Google Ventures invests in Echoecho's $750,000 funding round
The start-up builds apps, called Echoecho, for Research In Motion's BlackBerrys, Apple's iPhone, Google's Android, Nokia's Ovi operating system and soon Windows Phone 7, that enable users to share their current location with friends.
"We've all been in a situation when we're near our friends but can't actually find them," Echoecho's co-founder and chief executive, Nick Bicanic, said in a statement. "We wanted to create an app for that and we wanted one that people would actually use -- that doesn't destroy the battery life of your phone, broadcast your location to everyone in the world or force you to join yet another social network."
Such an app made a lot of sense, Bicanic said, because most people already carry around their "real social network" in the contact lists in their smartphones. "That's the social network that really matters," he said.
Once in the app, a user's location is plotted on a map and they can message anyone in their phone's address book and ask them where they are. After a contact responds, they are both plotted on the map, even if the person responding hasn't downloaded the Echoecho app. From there, users can continue to chat by text message, pick a meeting place on a map and share their location with other friends.
Aside from its L.A. office, Echoecho has an office in London, where PROfounders Capital is based.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: An illustration of the Echoecho app running on an Apple iPhone. Credit: Echoecho