Israeli-based startup Meekan has raised seed funding of $870,000 to grow its portfolio of products, which connects different online calendars. $750,000 of the capital was raised from Horizons Ventures, while the rest came from private investors.
With the plethora of calendar and scheduling products already on the market, how does Meekan plan to stand apart? Lior Yavor, the co-founder and CEO of Meekan says that the startup does not plan to make yet another calendar app. Instead, its approach is to connect different calendars, regardless of what calendar is being used or if a meeting was scheduled on a website or through a mobile app.
Meekan was founded in 2013 by Lior Yavor and his son Eyal, along with Matty Mariansky. The startup’s proprietary tech includes scheduling and optimization engines, along with its “flexible time algorithm.” It has already released a beta version of its iOS app for iPhone and iPad, with an Android version in the works.
Yavor identifies Doodle, an online scheduling service, as a competitor, but says that Meekan will differentiate by connecting all aspects of a meeting, including scheduling, communication, and collaboration. “Meekan will also help you schedule and shift meetings to optimize your agenda, maximizing effectiveness, and minimizing your commute,” says Yavor.
In addition to its own products, Meekan will also make its tech available as an API for app developers. “People today are using various calendar apps and entry points to schedule meetings, spending an average of five hours a week managing their calendars,” says Yavor, citing a 2013 Harvard study. “There are about 900 million calendar accounts out there, yet they can’t ‘see’ one another, so when it comes to scheduling a meeting, you often default to what we call ‘email ping-pong.’ We’re here to eliminate that by simplifying the scheduling process and helping people regain control over their calendars.”
Meekan’s free product seeks to help people who are scheduling meetings across different time zones and organizations by pinpointing the best times for a meeting, Yavor says. It does this by looking at time availability, time zones, and the working hours of attendees, regardless of what calendar app they are using (Gmail, Google Apps, Exchange/Office365.com, or iCloud).
The company plans to monetize by charging for its enterprise products, which will be geared toward small- to medium-sized businesses. It will keep its mobile and desktop consumer products and partner API free. Yavor says several businesses with more than 10,000 employees are already lined up to become Meekan’s beta consumers, and the startup is also in talks with travel and leisure companies to integrate its “flexible time algorithm” into their existing reservation systems.