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Kibits Corp., developing app for mobile collaboration, raises $1 million

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 17, 2011 04:10 AM

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A start-up that hopes to make it easy to use your mobile phone to form groups on the fly, Kibits Corp., has raised $1 million from a pretty impressive group of investors. Google Ventures, CommonAngels, Charles River Ventures, Commonwealth Capital Ventures, Launch Capital, and General Catalyst are backing the three-person start-up, which is based in Kendall Square's Dogpatch Labs incubator (a space bankrolled by yet another venture capital firm, Polaris Venture Partners.) In addition, another half-dozen or so angel investors are participating in Kibits' seed round.

Kibits CEO Matt Cutler isn't yet talking about the company, but the Kibits Web site says the company is "working on some new approaches to real-time mobile collaboration," adding, "We expect to come up for air later this year." Cutler was the chief marketing officer at Boston-based Visible Measures, an online video analytics firm, until February; he worked together with his Kibits co-founder and CTO David Greenstein in the mid-1990s, at net.Genesis. (General Catalyst partner Larry Bohn, who oversaw the Kibits investment for that firm, was once CEO at net.Genesis, an Internet analytics company that went public before being acquired by SPSS in 2001.) The third Kibits employee is designer Jason Robb.

One local venture capitalist who is familiar with the company — but who ultimately did not invest — tells me that Kibits will support "insta-grouping," forming groups on a mobile device while you are sitting with colleagues in a conference room, or attending a little league game with other parents. Then, you'll be able to share content and otherwise interact with members of the group using the Kibits app. Some groups might last for months or years, but others might be short-lived (imagine a group of people trying to coordinate to-dos and events around a wedding weekend, for instance.)

Cutler declined to comment on the app's functionality, and I'm sure it will have evolved quite a bit by the time the start-up unveils its product.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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