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Boulder, Colo.-based location-platform company SimpleGeo has just announced a second round of funding, a mere five months after the company’s seed funding. The Series A round totals $8.14 million, and in addition to the capital, the company boasts five new hires—mostly former Digg employees.
The company started out with an augmented-reality game, where users could see an overlay of virtual data on views of the real world. It quickly scrapped that business and moved on to offer tools for other companies to build location-based services. That decision seems to be paying off, if the company’s first few months are any indication.
SimpleGeo, originally called CrashCorp, pulled in $1.5 million last November from Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital, Freestyle Capital, and a bunch of well-known angels like Ron Conway, Kevin Rose, Chris Sacca, and Ravi Narashiman. This round was funded by mostly the same crowd, with the addition of Foundry Group from Boulder. Redpoint’s Scott Raney joins SimpleGeo board of directors, which previously consisted of just First Round’s Rob Hayes, an independent investor and cofounders CEO Matt Galligan and CTO Joe Stump (pictured).
So why would the company look for new money so quickly? According to the SimpleGeo blog, there is no time like the present: “The purpose of this round is to put a stake in the ground, to say that we’re here to build something big, something revolutionary.”
In concrete terms, the company is working on their platform. SimpleGeo is aiming to build a data market place for app developers who want to access location data for their own location-based services. The company is also building a new version of their application programming interface (or API) that will scale better, and it is coming out with a new pricing model to serve different business models better.
In addition, SimpleGeo is using the money to put new people on the payroll. The company is beefing up their business development and product management by bringing in Rob Bailey (formerly of Yahoo’s mobile business development team) as VP of business development and Jeffrey Kalmikoff (ex-creative director of Digg and chief creative officer of the online T-shirt company Threadless) as VP of product. Kalmikoff is one of four people who have a background at Digg that SimpleGeo is now bringing in. Other ex-Digg people include Nicole Williams, to manage HR, and engineers Ian Eure and Paul Lathrop.
SimpleGeo has, of course, a history with Digg. Cofounder Joe Stump used to be Digg’s chief architect. According to TechCrunch, three of the new hires were laid off by Digg in March and the fourth one decided to leave. Now, SimpleGeo is bringing in the new guns but also familiar people, which seems to really solidify the team that stands now at 17 employees. The company is opening up a second office in the SOMA district of San Francisco in a month, which will probably outgrow the Boulder headquarters soon. We’ll see what the future holds for SimpleGeo.
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