It all started in a basement in Manhattan. The guys from Lua (which you may remember from the TechStars NYC Demo day a few months back) had the opportunity to meet with none other than Andy Weissman after a few friendly connections got them in touch. Weissman came to their basement “office,” and sat down to give them about an hour’s worth of feedback. It was then that Lua got the idea to apply for TechStars and take the leap.
And it would seem that leap (with the help of Mr. Weissman) has paid off, as the company just announced a $2.5 million seed round led by Roger Ehrenberg’s IA Ventures . Angels Aaron Stone of Apollo Global Management, Strauss Zelnick of Take-Two Interactive Software, John Maloney (former Tumblr president). The Dark Knight Rises producer Charles Roven also participated in the round.
Lua Technologies, if you are unfamiliar with it, is a platform that helps facilitate communication within a mobile work force. This ranges from movie sets to construction sites to cruise ships, and can actually extend much further than that. The idea is that email, SMS, or some other form of social networking simply isn’t sufficient when dealing with massive crews in a mobile workplace environment.
By developing an Android and iOS app (as well as a mobile web interface and SMS functionality), Lua allows the admin of a certain workforce to separate individuals into certain groups. For example, a director on a movie set would categorize hair and makeup, set design, camera crew, talent, etc. into their own groups, so messages are only sent to those who need to see them.
Of course, a director (or any admin/manager) can send messages to the entire workforce if needed, with the ability to require a “copy that” response. Files, images, etc. can also be shared within the app.
Obviously, the entertainment industry is an excellent launchpad for Lua, but they have a much bigger vision. Consider, for example, a retail store. Right now employees and managers are paging each other over a loud-speaker, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Lua would allow employees to communicate from various parts of the store without bothering customers.
Lua is also in talks with Jones Lang LaSalle construction to migrate into new territories, while adding other industries to the “to disrupt” list.