Back in 2011, when Facebook was starting to test Places and consumer collaboration companies like TaskRabbit were really honing in on user acquisition, collaborative consumption was still seen as an experiment. We met with Qriously at TechCrunch Disrupt NY as they came out of stealth to talk about “local” sentiment in real-time, while GroupMe and Foodspotting started to take off as consumer mobile apps in a new space, where no one was certain how successful independent mobile apps could be. Where are they now?
2011 ($1.6MM Seed), 2013 ($3.5MM Series A)
Funding to date: $5.1MM
Using questions (read simplified, lesser than surveys) to collect user data with location to help marketers target marketing better, Qriously took a risk in 2011 that is paying off: they recently closed a $3.5MM Series A funding round, won “best startup” at AdWeek Europe last week and tout that they are now connected to over 300 million people. In a similar space to LocalResponse, Qriously also brags about their prediction rates, including last year’s prediction in relation to Taiwanese political campaigns. While their Series A was nearly two years after leaving stealth and closing a Seed round, Qriously is certainly on a path to expand its sentiment and user data collecting service.
2010 ($850k) 2011 ($10.6 Series B)
Funding: $11.4, acquired by Skype for north of $80MM
Another TechCrunch Disrupt hit, GroupMe became popular and an example of what virality could mean for a mobile app. Featured for Consumer Web back in 2010, they had only raised $850k in funding, by 2011 they closed a $10.6 Series B and soon after were acquired by Skype for more than $50 million in August 2011. GroupMe is still active today with well over 5MM users and pushing close to a billion messages a month. One of its founders, Jared Hecht, was an early employee at Tumblr and rumored to have done well in the recent acquisition by Yahoo!.
2010 ($750K Seed) 2011 ($3MM Series A)
Funding to date: $3.7MM, acquired by OpenTable for $10MM in Jan 2013
FoodSpotting, ahead of its time before Instagram or Vine, lets people share and take photos of food and to also find food and explore different “foodie” things. Last fall they reached over a million downloads of several different iphone app versions. While not seen as a huge exit, FoodSpotting blazed the trail for food and exploration apps as well as showing how far a startup could take a product on $800k or less in funding.
While many movers in the mobile space showed the wide space for acquisition, mobile still has a long way to go. As more web surfing is now done on mobile than computers and as collaboration increases it will not only be sharing data that is popular, but sharing contacts as well.
Question mark photo by Blaj Gabriel.