Snapchat-like Wire gets USD 1.8 million seed funding
Wire Labs raised USD 1.8 million in their seed funding round for Wire, the company's mobile messaging application. Zillow Chief Executive Officer Spencer Rascoff, Paul Allen of Vulcan Capital and former Expedia Chief Executive Officer Erik Blachford participated in the round. Former Facebook General Counsel Rudy Gadre and Owen Van Natta, the former Chief Operating Officer of the social media giant also participated in the round. Bruce Jaffe, Hank Vigil and Fritz Lanman, M&A veterans of Microsoft also invested together with Decide.com Founder Brian Ma and Origina Venture's Brent Hill. Executives for Senator LP as well as former Amazon Chief Information Officer Rick Dalzell and other current and former executives from Amazon also supported the startup.
In June, Wire Labs said they had USD 150,000 in funding.
Wire Labs is founded by two former engineers from Amazon, Piragash Velummylum and Jordan Timmermann. Velummylum, now the Chief Executive Officer of Wire Labs, worked at Amazon for almost six years. According to a TechCrunch report, he was responsible for prototyping and introducing Cloud Drive and Cloud Player to Jeff Bezos before heading the Cloud Drive team at Amazon. Co-Founder Timmermann and now the Chief Technology Officer of Wire Labs, meanwhile, worked as the lead engineer for Amazon Instant Video, a feature found on the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD. He also aided in the design of another feature X-Ray for Movies, the report added.
The startup's mobile messaging application, Wire, has not yet been launched publicly but is already released in private beta. The app seeks to target the teen demographic, with its features for photo and video messaging. According to the TechCrunch report, Wire is a possible Snapchat competitor, with the advantage that messages don't have a 24-hour expiry period and can be optionally saved. Comments and feed and support for stickers are the other features included in the app, the report said.