June 28, 2013
Social App Anchor Wants To Make Work Awesome
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
After years of being wary of becoming Facebook friends with colleagues, it may be hard to bring teams together on social sites. Tomfoolery, a San Francisco startup with some serious tech cred, aims to change this trend with an app called Anchor. Hailed as the "Facebook for work," Anchor exemplifies the modern attitude on work, promoting team relationships and a laid back, fun atmosphere in the work place. Complete with status updates, photos with filters, chats and rock-on signs, Anchor is packed with all the elements you'd expect to see in any other social networking app, just aimed towards coworkers, particularly those who work remotely or far away from one another.
In a press statement, the Tomfoolery team makes no apologies for focusing on the social relationships between coworkers rather than focusing strictly on productivity.
"I'm lucky, I work in a startup with a small, tight-knit team. We know everything about each other, from favorite music, to kids and families, to the way each of us orders our burrito at lunch," said Sol Lipman, the cofounder and CPO of Tomfoolery.
"We believe that every team in every office, no matter how big or small, should enjoy that same social atmosphere. That closeness makes every team better and it makes work a heck of a lot more fun. That's what we're all about at Tomfoolery."
To drive people to the app, Tomfoolery is offering the service free of charge until Lipman's birthday on September 25. Those who download the app and sign up with their work email address will get a free lifetime account with Anchor. The service is expected to move to a paid model shortly after. Anchor is available now for iOS and the web and is coming soon for Google's Android and Glass.
The startup is anchored around one phrase: "Work Awesome." Tomfoolery says Anchor is not so much an app as it is part of a platform they intend to build full of apps to help teams "work awesome." In an interview with VentureBeat, Lipman said his company is looking to build business-themed calendaring and fitness apps in the future.
As already noted, Tomfoolery has some serious Silicon Valley credibility to their team. Cofounder and CEO Kakul Srivastave spent time with Yahoo as a vice president. While there, she oversaw Flickr as it grew to more than 50 million users. Sol Lipman spent time at AOL as a vice president as well, building mobile products for the company in Palo Alto. The team raised $1.7 million in seed money from popular venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, the same firm that invested $200 million in Pinterest in February and $150 million to Fab.com earlier this month.
Given the pedigree and the name of the app, it seems Tomfoolery is expecting to make office work fun for many years into the future.
An introductory video for Anchor explains it all. The app is built by a team who believes in the message they're selling: It's ok to be friendly with your co-workers. Though not the most professional video ever produced to announce an app from a startup company, it does show many members of the team arguing about a trust fall, playfully ribbing one another and generally getting along. It only makes sense, then, that a team which knows how to get on well would build an app encouraging others to do the same.