This post was originally published on the Stickybits blog.
Since launching in March, we have seen some awesome uses of stickybits, from a scavenger hunt through London to photo-tagged family trip to Disney World. Much to our surprise, people are even scanning products in grocery stores and creating social networks around brands. Through all these examples, people are using the stickybits platform to tell stories about objects and make things more interesting.
We are now ready to take it up a notch and are excited to share some news:
- New Investors: We are excited to welcome two new investors into the company, First Round Capital and Lower Case Capital, who are joining existing investors Mitch Kapor and Polaris Venture Partners in a $1.6mm seed+ round. For years, First Round’s Howard Morgan has been a Rabbi to entrepreneurs and has better pattern recognition than any early stage investor we know. Howard, who will be joining our board, says that “with Sticky Bits, the explosive growth of the social web is extended from people and locations into the world of objects.” In addition to welcoming Howard, Josh and the rest of the First Round team, we are also psyched to have the real Chris Sacca participating in this round. Chris was involved with many of the key partnerships early on at Google, and has recently, as an angel investor, helped Twitter become the platform it is today. According to Chris, “Stickybits makes the physical world more interactive, engaging, and participatory. The platform is driven by the energy of each of the users, and so far these users have made me think, taught me, opened my eyes, and made me laugh my arse off.” Our new capital will enable us to build out our engineering team so that we can increase adoption and integrate with more partners.
- Advisors: Gary Vaynerchuk and Yishan Wong have joined the company as advisors. Gary is a force of nature. We were blown away by his presentation at SXSW this year and loved his book “Crush It!.” According to Gary, “The second my brother AJ called me over and said “Hey look at this” I was in love. Stickybits potential in the marketplace is staggering and obvious. I also see a future where barcodes extend stories for brands which will become a vital space for many companies.” Also joining us is Yishan Wong, who was most recently Director of Engineering at Facebook, and before that Engineering Director at PayPal. Yishan describes how “Stickybits can be the missing link between real-world objects and the tagging-based overlay of the internet. With barcodes already everywhere and a convenient scanning interface via today’s smartphones, this means we finally have an easy and obvious way to attach shareable data to everything around us.
- API: stickybits is a platform that enables anybody to build applications that connect the digital and physical worlds. An open and flexible API is essential to this vision, and so we have launched our API at http://api.stickybits.com. This enables developers to write and read bits to any code (barcode, QR code, etc). All of stickybits.com is written on top of this API, so anything we’re doing developers can do too. In addition to supporting our API, we are busy at work on a new iteration of the stickybits app that will be released in June.
The growth of smartphones means that soon everybody will be carrying a handheld scanner. Couple this with the proliferation of machine-readable codes, and you get a world that, for the first time, can be truly augmented with digital information. Our goal is to become the number one platform that enables this vision.