Smartphones have transformed the work environment, but there are still significant challenges in adapting workflows to a mobile world.
The latest startup to enter the Bring-Your-Own-Device arena is Collaborate.com, a mobile collaboration platform for distributed business teams. Its project management apps for iPhone and Android let you easily access and share files through integrations with Box, Dropox, Evernote, and Google Drive, and keep everything in one place. There are tools for task management and communication, and push notifications to keep people on top of projects.
The service came out of Kibits, a company founded in 2011 that raised money from Google Ventures, Charles River Ventures, General Catalyst, and others for its group messaging app. Towards the end of last year, it raised an additional (unreported) $1.35 million to pivot and fuel development of Collaborate.com.
When you’ve got that domain name, you’d better do something good with it.
Founder and CEO Matt Cutler said his goal is to bring the same conventions we use to manage our personal lives with smartphones to the professional environment. Professionals like automotive dealers, real estate agents, veterinarians, personal security guards, etc. can coordinate their efforts using secure “collaborate rooms” where they can message coworkers, chat in real-time, and share documents, tasks, links etc. This is particularly useful for field workers who need information to make quick decisions.
The BYOD movement presents major issues for productivity, communication, security, and organization. This shift in the business world seems to be here to stay, and a host of startups are building technology in response. Companies like Double Dutch, Taptera, CoTap, Enterproid, Apperian, Tomfoolery, Asana, Outpost, and Springshot (and there are more) as well as large companies like Salesforce and SAP, provide solutions that tackle some aspect of these challenges.
Collaborate is throwing itself into the mix, and in addition to a great domain and a clear, well-designed user interface, the company has a founding team with an impressive track record. Cutler was a founder of Netgenesis, which IPOed in 2000, and brought two other companies to acquisitions. It is based in Boston.
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