New York-based voice startup Cord Project said Thursday that it has closed $1.8 million in seed funding. Metamorphic Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures led the round with participation from other investors that included Google Ventures, Greycroft, Dave Morin of Slow Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk of Vayner/RSE and Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb of Melo7 Tech Partners.
NEW YORK (September 04, 2014) —–Cord Project Inc., a New York based startup founded by former Google Creative Lab leads Jeff Baxter and Thomas Gayno, announced today the close of $1.8 million in seed round funding. Metamorphic Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures led the capital round with participation from Google Ventures and Greycroft. The syndicate also includes a select group of tech entrepreneurs and media personalities such as Dave Morin via Slow Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk via Vayner/RSE, Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb via Melo7 Tech Partners, and French businessman Xavier Niel.
Cord Project aims to bring back the power of voice by exploring how we talk on today’s always-on devices. As our devices shift from the big glossy screens of smartphones to the tiny – or non-existent – screens of watches and other wearables, voice will play a larger role in how we communicate with each other.
“We’ve never had more technology to communicate, but ironically we talk to each other less and less” said Gayno, Cord Project co-founder and CEO. Communication today is largely done through the functional, but flat, text message. The nuance, emotion, and speed of voice is lost to the ease of asynchronous text messaging. “It’s incredible how much more information you get from hearing the voice of someone you love, instead of reading a text” said Gayno.
Cord Project’s flagship app, Cord, is designed for incredibly simple “one tap voice chat” across a wide variety of devices. Cord combines the best of asynchronous communication, an innovative user experience, and the emotional power of voice to create a truly new take on voice messaging. An early version of Cord is now available on iOS while the team sprints towards a full release on Android and iOS in the fall of 2014.
“We’re designing a product that is incredibly simple, not only to make voice easy to use again, but to give ourselves the flexibility needed to live across all sorts of connected devices,” said co-founder Baxter.
Gayno and Baxter previously worked together for five years at Google Creative Lab in New York where they initiated and led a wide variety of projects for Google Glass, Chrome, YouTube and Android.
Cord Project Inc. is based in Brooklyn, NY and is now sprinting towards a worldwide launch on multiple platforms in the fall while expanding its four-person team with a number of open engineering positions.
About Cord Project Inc.
At Cord Project Inc. we believe in the power of voice. We’re re-imagining how we use voice with today & tomorrow’s always-on devices to connect people in a simpler & more expressive way. Based in New York, and beginning development for a worldwide v1 launch in the fall, we’re actively hiring the best iOS and Android developers.
Cord Project’s founders, Thomas Gayno & Jeff Baxter previously worked together for 5 years at Google Creative Lab in New York where they invented new products, features, brands and experiences such as Google Glass, Android, Chrome, The Wilderness Downtown, Hangouts, Coder for Raspberry Pi & YouTube Play. Building on years of experience in the technology, brand, & communication space, they left Google in April to build something new with Cord Project Inc.
About Metamorphic Ventures
Metamorphic Ventures is a New York City based venture capital firm that invests in start-up and early stage technology companies. We focus on investing in great entrepreneurs building game-changing companies in massive markets, whether that be in categories like marketplaces, e-commerce, payments, web services, the Internet of Things, virtual reality, or even new categories that haven’t been discovered yet.
About Lerer Hippeau Ventures
Lerer Hippeau Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund. We invest in founders in the earliest stages of a startup’s life. We respect and seek out entrepreneurs with product vision, consumer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. Lerer Hippeau Ventures also operates SohoTechLabs, an incubator that builds start-ups from the idea up.
When we are lucky enough to meet founders with these qualities, our hope is that they will choose us as a partner. Everyone here starts and runs companies for a living. Lerer Hippeau Ventures is where we invest in our peers.
Complete list of Investors
Metamorphic Ventures (co-lead) – Partner: David Hirsch
Lerer Hippeau Ventures (co-lead) – Partner: Kenneth Lerer
Google Ventures – Partner: Kevin Rose
Greycroft Ventures – Partner: Kamran Ansari
Slow Ventures – Partner: Dave Morin
Vayner/RSE – Partner: Gary Vaynerchuk
Kernel Investissements – Partner: Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet
Melo7 Tech Partners – Partners: Carmelo Anthony & Stuart Goldfarb
Xavier Niel via NJJ Capital
Ricky Van Veen