Our Investment in Gist

Today, Gist has announced that Foundry Group has led its $6.5m Series A financing. We are delighted to be investors in a company that we think has a shot at solving “the inbox problem” that we’ve been thinking about and living with for a long time.

If you follow our themes, you know that Email and the Implicit Web are two of our favorites. Email is a long running theme of ours dating back to 1996 when we invested in Email Publishing (the company that we believe was the first known email service provider.) Over the years we’ve invested in a number of successful email related companies, including Postini, Critical Path, and Return Path.

We’ve continued to hunt for additional email-related investments. As the social web emerged, we developed a strongly held belief that your email inbox is a key source of your implied social network. With the rapid rise of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, there are now other social networks that have been created, but they still all build on and link to the implied social network that comes from your inbox.

We started talking to Gist’s CEO TA McCann last fall around the Defrag Conference. We saw an early demo of Gist, dove in and started playing with it. Gist wasn’t yet raising a financing so we had plenty of time to get to know the company and the team. We’ve looked at many other companies doing things in and around the inbox so we had plenty of points of comparison. As we got to know Gist better, we realized that in addition to being in the sweet spot of our Email theme, it was also right in the middle of our Implicit Web theme. We call this a special bonus double theme investment.

Brad will be joining the Gist board which is now our second Foundry Group investment in Seattle (the other one is Smith & Tinker); we look forward to spending more time in the Pacific Northwest.

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  • i'm your target customer. when can i get my hands on this? i need it badly!

    • An invite to the service is on its way.  If we can solve Fred Wilson’s email problems, we can solve anyones!

      • TedBarbeau

        What timing! I signed up for Gist last night (anxiously awaiting credentials). Although I certainly don't have the sort of email volume of you two, it will be interesting to see how this might streamline email related headaches.

        In addition, I've started evaluating services such as Basecamp and Socialcast to see if I can continue to get more things out of the inbox and on to a more collaborative platform.

  • Fred and David Cohen have both written about this topic in recent days. I'm not a big shot like either of those two, but I'd love an invite also. Simplifying email/rss/twitter/fb etc., would be a dream.

    • I’ll add you to the near term list.

  • i'm a target here too Brad..will pay to try it..let me know how i can test this out. thanks.

  • Will it support Mac? Please!?!?!

    • Hi Dov, we support a Web, Outlook and iPhone UI right now. Data source support includes Exchange via MAPI, IMAP, Gmail, Hotmail, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn (via CSV).

  • Looking forward to playing with this, hope it supports Mac or at least gMail. I'd love an invite too.

    • On it.

    • Rob

      if it supports gmail, can i have an invite? i'm interested in seeing what they're doing

      • Yup – it’s supports gmail.  Invite coming.

        • Jon

          Me too please? Very interested.

  • Hi Brad,

    Saw your recent talk in Vancouver. Hope you show a Canadian tech CEO a little love and send an invite my way, eh?

    • Of course.  We love Canada, especially the beer.

  • TA_McCann

    Gist is so lucky to have Brad working with us. I challenge anyone to find a VC who is working harder for his companies. Thanks to everyone who is commenting here, we will work to get you into the beta soon!

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  • Congrats on the acquisition by RIM!nnhttps://blog.gist.com/2011/02/14/gist-is-now-part-of-research-in-motion-rim/nn-cn

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