Two Ex-Googlers Release a Voice Messaging App and Raise $1.8M in a NY Minute



Don’t count out voice messaging quite yet. It just needed a bit of updating, and that’s where Cord comes in. Cord makes it easy to send a quick (up to 12 seconds) voice message via one-tap chat that makes texting seem Old School.

How quickly things change.

Cord combines the best of asynchronous communication, an innovative user experience, and the emotional power of voice to create a truly new take on voice messaging. And it works across a wide variety of devices.

“It is, in essence, incredibly simple, incredibly fast voice messaging that lets you chat with one friend or shout to a whole group of friends. We built Cord to be a whole new way to talk on your phone again”, said founder Thomas Gayno. He and co-founder Jeff Baxter are veterans of Google’s Creative Lab and they’re both here to tell us the story, in their own words…

Who were your investors?

Thomas: Metamorphic Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures led the capital round with participation from Google Ventures and Greycroft. The syndicate also includes a select group of tech entrepreneurs and media personalities such as Dave Morin via Slow Ventures, Gary Vaynerchuk via Vayner/RSE, Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb via Melo7 Tech Partners, Xavier Niel and Thibaud Elzière.

What was the funding process like?

Jeff: A rollercoaster ride. As first time founders, we had very little idea of what to expect going into it. We planned to move fast and we were incredibly lucky that we could. The entire process was about a month from first pitch to closing. We couldn’t have moved at that speed without our amazing first lead, Metamorphic Ventures. They were on board and behind us from week one.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Thomas: Sleeping? We pitched in New York and California over a few weeks, so a pair of red eye flights (staying lean!) coupled with the typical stress of trying to fund your company, and a few video conferences with our French investors kept us wide awake.

And again, we’re first time founders. There’s a certain leap of faith that you have to convince investors to take with you.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

Jeff: This is a great question to ask them! But we’d like to think that our history of working together on a wide range of projects at Google over the past 5 years played a big role in getting people on board.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Thomas: We played the New York location to our advantage. We love New

York, we’re building a company here, and we were vocal about it. There seems to be a good group of New York based investors who feel the same way about the city and are eager to invest in people who share that passion. Also, move the office to Brooklyn and save some money! It’s nice over on this side of the river.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

Jeff: We’re focused on exactly what we pitched our investors: building an amazing team and an amazing product… as fast we can. We’re well on our way, with almost all the desks full and an early version of our application We funded Cord Project Inc. to re-imagine how we use voice with today’s and tomorrow’s devices and connect people in a simpler and more expressive way.

Cord already out on iOS.


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