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Venture Capital News: Twist Secures $6M

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, New free iPhone app announced Series A funding of $6 million.
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It's About Time! Twist, a new free iPhone app that lets your family, friends and colleagues know when you will arrive and lets you know when others will arrive, debuted today in the iTunes app store. Twist makes going places and meeting up with people simple, social, and fun by accurately notifying others your estimated time of arrival (ETA), simplifying meeting coordination, and eliminating uncertain wait times. The company also announced Series A funding of $6 million from Bridgescale Partners and investors Eric Hahn (Inventures Group and former CTO of Netscape), Bill Lee (co-founder of Remarq and Social Concepts), Mike Belshe (founder of Google SPDY protocol and co-founder of Lookout), and Jeff Skoll (first employee and first President of eBay, founder of Participant Media).

"Dealing with the headache of coordinating hundreds of meetings a year as an angel investor led to the creation of Twist. Time is money and time wasted is not acceptable," said Bill Lee, Twist CEO and Co-founder. "We're not trying to eliminate lateness. We know we can't change human behavior, but we do hope to help people get where they need to be when they want to be there. We made a significant investment to develop a service that would efficiently calculate and share arrival times in order to fix that problem."

Over a billion trips are taken every day in the United States, and over 600 million of these trips involve meeting other people. Twist turns the often arduous coordination process of meeting up with others into a simple and fun experience. For the 15 to 20 percent of the U.S. population that is consistently late, Twist continuously communicates accurate arrival times and ends the stress, frustration, and embarrassment of waiting for others.

According to a new national consumer survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Twist 24 percent of Americans admit to having sent a text or email while driving to let someone know they were on their way. The same survey found that the number one cause of lateness is traffic/transportation issues (53 percent), followed closely by underestimating travel time (38 percent) and getting lost (25 percent).

"Building Google Chrome and SPDY, we focused on ease of use, speed, and simplicity. We created Twist with these same principles and packed a whole lot of horsepower into every message," said Mike Belshe, Twist CTO and co-founder. "Solving issues around time is not something any company has really focused on because in order to properly compute all the data you need to process a tremendous amount of information in a split second. On top of that, we needed to develop proprietary methods to preserve battery life and navigate through uncertain GPS data."

Twist is the only app a user needs to privately share where they are, where they are going, and when they will arrive. Incorporating the best features of your phone including email, text, calendars, maps, traffic, photos, recommendations, and check-ins, Twist delivers an accurate ETA for you and the ones that matter most.

"In the crowded mobile application space, we look for companies that solve big problems," said Matthew Cowan, co-founder and Managing Director of Bridgescale Partners. "Twist effectively combines time, location, and social engagement in an elegant and seamless way."

The Twist team is comprised of alums from the very best of technology and education. Pulling top engineers from Google, Apple, MIT & Stanford and founders with a combined six companies sold in the last 12 years, the company has a focused entrepreneurial spirit.

"I've had the pleasure of backing many of the members of Twist's world-class team in their previous successes," said Eric Hahn investor and Twist board member. "It is an honor to be working with them again - Twist is another phenomenal opportunity!€
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