Breezy, a mobile startup that helps users print and fax documents from their phones, just announced that it has raised $750,000 from big-name investors.
I last wrote about the Oakland, Calif. company in December, under its old name, BreezyPrint. Founder and chief executive Jared Hansen told me he changed the name because he doesn’t want to be limited — the app already allows users to fax as well as print documents from their phone, and Hansen said he’s interested in adding a scanning feature too.
It’s pretty easy to see why the app might be useful — if you do a lot of work on your phone, particularly reading emails, then it can be a pain to have to switch to your computer when you need to print something out. Breezy removes the intermediate step, and Hansen has estimated that the app can save seven minutes in the process. (Hansen is a former corporate lawyer, and he said he created in the app out of frustration with the lack of a print feature on the BlackBerry.)
The bigger question is whether Breezy can turn into a viable business, especially when it’s competing with built-in features like AirPrint on the iPhone. For a consumer, the most promising thing about Breezy is probably its partner network, which will allow users to print in hotels, copy shops, and other partner locations. The network hasn’t launched yet — in part, Hansen said, because he’s been more focused on fundraising for the past few months.
For a business that wants to offer Breezy to its employees, Hansen said Breezy can do more than a service like AirPrint because Breezy works on multiple devices (BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone right now, with an iPhone app in the works), and because it provides analytics about who’s printing what, which can be useful for security and controlling costs.
The funding comes from well-known investor Jeff Clavier’s firm SoftTech VC, Accel Partners (whose partner Rich Wong previously invested in successful mobile companies like AdMob and GetJar), and Felicis Ventures (whose founding partner Aydin Senkut invested in mobile startups Erply and Bump, and who is also an investor in VentureBeat).
Breezy is a graduate of the Founder Institute, an entrepreneur training program and incubator led by TheFunded’s Adeo Ressi.