OnTheGo Platforms Becomes Foundry Group’s First AngelList Syndicate Investment

This morning Foundry Group announced that OnTheGo Platforms is the first company backed by the investment firm’s new Syndicate fund on AngelList.

Foundry Group Logo

AngelList Syndicates allow angel investors to get in on deals made by more high profile investors. This is new territory for a lot of people, including those of us involved. But it’s exciting new ground we’re breaking. Most importantly, it’s validation that the platform we’re building for the burgeoning smart glasses market is seen by some of the smartest investors in the business as something worthy of their investment. You can read their official announcement here.

“We are excited to announce our first FG Angels investment in OnTheGo Platforms. Today, OnTheGo announced they have closed a $700,000 financing with $330,000 coming from our FG Angels syndicate…. This is how we think angel deals like this should work – lots of small participants who are committed to helping the entrepreneurs.”

– Brad Feld, Managing Director, Foundry Group / FG Angels

Developers and manufacturers are currently confined to touch-based platforms. However, we see a world of opportunity for them beyond touch, where gestures augment swiping a touchpad or using voice to control devices.

The cornerstone of our platform — Gesture Recognition — turns the single outward-facing camera on smart glasses into a motion-sensing device that allows people to interact naturally with smart glasses by using simple hand gestures. With one swipe of their hand, users can call up apps such as their video camera and, with another swipe, share footage on the fly with friends. It’s a platform that makes smart glasses smarter. But to get that level of no-touch, gesture-based interaction today — which many consumers are familiar with via devices like Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect — you need a bulky device wired to a big screen television, an array of sensors, multiple cameras, powerful 3D rendering programs, and ready access to power. We accomplish this using a single camera running off standard device batteries.

Our goal is to work directly with application developers and smart glasses manufacturers to make it easier to bring gesture-based interaction to market. We are currently working with several companies including Vuzix, Recon, and The Shop at VSP Global to make that goal a reality. And we’re now backed by some of the strongest investors in the business who believe in what we are doing and will help us achieve that goal — people like Foundry Group’s FG Angel, SK Ventures, Rogue Venture Partners, Social Leverage, Portland Seed Fund, GMO Cloud, and all the investors who committed to our AngelList syndication.

Smart glasses won’t advance — in fact, they won’t succeed — if developers are stuck building for a touch and voice world. It’s just not a viable way of interacting with these devices. It’s a challenge we know how to overcome.

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