Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Hangtime Launches Event-Finding App to “Map the Social Future”

Karl Jacob has founded and led six companies, including Dimension X (acquired by Microsoft) and Keen (acquired by AT&T). He’s a serial serial entrepreneur by now.

At this point, there’s a pretty solid option to lean back and enjoy your yacht and advise companies like Facebook and Path in the earliest days (which he did). But no, Jacob’s next startup is called Hangtime, and it launches today. It’s a mobile app for finding events.

“The nice thing about having been around the block is you start focusing on bigger trends,” is how Jacob put it.

The big idea at Hangtime is “mapping the social future,” Jacob said. So the app (iPhone, Facebook and mobile Web now; Android coming) crunches data (right now, from Facebook) about what events might be interesting to a particular user. The idea is that RSVPs are too structured, and check-ins come too late to join in. On Hangtime, users can privately tell their friends they are “interested in” an event, which Jacob said feels more flexible and natural.

As you might have guessed by now, Hangtime is launching in time for SXSW this weekend, and it’s already loaded with 1,700 events during the festival in Austin.

Karl Jacob

There are a ton of ways to find events, so I’m a bit skeptical that this one will stand out. I will say that it has some neat design elements — for instance, a header bar in the app that depicts the changing position of the sun from day to night to give an ambient signal of when each event starts, as a user scrolls through a big list.

Hangtime has raised $3.5 million in two seed rounds from a lengthy list of investors: 500 Startups, Charles River Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Freestyle Capital, Greylock, Intel Capital, Interwest, Ignition Venture Partners, Science Inc., SV Angel, Tugboat Ventures and Webb Investment Network, and angel investors Mark Goldstein, Tim Kendall, Steven Lurie, Dave Morin, Matt Ocko, Mark and Ali Pincus, Ben Smith and Michael Tanne.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald