Ernestine Fu has been heralded as Silicon Valley’s youngest venture capitalist. She joined VC firm Alsop Louie Partners as a 20-year-old associate in March 2011, and in August of that year, the then-Stanford undergrad made the cover of Forbes.
Fu can add one more accomplishment to that impressive list: Her two-month-old startup, HelloWorld, announced Tuesday that it was acquired by Life360 for an undisclosed seven-figure sum, TechCrunch reports.
It’s not clear if the reported 7-figure deal was primarily cash or stock. Either way, it seems like a strong exit for a young startup that hasn’t raised any outside capital or had a chance to gather many users. But Fu has to split the return with four other founders.
HelloWorld was launched in August, as the result of a Y Combinator hackathon and the work of five recent Stanford grads and current Stanford students. The ephemeral location-based app is like Foursquare and Snapchat combined. It lets users say what they’re doing right now, but the messages self-destruct after 24 hours. Status messages can include photos, text, and their location, and friends can follow each others’ feeds.
Life360 is a mobile app designed to keep families connected, and the company will look to incorporate HelloWorld’s location-based information. Life360 has raised $US76.1 million in eight rounds from nearly two-dozen investors.
Fu told Business Insider HelloWorld had received investment offers, but after talking with Life360 in September, it became clear that Life360 and HelloWorld shared similar goals and views (especially those involving social and location-based services).
HelloWorld sold so fast for several reasons: it focused on mobile social location, a crowded space that’s hard to nail which may have made a buy-out desirable. Additionally, HelloWorld’s technology proved useful and aesthetically pleasing; the app quickly hit its download limit when it was first released.
Fu will now work on Life360’s Special Projects division, while continuing her work at Alsop Louie Partners. All the other members of the HelloWorld team (Michael Carter, Max Goodman, David Li, and Jeff Himmelman) will be working on Life360 in some capacity, too, Fu says.
HelloWorld is the second acquisition for privately held company Life360, which has over 30 million families and 70 million users. The family-centric app is trying to break into the Internet of Things market, enabling family location sharing and messaging. Eventually Life360 could also let you connect via the app to unlock your front door or change the temperature of the thermostat in the house remotely, too.
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