamath Palihapitiya and Thrive Capital in October. The investment was particularly notable because it was the first time either SV Angel or Felicis had put money into a Brazilian startup.
Since then, Baby.com.br has been growing quickly. TechCruch’s Rip Emerson reported that by its third month in operation, the site had reached one million visitors per month, had shipped 1,000 orders in a single day, and had been seeing double-digit growth every month since. It has now seen several days of over 1,000 orders and continues to see the same levels of growth. In six months time, the operation grew from a small team to over 100 employees.
Today, that number is 120 (60% female, says Smith), and it now has a Facebook community of 900,000 moms and dads. The company recently closed on an additional $16.7 million Series B from Accel Partners and Tiger Global, and that money is being used to fund the new venture.
For the public launch of Dinda.com.br, the company will launch one new campaign/brand per day, up from the one per week seen during its beta period. And this number will scale rapidly over the next few months, says Smith. Essentially like a Brazilian version of a Zulily or Totsy, Dinda’s primary target is moms – and of course, dindas. The site will feature mostly Brazilian-sourced items, including clothing and toys, and unlike Baby.com.br, it will also have items for older children.
Noting the popularity of Brazil’s two other top flash sites, Prevalia and Brandsclub.com.br, Smith remarks that “they’ve shown that Brazilians really like flash sales model. Things in Brazil are very expensive…people want deals,” he says. “But no one’s really doing it in the baby space.”
The new site is live now at Dinda.com.br.
For many, the appeal of realtime, local commerce platforms like Zaarly is evident almost immediately. For those unfamiliar, the mobile-centric reverse craigslist allows users to post requests to Zaarly’s app — for anything from data entry to a fancy Starbucks mocha frappuccino and how much you would be willing to pay for it. Then users can kick back and wait for their coffee to arrive — or so the idea goes. It’s a great idea, and it works. For a good example, look no further than Greg’s experience.
The initial concept immediately caught the attention of Ashton Kutcher, Felicis Ventures, Paul Buchheit, Bill Lee and Naval Ravikant — to name a few — who put $1 million into Zaarly less than a month after it appeared at LA Startup Weekend.
As appealing as the idea is, however, I must admit that, personally, I was skeptical at first. What about trust? Wouldn’t people just prefer using TaskRabbit and craigslist? How would it scale? The team launched Zaarly 2.0 in March, which began to address the trust issue in particular, removing the anonymity component, allowing users to create profiles along with the opportunity to recommend and review both buyers and sellers.
Of course, Zaarly’s initial model leaves it up to users to discover the app themselves, or by word of mouth, which means that, development-wise, the Zaarly experience is somewhat limited. But, today, the startup took a big step forward in its evolution, launching its “Zaarly Anywhere” API, which boasts seven top content publishers as launch partners, including Everyday Health, The Fancy, LA Times, Cookstr and IKEA Hackers.
As Paul Graham has noted, APIs have become increasingly popular among startups as a tool that enables “self-serve” — or instant — “business development.” Thousands have caught onto this, as have some of the alternative craigslist marketplaces. TaskRabbit, for example, launched an API in February that allowed third-party apps to integrate with the startup’s API to allow their users to outsource their to-do workflows.
Astrid and Producteev were among two early startups to sign on, enabling their users to outsource tasks directly from their apps or portals to the TaskRabbit community with one click. Facebook has grown to a behemoth for myriad reasons, but one of the bigger contributing factors was Facebook Connect and its “Like” button, which worked Facebook into third-party apps and into the fabric of the Web, allowing businesses and sites to port their social graphs and login to various sites using their Facebook info.
Zaarly Anywhere is a natural next-step for the service, borrowing from these previous examples to help expose the service to new users and extend its functionality beyond its native app. Now, through Zaarly integration, visitors can, say, post a request in the Zaarly marketplace and have their requests responded to with a click of a button without having to leave the site they were browsing.
Zaarly co-founder and CEO Bo Fishback also sees the startup’s new API as creating a new revenue stream for its publishing partners by offering them another way to connect their online content with offline commerce.
While its launch partners include impressive names (and user bases), the scope is still somewhat small. But eventually, at least so their thinking goes, you could be browsing any type of online content — like, for example, a review of a new video game. You might check Amazon or other sites to find that it’s not available, but integration with Zaarly’s marketplace allows you to put up a figure to be able to buy or rent the game immediately.
Fishback believes that, in this way, Zaarly can help build a new type of commerce, or at least a new way to buy local. Read about a delicious dinner on a Cookstr, and immediately be able to connect with the Zaarly marketplace to ask a local chef to make it happen. It’s a potentially appealing option for publishers who, with shrinking ad revenues and bottom lines, are nearly all looking for better, non-intrusive yet effective ways to monetize content and increase engagement.
It’s a great way to begin building the Zaarly experience into other websites and through partner channels, leveraging the open web to create dedicated services that encourage people to spend money in their local communities (while creating additional revenue streams). For publishers, Everyday Health’s David Siegel, for example, calls this a great way to pair “inspiration with action.”
But how does it work? While on partner sites, users create Zaarly requests by clicking a button that will be integrated into content, like articles, social media buttons, and photos. The Zaarly API then populates the request with the title, description and location details from the partner’s site, enabling people to receive offers from users in their own community, who can choose the best response and pay through Zaarly’s platform.
Fishback says that the startup’s initial partners fall in line with the most active requests they’ve seen to date in the Zaarly marketplace, namely food, health, wellness, design and home improvement. Going forward, the startup will be looking to incorporate additional partners fast and furiously, while it continues to maintain its open marketplace, which has seen more than $30 million in requests posted since launching in May of last year.
It also represents a positive step forward towards future monetization for Zaarly, which is currently resting on laurels that include a $14.1 million series A raise from Kleiner Perkins, Sands Capital Ventures in October (on top of its initial $1 million), as well as the addition of HP CEO (and former eBay CEO) Meg Whitman to its board of directors.
Zaarly Anywhere opens the startup to a customized experience within dedicated platforms without pushing purchasing or sales in a way that would make most consumers balk. It just gives readers and surfers an opportunity to make the content they enjoy come to life while supporting the kind of skilled, local labor that can help make that happen. Could be a win-win.
Facebook has acquired the team behind Spool, the mobile content-caching startup that launched in September 2011 at TechCrunch Disrupt. At that time, my colleague Sarah Perez snappily described its service as “Instapaper on steroids.”
This looks like a pure talent acquisition — it doesn’t appear that any of the technology Spool built will be integrated into Facebook, and the company has already shut down its service. Spool raised a $1 million round of venture capital this past January from a group including SVAngel, Felicis Ventures, Yuri Milner’s Start Fund and YouTube founder Steve Chen.
We’ve reached out to Spool for more information about the deal — financial details, staff numbers, and the like. This will be updated with any news we receive.
Facebook sent along this statement about the deal:
“The Spool team has deep expertise in mobile software development and a passion for making content easy to consume. We’re excited for the team to join and accelerate their vision at Facebook.”
We started Spool to make content easy to consume on a mobile device. To accomplish this, we built some very sophisticated technology and developed a deep expertise in mobile software development. We firmly believe that solving these problems will be increasingly important as the world accesses the Internet primarily through mobile devices.
We are proud to announce that today we will be pursuing our vision as a part of Facebook. If you were a Spool user, please read the instructions on retaining your bookmarks.
We are extremely excited to accelerate our vision and help Facebook’s users connect and share with the people in their lives. We wouldn’t be in a position to have this sort of impact without our supporters and the Spool community. Please accept a heartfelt thank you for supporting us and for affording us this opportunity.
The Spool team
In a blog post this morning, Spool co-founder and CEO Avichal Garg said the company developed “some very sophisticated technology” to power its app. “We firmly believe that solving these problems will be increasingly important as the world accesses the Internet primarily through mobile devices,” he wrote.
The news doesn’t mean that Facebook is developing its own Instapaper competitor, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if it did. Facebook has been focused on keeping people within its ecosystem as much as possible, so it would be a major win for the social network if users could save external web content and read it within Facebook.
Spool’s existing service will be shut down as part of the acqui-hire. The company suggests synchronizing your Spool bookmarks with competitors like Delicious or Pocket. The service was particularly unique since it could save all sorts of web content, including images and PDF files, and it also allowed you to push content easily to your friends. (That’s another feature I imagine Facebook is drooling to replicate.)
A Facebook representative sent along the following statement to VentureBeat: “The Spool team has deep expertise in mobile software development and a passion for making content easy to consume. We’re excited for the team to join and accelerate their vision at Facebook.”
Spool raised $1 million in funding earlier this year from SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, Steve Chen, Kevin Donahue, and others.
Additional reporting by Jennifer Van Grove
Investment firm Felicis Ventures announced today that it has raised $70 million for a new fund, its third and largest to date since 2006.
Felicis has previously invested in a number of high-profile startups making waves in the tech industry today, including Angry Birds-maker Rovio, Shopify, Wildfire, Inkling and others. Many of its startup investments have also gone on to make successful exits, with the most recent being Facebook’s purchase of mobile gifting app Karma in May.
As for the latest fund, the firm said it plans to continue investing invest more category-leading companies as well as new areas of potential growth in 3D imaging, bio-informatics, and connected devices at home. To do so, Felicis is adding two new partners to its ranks: Renata Streit Quintini, who will focus on e-commerce and education investments; and Sundeep Peechu, who will focus on mobile, enterprise, and health investments.
“The top one-fourth of our companies are on track to generate an aggregate $800 million in annualized sales this year — our portfolio companies are not just leading with innovative technologies but they’re also building solid businesses,” said Felicis Ventures founder Aydin Senkut in a statement.
(Disclosure: Senkut is an investor in VentureBeat.)
Felicis commissioned an infographic outlining its past successes, which we’ve embedded below. (Click image to enlarge.)
Top image via Iaroslav Neliubov / Shutterstock
Filed under: deals
What happens when a super angel gets its wings? You become a boutique fund.
Or at least that’s how Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures is putting it with a fresh fund worth about $70 million. That’s up from the firm’s previous $41 million fund and a big change from Senkut’s early dabbling in angel investing from years ago. Senkut is an early Googler who has turned a hobby into a fund that now supports a team of five and more than 80 companies.
The Palo Alto firm is mirroring a trend we’re seeing across the entire industry as early-stage funds get bigger. Dave McClure’s 500 Startups recently raised $50 million while True Ventures closed $205 million yesterday and Seattle’s Madrona Ventures closed its biggest fund yet this week with $300 million. First Round, which is laser-focused on supporting companies through their first 18 months of life, also closed a $135 million fund last month. Then there are the big venture firms with early-stage funds like Greylock’s Discovery Fund and a new seed fund led by Kleiner Perkins’ Aileen Lee.
What this means is that there is plenty of early-stage capital chasing companies despite headwinds from Facebook’s lackluster IPO. Senkut tells us that he went for a bigger fund so that he could support more services like recruiting, marketing and PR and design for Felicis’ portfolio companies. The firm has added additional partners like Renata Quintini and Sundeep Peechu, who bring legal and technical expertise.
There is also the desire to keep some dry powder in case the fund wants to do follow-on investments.
“We don’t want to be limited to seed investments,” Senkut tells us. “We want to support companies through multiple rounds. We’re graduating to what we call a boutique fund.”
This is key because Series A rounds remain more elusive compared to the easier money for seed and angel funding. The ease with which many founders have been able to attract seed funding had raised concerns that there might be companies that are orphaned when they try to raise more capital in a “seed crash” or a “Series A crunch.”
That hasn’t been the case so far. The fact that so many early-stage investment firms are getting bigger means that more super angels are able to continue supporting their companies later on.
Despite the amount of early-stage capital chasing startups, Senkut says Felicis has a unique angle in focusing on health, education, mobile, e-commerce and enterprise. He pointed to some of the fund’s more prominent investments like Finland’s Rovio, which Felicis went in on when it was worth about $200 million, and Practice Fusion, which is focused on building free, web-based electronic medical records. It also invested in Inkling’s Series A and Series B rounds. Inkling is a company led by Apple alums that is revolutionizing the textbook industry with tablets and the iPad in mind.
He says Felicis is taking a closer look at areas like bioinformatics and connected devices. Dropcam, which is a Wi-Fi-enabled video monitoring camera that saves HD video online, is an example of this strategy. Felicis supported the company in its seed and Series A rounds.
Felicis says that the top one-fourth of its portfolio companies now generate $800 million in annualized revenue and that the total enterprise value from all of the firm’s exits is about $1.2 billion. There have been notable exits like Mint’s $170 million sale to Intuit, Chomp’s roughly $50 million sale to Apple and Karma’s roughly $70 million sale to Facebook.
He added that the fund was more than 40 percent oversubscribed and that all of the existing institutional investors came back this time. He said they also added a “leading endowment,” a “leading foundation” and Tencent as additional limited partners.
Senkut’s relationship with Chinese Internet giant Tencent goes way back to his Google days, when he arranged the first strategic deal between the Shenzhen-based company and Google in 2004. It underscores Felicis’ more international approach to thinking with investments in Finland, Brazil and Israel.
How hot are to-do lists? Quite hot, apparently. After Sunday’s launch of the popular Android to-do list app Any.DO on iOS and web, co-founder and CEO Omer Perchik tells us that download numbers are exploding. Try this number on for size: Any.DO saw 100,000 downloads of its iOS application in just 24 hours. And this is without the app being featured by Apple, he says.
In addition to the download numbers, Perchik says that iPhone users created over 500,000 tasks using the free app just yesterday. (Wow, you guys are busy! I only have one thing on my to-do list:”blog.”)
For background, the company behind Any.DO is the same that built another popular Android to-do list app called Taskos, which reached a million downloads, despite having been created “for research purposes” only. While Perchik won’t reveal Any.DO’s Android download numbers specifically, the company reports it’s in the “millions.” However, the Android version reached half a million downloads in its first 30 days, the company had previously reported.
Any.DO is backed by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Blumberg Capital, Genesis Partners, Palantir’s Joe Lonsdale, Felicis Ventures (Aydin Senkut) and Brian Koo (and is the process of raising right now). The investor line up hints that the team might have bigger plans than simple to-do list management. In fact, the company previously stated that they’re working towards a more intelligent system for helping people “actually get things done.” Hmm. Perchik says that the next version of the app will begin to reveal what some of those new tricks may be, teasing that it will include “more intelligent and more interesting things.” Stay tuned.
Any.DO’s free app is now available for iOS, Android and Chrome, the latter as either and extension or Chrome Web App. (One note – just be careful to grab the right one in iOS – someone else is also using the “AnyDo” name. The correct iOS app is here).
Last October, Kimball Thomas and Davis Smith launched Baby.com.br with $4.4 million in backing from an impressive group of Silicon Valley and international investors, including Tiger Global Management, Monashees Capital, SV Angel, Felicis Ventures, Chamath Palihapitiya and Thrive Capital. For SV Angel and Felicis Ventures, this marked the first time that either firm had invested in a startup based in Brazil.
Why the interest from these top investors? Well, for starters, the co-founders had started PoolTables.com with $20K right out of college, were able to turn a profit in their first year, and, since they didn’t raise any outside funding, were able to sell it in early 2011 for what Smith says was “a nice little profit.” But, more importantly, it gave them experience with how to work with international investors (many of which were in China) and how to run an eCommerce site.
But, with Baby.com.br, they’re tackling what they think is a much bigger area of the eCommerce market in a country that’s just starting to see its Internet adoption and Internet-focused businesses take off: Brazil. Forrester, for example, forecasts that the eCommerce industry in Brazil will grow at 18 percent year-over-year, with total sales expected to reach $22 billion by 2016.
It also helps that Smith has been living in Latin America now, on and off, for 13 years. He and Thomas identified Brazil as an ideal setting to launch an eCommerce business based on skyrocketing Internet penetration, the dramatic increase in B2C eCommerces businesses popping up over the last year, and its sizable population (just under 200 million). While the co-founders knew that it was still early to be entering the nascent Brazilian eCommerce space, they still felt that the market was close enough to an inflection point that it was worth it. You have to remember, Davis says, nine years ago, only 8 percent of Brazilians used the Internet. Today, that number has jumped to about 50 percent. Now that’s hockey-stick growth.
After a trip last year to Rio de Janeiro last year, in which Thomas struggled to find diapers for his young son, spending hours in the car and visiting at least three stores before finding a place that sold the right size, the co-founders decided to focus on the online baby market. Smith tells us that they saw a Brazilian baby market that was fragmented and lacked a clear leader, while the demand was high among young parents and disposable income in the country, on the whole was (and is) on the rise.
But growing a business in Brazil is not without its hurdles, which is why, rather than add a whole new variable to the list, they decided to go with a business model they knew would work, and took to replicating the Diapers.com biz model for the Brazilian market. Thus, today Baby.com.br is a full-service eCommerce site that hawks all things babies — toys, strollers, diapers, furniture, etc.
While Thomas and Smith bootstrapped PoolTables.com, maxing out personal credit cards and taking out second mortgages, they knew the second time around that Baby.com.br would be a much more capital intensive business. After all, Diapers.com raised about $70 million in equity before it sold to Amazon last year for $545 million. So, the co-founders (and cousins) decided to focus on raising money from investors that could help them build a defensible business model in Brazil, no easy feat in spite of the growing national interest in eCommerce.
Through their investors, Smith and Thomas got in touch with Angelica, one of Brazil’s most popular celebrities — a former childhood TV star and singer, and the current host of a popular children’s show. Being a young mother herself, she joined the team as the Chief Mommy Officer, recommending products for moms and just generally being a brand evangelist. Her husband Luciano Huck, also a famous TV star in Brazil (who Smith describes as the Ashton Kutcher of Brazil), has also been active investing in startups, like Crunchies winner Peixe Urbano, for example.
Considering both are active on social media (Huck was the first Brazilian to pass 1 million followers on Twitter), Smith says that their mutual participation has been a boon for the startup, helping them increase conversion and jump to 750K followers on Facebook. Although the co-founders aren’t eager to share growth numbers for competitive reasons, they did say that, by their third month in operation, they were seeing one million visitors to the site per month, had shipped 1,000 orders in a single day, and have seen double digit growth every month since. As a result, they’ve grown from a small team to over 100 employees in about six months.
But, again, growing a business in Brazil even with celebrity endorsement isn’t easy. For years, the country dealt with crippling hyperinflation, which in turn destroyed a generation of entrepreneurs in Brazil, Smith says, and leaving not only entrepreneurs but workers and consumers extremely risk averse. As a result, it makes it challenging to compete for talent, and hire away from the big, established multinational companies in Brazil. Not to mention the fact that equity is, generally speaking a novel concept in Brazil, nor does being backed by names like “SV Angel” or Tiger Global — which would likely be recognized in the U.S.
The cost of skilled labor is high, and so are salaries. In the U.S., the payroll tax is about 15 percent, whereas in Brazil it’s closer to 70. Companies generally have to pay at least one meal a day for their employees, they have to pay for transportation, etc. So, while the worker protections built into national policy can make it a dream for the skilled laborer, it’s not exactly easy on the pockets of a startup, when they’re having to pay 100 to 120 percent on top of salary. “Plus, it’s nearly impossible to fire someone, and you can get sued for just about anything here,” Smith says.
So, startups attacking the Brazilian market have to inspire prospective employees with their belief and their mission, they have to be able to explain the value of equity, as well as be aggressive and creative in the ways the recruit talent. The latter, at least, should sound somewhat familiar to startups in the U.S.
Baby.com.br, for example, recently put together a website specifically for a recruit, in the hopes that it would capture his attention and begin a dialogue. You can see the site here. It worked. As can be seen in the ensuing conversation, Henrique was intrigued and a few days ago officially joined the startup.
While this strategy has proved successful for the startup, Smith admits that it’s become a lot easier to recruit talent now that they have some traction, celebrities, and VC backing. There’s still a lot of bureaucracy in the Brazilian system, and bootstrapping is almost impossible, but the opportunity make it worth it, he says, as Brazilians are ready to consume online.
In turn, Brazilians are adopting social media fast and furiously, and, again, while it’s still nascent, the team believes they can help create a new kind of eCommerce in the country, and are working on slowly introducing fCommerce and social commerce experiences into their own model and into the Brazilian lexicon.
It remains tough for young startups to find the traction they need to survive, but the ecosystem is growing and startup networks are beginning to take off, and so Smith and Thomas hope that plucky young entrepreneurs can learn from the Baby.com.br story and, in turn, capitalize on an emerging market.
For more on Baby.com, check ‘em out at home here.
Any.DO, the gorgeous to-do app for Android, has finally made its way to the iPhone and the web today. Developed by the team behind Taskos, one of the most popular to-do list applications on the Android Market, Any.DO launched last November backed by $1 million in angel funding, making a few iPhone users (ahem *clears throat*) jealous of something on Android for a change.
Besides the basics of t0-do list management, the app supports gestures, auto-predictive text, and voice-to-text recognition, all of which are packaged in easy-to-use and attractive interface.
Of course, the iPhone is a more competitive landscape than Android when it comes to these things. And being both pretty and useful are (more often) par for the course on iOS, not features to make one take note. (Look, I rocked a Nexus S for a year and a half, but my favorite Android apps let me hack away at the phone – they weren’t necessarily what I’d call elegant. Your mileage may vary.)
Plus, in the time since Any.DO’s original debut, the iPhone has seen new, buzzy-worthy to-do list makers appear, like the heavily-anticipated app Clear, which changed the traditional paradigm by ditching menus in favor of an all-gesture UI.
But unlike Clear, which goes for simplicity, Any.DO focuses on integrations with other services, like Facebook and Twitter, for example.
However, this is a team that knows how to build a product. The company’s Taskos app, launched for “research purposes” only, had topped a million downloads by the time of Any.DO’s arrival. And Any.DO grabbed half a million downloads in just 30 days on Android. It’s now used by “millions,” the company says.
For a seemingly simple to-do app, Any.DO has a ton of investors, including Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors, Blumberg Capital, Genesis Partners, Palantir’s Joe Lonsdale, Felicis Ventures (Aydin Senkut) and Brian Koo, as well as advisors Erick Tseng, head of mobile products at Facebook, and Elad Gil, VP of Corporate Strategy at Twitter. So perhaps you might guess that Any.DO’s bigger vision goes beyond the mere to-do item. The company is working towards a more intelligent system for helping people actually get things done, but details on what that really means are still sparse.
Also new today is Any.DO for Chrome, a plugin for managing to-do’s from the browser. Note that when you go to install Any.DO for iPhone, there’s another app by that name already there. Make sure you grab the right one: Any.DO is here.