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Russ Stromberg.
Russ Stromberg.

A stealthy new Seattle startup wants to use your smartphone and the “Internet of Things” to help sports fans, music lovers, and others enjoy a “VIP experience” each time they attend a live event.

Osmosis just raised $1.7 million to help develop a new platform based around using technology to enhance the live event experience with custom, 1-to-1 communication.

The company originally started two years ago inside of Synapse, the 14-year-old Seattle-based product development firm that was acquired by Cambridge Consultants last month and does work for clients like Nike, Valve, Microsoft, Samsung and others.

It spun out into its own corporation in January 2015, with wireless technology veteran and former Synapse account director Russ Stromberg heading up Osmosis as president.

Now the company has raised money from investors like Foxrock Partners, a New York City-based sports marketing agency owned by Peter Farnsworth, former head of business development for the NBA; Seattle-based product design firms Tactile and BlinxUX; and others.

blazersmodacenter111Stromberg wouldn’t reveal much about Osmosis, but he told GeekWire this week that the startup is developing a “mass personalization platform” that takes advantage of connected devices. Initial applications include live events — for example, Osmosis wants to help people receive customized itineraries and personalized welcome messages on their smartphone when they arrive at an event.

The idea is to make the live event experience more seamless and enjoyable for consumers, while freeing up on-the-ground employees who no longer need to scan tickets at the door, for example. The 1-to-1 communication can also provide clients with information about who is coming to their event, and what they like and dislike.

The software — which can integrate into a team or event producer’s app — is partly built on technology that Stromberg helped develop while at Iota, a Seattle startup he founded in 2009 which sold wearable connected identity devices but ceased operations in 2012.

Stromberg said Osmosis plans to expand beyond just live sports and concerts.

“There’s a demand in the live event space, but these platforms will expand to other consumer segments,” he noted.

Stromberg also describes Osmosis in his LinkedIn profile with this: “Osmosis is defining the next wave of technology that will extend far beyond the keyboard and the phone screen to the physical world and the people who inhabit it.”

Stromberg is the only employee at Osmosis, but he said the company “is in the process of converting key contractors to employees.” He plans on hiring folks like Shawn Rutledge, former chief scientist at Bellevue-based Visible Technologies (which sold in 2014 after raising $80 million), and principal data scientist at Expedia; Chris DiNicholas, founder of video personalization platform Ruckus and a former art director at NFL Network; and others.

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