M.dot launches and also attracts $600k in additional seed funding

Archimedes Labs was the first investor in Dominik Balough and Pavel Serbajlo’s M.dot. We are pleased to see that the founders have been busy on 2 fronts. Firstly their app has been launched in the Apple app store. It has garnered a ton of positive reviews quickly.. A great example is this one:

Very cool

by Derek Sneed
I’ve only been messing around with it for 10mins, but so far I’m extremely impressed. I’m a web developer, so I was prepared to be jaded. But I found it to be smartly designed…. quite intuitive which surprised me really. The gathering of image or textual content from my existing website is very genius…. Specifically I want to say thank you for allowing us to pick and choose content, rather than just importing all of it. Great job. Look forward to fiddling some more.

Additionally, the team has closed $600k of additional seed financing from Mike Maple’s Floodgate, SV Angel and others.

Congratulations to the team.

M.dot joins the Archimedes Labs family.

We are pleased to announce that after a series of dates we have decided to become betrothed to M.dot (pronounced em dot). Archimedes has invested in the company. The funding closed on Friday July 6th.

Terms of the investment are not being disclosed.

M.dot’s vision is that all businesses can be Mobile accessible and discoverable. The platform allows businesses to create, maintain and promote their mobile presence, all from a smart phone app. In many ways M.dot is similar to the web creation and hosting companies that have served individuals, small and medium businesses and other groups during the web’s growth era from the mid 1990s to today. M.dot’s difference is that it is completely mobile-first without any legacy complications and is entirely focused on providing a mobile presence and mobile specific features such as location awareness and “click-to-call” functionality to these same customer segments.

“I believe everybody with a WWW.dot will want an M.dot in the next several years”,

said M.dot CEO Dominik Balogh.

“Companies will want to take advantage of Mobile specific features and so will want to do much more than simply re-represent their existing web site to a mobile user. We are committed to an aggressive roadmap that will support customer needs in delivering those Mobile specific features.”

Dominik is joined by co-founder Pavel Serbajlo. Pavel is an engineer by background, and Dominik is a designer and user interface developer. They have developed the M.dot platform following a successful partnership with their prior company PoweryBase.

Keith Teare led Archimedes Labs partnership with the founders and our investment in the company. He is a veteran of the Internets web era, responsible for major UK network and services provider EasyNet and also an early investor in NetNames (Now part of
Peer One)
. Keith said:

“The Internet is moving rapidly from the WWW phase to the M.dot phase. Small and medium businesses, and individuals too, will need to have a strong mobile presence. M.dot’s platform is second to none in giving that. We are proud to be shareholders”

Said Keith.

“the M.dot IOS app is a real breakthrough in power and simplicity. It will be in the App Store later this year.”

Blurtt launches in the app store

I first met Jeanette Cajide early in 2011. She was a founder at Blurtt – a company that was then focused on delivering a web based photo-upload service, permitting users to send printed postcards of said photos to friends via mail.

A few things were quickly obvious.


1. Blurtt is a great name, but not for sending postcards.

2. Mobile is the right place to develop what Blurtt could be.

3. Blurtt should let people Blurtt things out…..

4. Combining images with text produces a very powerful means of communicating emotion-rich messages.

5. Jeanette is a force of nature and simply refuses to fail.


So, Blurtt became archimedes labs second acceleration company, after Tomer Kagan’s Quixey. The 12 months since have been great. Jeanette weathered many storms, and succeeded in building a set of relationships that allowed her to ship her product today, with significantly less than $100,000 spent. You can get it from the app store now.

I couldn’t be more thrilled for Jeanette, Laura, Kuba and the team at Dialexa in Texas…..Congrats

I know that the team is planning lots of new features. Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.




Quixey Raises $3.8m from USVP and WI Harper

From TechCrunch:

Quixey, the Palo Alto-based startup that’s building a functional search engine for apps, today announced that it has closed a $3.8 million series A funding round. The investment was led by U.S. Venture Partners and WI Harper Group, with participation from Webb Investment Network alongside follow-on investment by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. The series A round adds to the $400K Quixey raised in April from Innovation Endeavors, bringing total investment to $4.2 million.

We’ve all heard (and perhaps even mocked) the quip “there’s an app for that”. It’s actually a wonderful quality of the mobile revolution: There really is an app for just about everything you can think of, from calling a taxi to managing your schedule to scanning for skin cancer or heart murmors. But, it’s also overwhelming, and searching for the app that you want isn’t easy. There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of imperfect approaches to app search.

Quixey entered the game with the intention to build a new type of search, molded specifically to the unique characteristics of searching for those ubiquitous but sometimes elusive apps. Their solution, coined “functional search”, which not only scans the major app stores, but crawls blogs, review sites, forums, and social media sites to build a truly comprehensive picture of what an app can do — through reviews, word of mouth, and demos.

Quixey’s search engine lets the user type in queries like “baseball scores”, and get a list of applications that provide just that (which they can then can filter by platform). And the best part is that the search engine suppors Windows and Mac apps, iGoogle, extensions, and more. It’s not just iOS and Android.

Though Quixey would seem to be competing with the likes of Chomp and others, the startup also has the added value proposition of being able to power search for other app stores, search engines, and websites — just like Google — to help disseminate its search engine on third party sites across the Web.

Not so surprising, then, that Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors is investing in a great app search tool. Bringing in outside info and data from blogs, review sites, and beyond, really adds an extra layer of depth to app search (especially in being platform agnostic), just as powering search across websites gives Quixey the opportunity to scale and become mixed in with the very sites it crawls. The startup will be using its new investment to continue securing partnerships with app stores and other big third party app resources, and according to the Quixey team, there are more than 25 potential partnerships in the pipeline. The more partners, the more effective the search engine becomes.

It’s an interesting new approach, this “functional search”, and from my experience thus far, works as advertised. Chime in to let us know what you think. More on Quixey here.

Quixey closes seed round – led by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

Quixey announced today that we have joined Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors in seed-funding the company.

Quixey enables searches for apps capable of delivering a specific use case. For example a search for an app that can “Annotate PDFs” returns results as below:

Quixey search result

We are honored to be part of the team and look forward to Quixey fulfilling its potential to be the key search technology driving app discovery across many platforms.

Sign up for the beta here
TechCrunch story here
GigaOm story here.

This is our first investment since the sale of TechCrunch. See the Team page for more.

EasyNet bought by BSkyB

I have been meaning to post on this for a while and didn’t do so because I wanted to wait for the dust to settle. This seems like a good time.

My old company Easynet has been acquired by BSkyB for something around $375m. I was co-founder of the company, in 1994, with my friend David Rowe. David remains CEO. I left about 12 months after our IPO, in 1997, to start RealNames.

Firstly, congratulations to David and his team. But especially to David. He is an incredibly focused entreprenuer who, despite the market cap getting up to $2 billion or so during 1999 remained dedicated to building out a genuine competitor to the Telco incumbents across many markets in Europe.

BSkyB’s acquisition is testimony to that focus. They need an infrastructure capable of driving a triple play (voice, video and data) connection to homes and businesses throughout Europe. because of EasyNet’s DSLAM presence in many telco head ends, there was really no better optioon.

I can claim no credit for the sale, it’s all down to what David and the team have accomplished over the years since I left. And i get no benefit from it – I sold my shares a long time ago. However I’m still feeling proud. I helped David found a great company. we established it as the first consumer ISP in Europe. Highlights for me include being chosen by Microsoft to launch Windows 95 with them; getting our first customer, 6 weeks after having the idea, and banking our first $10 check; meeting lots of great entrepreneurs in CYBERIA (our cybercafe chain at the time); going public without raising venture capital; my time with David and Eva (his partner) debating strategy and tactics; being on a public company board, and realizing it wasn’t what I excelled at. And so many others.

Again, congratulations to all at the company. And good luck with a future with the Murdochs. Bound to be more interesting times ahead.