Seattle entrepreneur Ford Davidson announced today he has raised $1.5 million for his new startup Coolr, three years after selling his last startup to HTC.
Davidson is being quiet about what he is working on next, but hinted that it has to do with the enterprise chat category, including companies like Microsoft’s Yammer, VMware’s Socialcast and startups like Slack.
“Yammer and Slack represent a new type of enterprise software category, that is enabled by bring your own app to work that is designed for mobile and all the screens people use,” Davidson said. “It is not email, and reflects the way people increasingly are working. Coolr is part of this new type of enterprise software category, but with a different core focus.”
Davidson’s last startup, Dashwire, developed a phone back-up service that allows users to easily sync contacts, photos, text messages and other content to the Web. After selling to HTC for $18.5 million in 2011, its technology was integrated with HTC’s cloud service, which was shut down. After that, Dashwire operated as a wholly owned subsidiary and embedded its software into HTC’s devices, which offers mobile and web apps that help phone owners setup and personalize devices.
Since leaving in April, Davidson has been working on the idea within the offices of Trilogy Equity Partners, and today he’s giving us a glimpse of what he’s working on now. Rather than build a consumer-facing product like last time, this time he’s focused on the enterprise.
Davidson came up with the idea while working at HTC he said in an email sent to GeekWire.
“When I arrived at HTC – the team I joined had one of the lowest engagement scores at the company on the annual survey,” he said. “It was challenging and fun, and with the great managers I was working with, we were able to create a highly engaged, highly productive team that was building services that mattered to the company.”
Davidson said according to recent surveys only 30 percent of employees are engaged in their jobs.
All of Coolr’s investors previously backed Dashwire, which raised about $5 million, are returning to participate in this round. Coolr’s investors are: Trilogy Equity Partners and angels Geoff Entress, Serena Glover and Chris Bayley. Voyager Capital also participated, the only investor which did not previously invest in Dashwire. Mikal Thomsen, co-founder and partner at Trilogy Equity Partners, will join the company board.
The company is current leasing space at WeWork in South Lake Union and has plans to hire 10 people with the funding.