Back in November, I wrote about an Android app called Agent. Agent uses your phone’s myriad sensors to make your Android smartphone just a wee bit smarter.
It’ll detect when you’re driving, and automatically respond to texts to let people know you can’t type right now. During the hours you normally sleep, it’ll auto silence your phone (but still give people a way to ring through in case of an emergency.) When your battery is low, it can flip the switches to turn off things like Bluetooth and auto-sync to eek just a liiiittle more life out of your phone.
The company behind Agent, Egomotion, recently raised $750k. While it’s not a massive round (Egomotion calls it a “second Seed” rather than a Series A), what I find particularly interesting is who invested.
The round was lead by Google Ventures, and their investment was driven primarily by Rich Miner, one of Android’s four co-founders. When a guy who helped create the platform you’re trying to improve pushes an investment in your company, you’re probably on to something.
Other investors in the round include Initialized Capital, Atiq Raza (founder of NexGen, which sold to AMD for ~$850M back in 1996), Hooman Borghei (one of the iPhone team’s founding engineers), Bee Partners, Vipul Patel, Evan Schwartz, and Tim Jellison.
While the idea of a “second seed” isn’t super common, it’s not unheard of. In this case, it makes a good bit of sense; when Egomotion raised their first seed round at the end of 2011, they were working on a very different product — albeit one of a parallel vein.
Called “Tagstand”, it would trigger events on your phone when they came in contact with NFC tags placed around your home, car, or office. A tag on your nightstand, for example, could silence your phone at bed time.
When they realized that most of what they were using NFC for could be done without needing NFC at all (for example, silencing based on the hours you usually sleep instead of an NFC tag), they changed directions. They sold their NFC technology and company name off to a NFC company in China, and launched a no-NFC-required app called “Trigger”.
While Trigger found an audience, the setup was a bit complicated. When Egomotion found that most Trigger users were just setting up the same group of auto-triggered actions, they released Agent — a pre-packed, pre-configured set made up of just Trigger’s most popular tricks.
For the folks at home who like to keep track of valuations: I’m told this round valued Egomotion/Agent at ~$10M. To date, the company has raised roughly $1.85M.
If you haven’t tried Agent yet (it’s free!), you can find it right over here