Chegg founder's stealthy Kakai may be building gesture-based consumer device

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Kakai, an incredibly secretive Santa Clara, Calif., company (even though it has more than 40 employees already), has raised $50,000 of a targeted $100,000 round of options, warrants and securities, according to a filing with the SEC.

A past TechCrunch story on the company suggests that it is building a fancy new electronic reader, and an old job listing mentioned something about a Linux-based consumer electronics product. But even more clues can be stripped from its recent (Jan. 11) call for a senior visual designer:

Kakai is in search of a talented senior visual designer to join the user experience group at a super hot, stealth startup. Kakai is working on the leading edge of touch/gestural interfaces for connected and disconnected devices, and we are designing a suite of gestural applications from scratch.

The senior visual designer in question would also need to be able to handle animation, web design, desktop applications and icon design. Experience with retail products is also mandatory.

The post also reveals that the company is working with San Francisco design agency Hot Studio to build a user-friendly interface. That agency has a roster of prestigious clients including eBay, the Gap, Charles Schwab and Salesforce.com. It lists web site and application design as specialties — as well as book design, interestingly enough.

Nothing else is known about the startup aside from the prestigious people in its orbit. It was co-founded by Chegg founder Osman Rashid, who also provided its $1.85 million seed round along with Maples Investments managing partner Mike Maples. And at the end of last month, Kakai raised $7.5 million more from Andreessen Horowitz (the firm started by Netscape mogul Marc Andreessen), First Round Capital and famed Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway.


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