Mobile Social Startup CrowdOptic Raises Another $500K, Plans Consumer Launch

CrowdOptic, a startup trying to create a new way for people to interact via line-of-sight “clusters”, has raised another $500,000 in debt financing.

CEO Jon Fisher says this brings the company’s total funding to $2.5 million (including $500,000 that Fisher himself invested in January), and that the round serves as a bridge to CrowdOptic’s profitability, which he plans to reach next quarter. Fisher isn’t disclosing the source of the new funding.

CrowdOptic creates clusters of people based on what you’re looking at through your smartphone camera. If multiple people are looking at the same thing, CrowdOptic will send a notification asking if they want to create a discussion group, where they can share photos and comments. Imagine, for example, if you were outside the Academy Awards and pointing your camera at Angelina Jolie — CrowdOptic could create a discussion group on-the-fly with everyone else looking at her, where you could all comment on her dress.

Unlike most mobile social services, CrowdOptic hasn’t been marketing this as a consumer app, but rather partnering with event organizers. Fisher says the company has signed up nine major event businesses, bringing CrowdOptic to tens of thousands of events. However, CrowdOptic is actually planning to launch a consumer smartphone app of its own at this summer’s London Olympics.