Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

LiveMinutes Brings Collaboration to Evernote, Also Raises Money

Evernote is a personal tool that is increasingly put to business use. Last year, it launched a premium business version that added support for sharing task lists and notes with spreadsheets or presentations attached. That’s clearly where the money is. But there’s one thing Evernote doesn’t have: Live collaboration features, where colleagues can work together.

LM_screenshotEnter LiveMinutes, a small startup that has scored a partnership to do just that. The company makes a Web-based collaboration tool where coworkers share “workspaces” and can mark up all sorts of documents. Built with quickly evolving technologies like HTML5 and WebRTC, LiveMinutes also supports conference calls between people using dial-ins, Web calling, Skype or calling out to a particular person’s phone number.

But the Evernote-LiveMinutes relationship isn’t as tight as it could be. There’s no real-time editing within Evernote — basically, LiveMinutes is a companion app that’s now linked and featured. Once users hook up both accounts, when they work on something in LiveMinutes with colleagues, the revisions are saved to all members’ Evernote accounts.

LiveMinutes hasn’t started charging users yet, so this is all free until at least this fall.

The company had previously launched with more of a focus on discrete meetings. That was modestly popular — users have had 300,000 or so meetings so far. But LiveMinutes has now switched to a model of static shared “workspaces” that users can return to as often as they want.

That way, said LiveMinutes founder and CEO Kemal El Moujahid, users get the combination of an asynchronous tool like Basecamp or Yammer with a synchronous tool like Skype or WebEx, all in one place. “Now that the technology is there, there’s no reason why the tools should be separate,” he said.

Also, a bit of news on the funding side: LiveMinutes has raised a seed round of $1.4 million led by Great Oaks VC, with New World Ventures, Ali Rosenthal (Facebook/MessageMe) and Sam Yagan (OkCupid) participating.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus