Google Ventures backs location-sharing app Echoecho

Faith Merino · September 8, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1eb0

The company raises a $750K seed round

I hate that awkward moment when you go to meet someone at a restaurant, but then you get there and wonder if they’re already seated at a table, waiting for you, or if you got there before them.  You do a quick scan, but for all you know they’re sitting in the back somewhere.  This is usually the point where you whip out your phone and text them to ask, “WHERE ARE YOU?!”  (Maybe not quite so panicky, though.  You don’t want to sound needy.)  And for this moment, Echoecho was made.

Location-sharing app Echoecho was created to answer the most commonly texted question on cell phones: “Where are you?”  Apparently, it’s a pretty burning question, since Echoecho just won the support of Google Ventures and UK-based venture firm PROfounders Capital.  The company announced Thursday that it has raised $750K in seed funding.

The app works by giving users control over when they share their location, and—more importantly—with whom they share their location.  For example, you lost your friend at a concert.  So you get out your phone, pull up your friend in your contacts list, and send a “Where are you?” request.  Your friend receives your request (the premise of this example was that you lost your friend at a concert, so just pretend she happens to be holding her phone at the moment), accepts it, and both of you instantly see a map displaying your respective geographic locations.

You can take advantage of other features in the app, like selecting a place to meet, using EchoChat to discuss plans, sharing your location with your friends online using WebEcho, and seeing which of your friends are already using Echoecho.

“Echoecho is in a growing space where consumers are using their mobile devices for everything social in their daily lives,” said Wesley Chan of Google Ventures, in a statement. "We're excited to be working with echoecho as they have created a simple yet elegant solution to help people find each other quickly."

The app functions on iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia.

The company plans to use the new capital for product development, hiring, and scaling operations. 

 

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Since the widespread adoption of cellular telephony began, the most common question asked, initially by voice and increasingly by text and e-mail is “Where are you?” Even with the increased ability of smart and feature phones to know their location and the improved triangulation and wifi technologies to find handsets (including GPS), there is still no easy and fast way to ask and answer that question. 
Echoecho asks and answers the question “Where are you?” in a manner that does not sacrifice user privacy or security, and with simplicity and speed that makes it a preferred (and often safer) alternative to texting or calling.