YC-Funded Project Management Tool Interstate Goes 2.0, Adds Paid Accounts, Chat & Embeds

Interstate is a project management application for small teams that focuses on providing businesses and developers with easily sharable roadmaps for their projects. The Y Combinator-funded startup which launched out of the incubator’s summer 2011 class is launching version 2 of its service today. This update marks the launch of Interstate’s freemium model (the service was only available for free until now). Users can now get free accounts for up to two users and will have to pay $9 per extra user after that. In addition, Interstate is launching two major new features: reatime chat and the ability to easily embed roadmaps on a website.

The company tells us that it currently has about 8,000 users, which doesn’t sound like much, but among the companies that are using it are Cisco and hosting service MediaTemple (here is MediaTemple’s public roadmap, for example). The difference between Interstate and other project management tools is the application’s focus on open project management. As Y Combinator partner and Posterous founder Garry Tan told us earlier this week, the company’s “customers love Interstate because it turns tire-kicking potential customers into users, since people can see exactly what is coming next.”

With this update then, Intestate is making it easier for its users to embed these roadmaps on their sites. The team is also adding a real-time chat feature which should allow small teams to do away with stand-alone tools like Hipchat to organize their work.

As the company’s co-founder Simon Fletcher told me, adding real-time chat is obviously a bit of a departure from the service’s original mission. According to Fletcher, however, it made sense to add this, as it brings more context to what is happening around a certain task and the service’s users were already using tools like IRC or HipChat to communicate around their tasks anyway.