There’s no shortage of applications that help mobile phone users share their physical locations. Even so, Glympse — a Redmond startup co-founded by two former Microsofties — believes it can stand out from the pack. And some very large venture capital firms tend to agree, with Glympse announcing today that it has scored $7.5 million in a second round of funding from Menlo Ventures and Ignition Partners.
That’s a serious amount of cash for a six-person company that previously raised just $600,000. But CEO Bryan Trussel, who previously spent 16 years at Microsoft, believes they can use the cash infusion to attack new opportunities in the personal location sharing arena.
“Our goal is to make it the easiest way to share your location with another person,” said Trussel.
Say you’re running late for a meeting, and want to notify your friend that you’ll be 15 minutes. With Glympse, you can send a notification which allows them to track your whereabouts in real time on an interactive map.
In addition to the new financing, the Redmond company also announced that it has attracted more than one million users with next to no marketing spend.
The new cash will not be used to aggressively market the product, with Trussel saying that they want to continue to let it spread virally via users of the product. (It naturally spreads to new users since people send Glympse alerts to friends or family, thus informing them of the service).
Glympse is slightly different from other location-based apps. Unlike Facebook, Foursquare or Gowalla, which encourage users to “check-in” by broadcasting a location to friends, Glympse is designed to share a location with one individual during a set period of time.
“If you look at the big players out there, they have different angles on what they are trying to get done. They are trying to create a private social network for location sharing that is very static or they have a game mechanic that they are associated with it, some sort of badges or scavenger hunts,” Trussel tells GeekWire. “We are really more on the side of mass market simplicity and utility, and that’s something that there’s really not a lot of people solving right now and we think we are ahead of the curve on it.”
Founded in 2008 by Trussel and Steve Miller, the company has filed for patents around the technology. As a result of the financing, Michelle Goldberg from Ignition Partners and Pravin Vazirani from Menlo Ventures have joined the board.
Glympse, which is available on Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Phone 7, plans to grow to about 20 employees this year.
Asked about the amount of funding, Trussel said they felt it was needed since the company is an a “pretty explosive spot.”
“There’s just way more than we’ll be able to tackle with this funding,” said Trussel. “We are going to be saying no to about 80 percent of the ideas that we’ve got.”