Tandem Raises $100M Third Fund To Back More Mobile Startups

Mobile startup accelerator Tandem is announcing that it has closed a third fund totaling $100 million — a big step up from its second, $33 million fund.

Tandem has previously backed startups like Bash Gaming (acquired by GSN), lost-item tracker Tile, and PlayHaven (now known as Upsight). It invests $200,000 initially and also brings startups to its Burlingame, Calif. offices for a six-month mentoring program.

Co-founder Doug Renert told me that the new, bigger fund will allow Tandem to invest in more startups, to find startups from around the world, and to invest more money after the initial funding. (Tandem says it can invest $10 million or more in a startup.)

I actually wrote about the third fund way back in July 2013, but Renert said the fundraising process took about as long as he’d anticipated, because didn’t really start in earnest until last year — until then, Tandem was still was still using money from the previous fund.

Renert added that Tandem’s focus has expanded to include the Internet of Things, i.e., Internet-connected hardware. In fact, the new office includes a hardware lab. (The photo at the top of this post shows Renert and his co-founder Sunil Bhargava in the lab.) He said he’s particularly excited about startups that aren’t just selling a gadget but offer a service as well, and startups targeting “boring industries that people have actually forgotten about” — he pointed to companies in the current group that focus on swimming pools and home security.

“We actually like these businesses in staid industries that are ripe for disruption,” Renert said.

I mentioned the current batch of startups, and it is indeed a larger group — six startups total (the standard for Tandem was previously three startups, though it was already growing). Here’s the full list, with descriptions provided by the accelerator:

  • Ctrl.me — home monitoring drones, from Los Angeles
  • Doublie — mobile content creation and messaging, from Stanford University
  • Mellow — a smart cooking device, from Portugal
  • PHin — a smart swimming pool sensor and service, from the SF Bay Area
  • Sensies — smart diapers, from Washington D.C.
  • Right — mobile matchmaking, from Israel

The deadline apply for Tandem’s next group of startups is January 19. Here’s the application.