Time-tracking startup Timeular raises $1.1M to help you work smarter

Timeular, the Austrian startup behind the neat Zei time-tracking device that we wrote about last year, has raised €1 million ($1.1 million) in funding to develop new productivity coaching tools to help you work smarter.

The company is best known for the Zei, its eight-sided device that is Bluetooth-enabled and acts as a timer. You simply program each side to a different task and tip it when you’re working on a particular task or change to another.

The device blew past its €75,000 goal on Kickstarter, going on to raise €313,637 from over 3,000 backers. It caught the eyes of others, too. Timeular was named Austrian startup of the year for 2016, which, in turn, put it on the radar of domestic VC Speedinvest which is financing the €1 million round.

Having first helped people keep track of time, the goal is now to help them work with more efficiency.

“Time-tracking is nice but you need to create some value because people struggle for insight into their data,” Timeular CEO Manuel Bruschi told TechCrunch in an interview. “We want to help people to become more productive and see how they can spend their time better.”

The company is using this new fundraising to develop a time-tracking and productivity solution that will give users tips to boost their output, and reports into how their work productivity is faring. The service will work best when paired with a Zei — which is available for €115 ($129) from the Timeular website — but Bruschi said the idea is to make it open for all.

The exact details are still to be defined, but he said that the core service will be available to paying users, who would subscribe to an ongoing paid membership package. There may be limited options for free users.

“People are stating to care more about time than money,” Bruschi added. “That’s what we want to help them achieve. It used to be ‘work hard, play hard,’ but now we think it is more important to work smart. For example, working 30 hours a week while keeping the same output and making time for other things in life.”

Timeular plans to introduce its upcoming product in the third quarter of this year, initially in beta with a full launch expected before the end of 2017. Interested users can sign up here for updates on the progress of the launch.

Speedinvest partner and hardware expert Lucanus Polagnoli is among those eagerly anticipating the service.

“Timeular has developed a revolutionary product to tackle one of our greatest challenges: finding time for important things in life,” he told TechCrunch via email. “Manuel and his team have the potential to really change the way we make use of our time.”