September 5, 2014
Nobody listens to voicemail; nobody prefers to talk on the phone. Maybe those statements are a bit overreaching, but I think they both hold some validity and certainly apply to my own network of friends and acquaintances. Yesterday, though, the New York-based Cord Project raised $1.8 million in seed funding to help revive the tradition of actually using your phone for what it was initially designed: voice communication.
The seed round was co-led by Metamorphic Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and included participation from Google Ventures and Greycroft, as well as from various tech entrepreneurs including Dave Morin, Gary Vaynerchuk, Stuart Goldfarb, and even New York Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony.
“We’ve never had more technology to communicate, but ironically we talk to each other less and less” said Cord Project cofounder and CEO Thomas Gayno. “It’s incredible how much more information you get from hearing the voice of someone you love, instead of reading a text.”
While text messaging is certainly convenient and to the point, very little goes into a written text – and very little can be expressed outside of the actual message itself. As opposed to the tones and emotions that can often be heard or recognized in a person’s voice, text messaging leaves us restricted to using emojis or the exclamation point to have any significant effect on the other side of the line.
Cord Project has created the Cord app, which allows users to send short voice messages lasting no more than 12 seconds each. This simple “one tap voice chat” can be used on both Android and iOS devices (although, it’s only available for iOS currently, with Android coming later on this fall). “We’re designing a product that is incredibly simple, not only to make voice easy to use again, but to give ourselves the flexibility needed to live across all sorts of connected devices,” said cofounder Jeff Baxter, who worked with Gayno previously, leading Google’s Creative Lab.
You can check the early version of Cord app for iOS now.
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