Surfair
SyncUp
Location: 130 W. Union Street, Pasadena, California, United States United States
Stage: Alpha (prototype)
Number of employees: 1-5
Funding history:
- Date: 11/2014, Accelerator/Incubator: $250 k
Investors: Tom McGovern, Bill Gross
Short URL: vator.co/syncup-1
Followers (2)
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SyncUp

Startup/business
Pasadena, California, United States United States
http://www.goSyncUp.com
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Company description

 

**Update - see our new demo video embedded at the bottom of this page.

 

Overview

SyncUp is an intelligent messaging app that transforms the way busy people coordinate with friends and family. SyncUp uses Natural Language Processing to find key details in your text messages - the SyncUp Bot detects calendar events, to-dos, lists, and even helps you find a good time to meet with friends. Important details are automatically tracked by the SyncUp Bot, which will send you friendly reminders and notifications to make sure nothing gets forgotten or lost.

 

Bot-detected message

 

Integrated task list

 

Assisted scheduling

 

 

The Problem

Many people rely on text messaging to coordinate with others. This could be a husband and wife coordinating pick-up / drop-off for the kids, a group of friends planning their next get-together, or volunteer groups coordinating their next event.  

Text messaging is fast and convenient, but offers little structure or organization. Most people want to be more organized, but don’t have the time or patience (or finger dexterity) to repeatedly copy the important details from their messaging app into other productivity apps for tracking.

 

The SyncUp Solution

SyncUp simplifies the coordination process by using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to detect and track key details for you. The SyncUp Bot can even assist you in responding to others, making it easier to communicate on the go.

 

Here are common examples that come up in text messaging:

 

Example 1

  • The SyncUp Bot automatically detects the task, assigns the owner, sets a reminder, and adds it to a built-in To-Do list, visible by both people in the conversation.

 

Example 2

  • The SyncUp Bot automatically detects the event and adds it to your calendar with a reminder.

 

Example 3

  • The SyncUp Bot automatically detects the inquiry and searches your local contact list, providing you with a list of suggested responses.
  • Tap on the correct “Joe” and SyncUp will send the contact info back to the other person - no typing required!

 

Example 4

  • The SyncUp bot detects the invitation and checks your calendar for you. If the SyncUp Bot detects a conflict, it will even offer suggested responses for you to send with a single tap:
    • ”Sorry - I have something planned already.”
    • ”Lemme see if I can move things around - I’ll get back to you soon.”
    • ”Tonight is bad - but let’s get together soon.”

 

Key details are tracked in conversation filters, making it easy to find all of the tasks or events, etc. that originated in a particular conversation. The filters are available to all participants in the conversation, so everyone will be on the same page. There is no set up or configuration required – as long as you are a participant of the conversation, you have access to all of the data.

 

Competition / The SyncUp Advantage 

None of the existing solutions offer the features and ease of use needed by consumers. 

  • Existing productivity apps are disconnected from users’ existing text messaging conversations (e.g., task management apps such as Wunderlist, Todoist, etc. / calendar apps such as Sunrise, Tempo, etc.) 
  • Existing messaging apps make it easy to communicate, but offer no tools to track important details (e.g., What’s App, Facebook Messenger).
  • Business-focused collaboration apps are powerful, but too complicated for consumer use (e.g., Asana, Basecamp, etc.)

SyncUp takes a new approach by adding intelligence directly to users’ conversations. No more copying / pasting into other apps, no more tedious lookups in other apps, and no new behaviors to learn. The SyncUp Bot automatically detects the key details and tracks them directly within the same app. This is only possible using proprietary NLP algorithms that have been optimized for text messaging.

The result: even busy people will become organized with SyncUp!

 

The Market

SyncUp intersects two of the fastest growth segments of mobile apps: 

  • Messaging apps 203% growth in usage year over year in U.S. (Flurry Analytics)
  • Productivity apps 150% growth in usage year over year in U.S. (Flurry Analytics)

SyncUp is part of the new generation of “intelligent” apps, leveraging the latest technologies to make life easier for consumers.

 

Go-To Market Strategy

SyncUp will have the high engagement of traditional productivity apps, but with viral growth opportunities associated with messaging apps. Given the value proposition, we expect users will expand their usage to include more people over time: we’ll initially target couples (e.g., husband / wife), then based on the value provided, we expect the couple will expand usage to include other family members and caregivers (e.g., the nanny), and then later, these people will expose their friends, volunteer groups, sports teams, etc. to SyncUp.

 

The Business Model

SyncUp uses a freemium model; the core service is completely free. Revenue generation will come from subscriptions for premium features (e.g., text to speech, location-based triggers, adding tasks/events via email, etc.)

 

 

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Team
  • Drew Garcia
    Drew Garcia | Founder
    Founder / CEO of SyncUp, incubated at Idealab in Pasadena, CA. Experienced product manager with focus on productivity apps - previously at SugarSync, TimeBridge, & Yahoo. Stanford MBA.
  • Tom Ngo
    Tom Ngo | Team member
    Chief Scientist at SyncUp, with papers and patents in a broad variety of computer-science disciplines and a track record leading solid engineering teams via rigorous agile processes. Cambridge BA (Physics), Harvard PhD (Computational Biophysics).
Investors
Tom McGovern
Early stage company creation, Idealab, SoCal
Bill Gross
Bill Gross founded Idealab in March 1996 and serves as the company's Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Bill founded Idealab to create and build successful businesses that capitalize on innovations in areas with significant growth ...