Pingpad Launches Mobile-Centric Tools For Group Collaboration

Ross Mayfield said that at his new startup Pingpad, “We’re trying to build the next great productivity app.”

Mayfield previously worked as director of business development at LinkedIn and co-founded collaboration company Socialtext. He created Pingpad with his wife Leila Al-Shamari — in fact, they said the idea first came to them when they were planning for their wedding, and they were struck by the lack of good options for planning together. (Other co-founders include Pete Kaminski and David Spector.)

To use Pingpad, users create groups, then they can share notes and lists within those groups, send messages, and create tasks and assignments. None of that might seem particularly groundbreaking, but Mayfield said the aim is to create a platform for all the things you need to “get things done as a group together.”

That means Pingpad is designed around groups, rather than, say, shared documents. It could also mean the company will add more applications in the future.

And yes, there are plenty of collaboration tools out there, but in Mayfield’s view, most of them aren’t really designed for mobile, or they’re focused on a specific aspect of collaboration, like messaging.

“I’m supporting the needs of an individual in all the facets of their identity, in the groups that they get things done with,” Mayfield added.

So Pingpad can be used for collaboration among both your personal and professional groups. Apparently many of the beta testers were college students, and they adapted it to different aspects of their academic and social lives.

The service is currently available for free. The plan, eventually, is to charge for premium features. “People will pay us a little bit of money to be more socially productive.”

The startup has raised more than $1 million from investors including Floodgate, 500 Startups, CrunchFund and Greylock. (Like TechCrunch, CrunchFund was founded by Michael Arrington, and it’s backed by TechCrunch-owner AOL.)