Sometimes, startups percolate over a long period of time. Sometimes, they emerge in a creative burst.
A case in point is Engagio, a service that helps people manage conversations happening on various social networks and comment services. Engagio addresses the problem of digital fragmentation in which activity is happening on various platforms – Facebook, Twitter, blogs, LinkedIn, Google+, et al.
For many people, keeping up with these conversations means visiting the different services, which can be time-consuming.
This is where Engagio comes into play with a Gmail-like interface that aggregates this activity. It provides users with an inbox, as well as ways to discover more about the people engaging with you to drive more and better connections.
Engagio was created after William Mougayar bounced the idea off Fred Wilson, a partner with Union Square Ventures and a popular blogger. Wilson loved the idea, encouraged Mougayar to do it, and eight weeks later Engagio was launched.
$540K Seed Round Raised
Today, Engagio’s whirlwind journey took another big step forward with the close of a $540,000 seed round. The investors include Wilson, Rho Canada, Real Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Michael Yavonditte, Paul Martino and Extreme Ventures. Mougayar said the original financing goal was $300,000 but there was so much interest, the size of the deal climbed.
For Mougayar, an enthusiastic blog commenter, the inspiration for Engagio materialized to solve a problem he faced on a regular basis.
“You can’t form relationships over commenting,” he said. “There was nothing to systemize it, visualize it and see it. I put two and two together and said we need software to manage all those interactions and conversations on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. If you don’t have one place, you have to go all of the different places or depend on email notifications, which are hit and miss.”
As important, he said, is Engagio’s ability to identify the people with which you are interacting. Engagio captures these people and puts them into a contact folder that becomes a relationship manager.
The seed round, he said, will be used to hire more people and ramp up faster. A big chunk of the money will be spent to hire more people (development, marketing, UI and UX) and scale the infrastructure.
While Mougayar isn’t ready to talk about Engagio’s business model, he said it will depend on Engagio have lots of users. This will provide the company will options that will be revenue generation “clear, feasible and achievable”.