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Venture capitalists don’t commonly shell out for tomfoolery, but today they are.
A stealth startup called Tomfoolery closed a $1.7 million seed round to make work “awesome.” It does this by developing user-friendly mobile enterprise applications that are as easy and enjoyable to use as many consumer-facing applications.
“In your personal life, social mobile applications are beautiful, their functionality is meaningful, and they let you to make real, human connections,” said CEO Kakul Srivastava in a statement. “At work, today’s enterprise software makes us feel about as close to our coworkers as strapping spreadsheets to carrier pigeons.”
Startup land is all about fostering company culture, and multiple studies have found that a positive atmosphere in the workplace encourages productivity. Furthermore, the growth of Bring-Your-Own-Device and the distributed workforce has created a growing need for mobile applications that let employees work on the go. Tomfoolery designs its application with these principles in mind.
The founders have impressive backgrounds in management and consumer technology. CEO Kakul Srivastava is a former VP at Yahoo and worked as the General Manager at Flickr. Her cofounder, Sol Lipman, is a former VP of mobile at AOL and previously founded startups Rally Up, 12seconds.tv, and Sticky Inc. With Tomfoolery, they combined forces and applied their expertise to the enterprise world.
“Anyone with a smartphone and a job should care about the quality of apps they use in the workplace,” said Srivastava in a Q&A. “Tomfoolery is focused on enabling the spirit of fun and play that’s the hallmark of great team culture. Work doesn’t have to feel tough, or hard, or serious. In the best teams, work is awesome, it’s something fun and creative — and you can’t wait to get started when you wake up in the morning.”
There are many competitors in the social enterprise space, most notably Asana, Endesk, Jive, Yammer, Workday, Podio, and Chatter. Tomfoolery is distinguished by its mobile-first focus.
Investors include big names like Ash Patel of Morado Venture Partners, Sam Pullara from Sutter Hill Ventures, Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang through AME Cloud Ventures, Andresseen Horowitz, YouSendIt CEO Brad Garlinghouse, and Tech Stars NY cofounder David Tisch.
Tomfoolery is still in stealth mode. The team of six is based in San Francisco.