Intelligent To Do List App Any.DO Raises $3.5 Million, Will Further Expand Into Personal Productivity Space

Posted: May 14, 2013 in Apps, Funding & Exits, GT, Mobile, Startup
Tags: , , ,

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Q: Why does a to do list application need $3.5 million in funding? A: Because it’s becoming more than a simple to do app. Today, Any.DO one of the more popular to do list applications for web and mobile,
announced a seed round of funding led by existing
investor Genesis Partners, with participation from
both current and new investors Innovation Endeavors
(Eric Schmidt’s fund), Joe Lonsdale, Blumberg
Capital, Joe Greenstein and others. The company had previously announced $1 million in
angel funding in late 2011 from Innovation Endeavors,
Blumberg Capital, Genesis Partners, Palantir (Joe
Lonsdale), Felicis Ventures (Aydin Senkut) and Brian
Koo. For those unfamiliar, Any.DO got its start on the
Android platform after the success of the team’s first
app, Taskos, which proved the market was ripe for
such a concept. That app had grown to 1.3 million
users by the time Any.DO arrived in November 2011,
and today has more than doubled its install base. Any.DO, however, has since surpassed it. The
company says its flagship application now has more
than 5 million users across iOS, Android and web.
Referencing data from Onavo Insights, Any.DO
claims to be the market leader in the to do list app
space. (Its nearest competitor, Wunderlist, announced earlier this month having more
than 4 million users.) Unlike many apps, Any.DO has more Android users
than iOS, having initially taken advantage of that
platform’s popularity, its need for well-built apps, and
the potential built-in install base coming from Taskos,
who were encouraged to switch over to Any.DO when
it first debuted. Any.DO is beautifully designed, which has the side
effect of making the app appear deceptively simple.
But in reality, there’s some heavy lifting going on
under the hood. “We believe the tools you have on your homescreen
are going to be smarter and smarter over time,”
explains Any.DO founder and CEO Omer Perchik. “In
terms of the to do list…it will help you accomplish the
things you have on your list, and we’ve developed a
semantic engine that extracts intents and tries to find the relevant action,” he says. “And on the other hand,
it’s basically predicting what you’ll be interested in
doing.” So for example, if you tell the app today that you
want to plan a trip or workout at the gym more often,
it will recommend other applications that will help you
complete those tasks, including things like Kayak,
TripAdvisor, MyFitnessPal, and many others. Also, if
you tell the app you need to do something like “pay taxes,” it’s smart enough to start reminding you about
that task in advance of tax day, even though you
never provided an exact date or time. In some cases, Any.DO has affiliate relationships
with the dozens of apps it points users to, but in other
cases it does not. Perchik says that conversion rates
are high – more than three times above the market
average of 1 to 5 percent, in general. Asked whether or not the company had the intention
of using the funding to further develop Any.DO or to
expand its lineup by launching more apps in the
personal productivity space, Perchik says “possibly
both.” However, the company isn’t heading into other
spaces like email or calendaring just yet, he adds. That being said, Perchik did cite the recent trend in
startups developing alternatives to the core
applications on users’ homescreens – things like
email (Mailbox, Triage, e.g.), calendaring (Sunrise,
Tempo, e.g.), and messaging, etc. “There’s a lot of
things in the day-to-day personal productivity space that are relevant [to us], but we’re less working
towards building something like Google Docs or
Office for mobile – we’re focusing more on the
individual,” he says, defining Any.DO’s interests. The company will have some announcements around
what its future plans may be in about a month’s time,
Perchik also notes. In the meantime, the 12-person startup is using the
funding to staff its new San Francisco-based office
where Perchik now works. The R&D and product team
remains in Israel, but the new office will hire those on
the marketing and business development side of
things. In addition, an update to the Android version of
Any.DO is rolling out now which will allow Astrid app
users (one of Yahoo’s many recent acquisitions) to
import their data in advance of the app’s shutdown.

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