Today, location-sharing startup HelloWorld is announcing that it has been acquired by Life360 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum.
That’s a pretty fantastic exit, given the fact that the startup was born out of a Y Combinator hackathon in August and built by 5 recent- and soon-to-be-grads who have raised no capital from angels or traditional investors.
HelloWorld founder Ernestine Fu will be joining Life360 to head up a new “Special Projects” division. Both Fu and Life360 co-founder and president Alex Haro say that the company doesn’t have a defined plan for the new division, other than the fact that they’ll be looking at ways the company can use location data to provide unique tools for families, the main social group Life360 hopes to help connect (along with close friends).
That will likely involve the Internet of Things, the illogically popular term for the idea that in the years to come, everything is going to have a sensor sending data about us and our things to be processed in the cloud. Life360 is looking at how they can tie in the kind of data you’d only share with your family with that trend — so, when everyone in a family leaves the home with their smartphone, the house can automatically bring the air conditioning to a more eco-friendly temperature and when it’s time to meet the significant other for lunch, you could just tell your car to navigate to your husband’s location.
In a phone call, Fu told TechCrunch that HelloWorld received offers for funding from angels and VCs alike but turned each down during the initial rush of development around the young startup’s app, which was already working on iOS and Android coming out of the YC hackathon. Among the interested angels was Life360’s Haro, who along with his co-founder was looking to personally invest in HelloWorld about a month ago. But after getting into talks about the future of HelloWorld and the prospects for using location data among tight, private groups, it became clear to those involved that Fu could have a greater impact working on things for Life360’s ~100 million users.
While Fu gets the big new role at Life360, her other four teammates will also be involved in their acquirer’s future projects, though in various capacities. According to Life360’s Haro, most will join the company, though one will continue work on his own separate startup and aid in an advisory role.