January 6th, 2014

Looking like the Glass is half full: Foundry Group’s FG Angels AngelList syndicate leads $700,000 seed round in OnTheGo Platforms

Looking like the Glass is half full: Foundry Group’s FG Angels AngelList syndicate leads $700,000 seed round in OnTheGo Platforms

Portland Seed Fund alum and current Startup PDX Challenge resident OnTheGo Platforms certainly knows how to start the new year off on the right foot. The company just announced a $700,000 seed round, led by FG Angels. Local investor Rogue Venture Partners also participated.

What does OTG do? Well, they enable development on wearable computing devices, like Google Glass.

The cornerstone of our platform — Gesture Recognition — turns the single outward facing camera on smart glasses into a motion sensing device that allows people to interact naturally with smart glasses by using simple hand gestures. With one swipe of their hand users can call up apps such as their video camera and, with another swipe, share footage on the fly with friends. It’s a platform that makes smart glasses smarter. But to get that level of no-touch, gesture-based interaction today — which many consumers are familiar with via devices like Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect — you need a bulky device wired to a big screen television, an array of sensors, multiple cameras, powerful 3D rendering programs and ready access to power. We accomplish this using a single camera running off standard device batteries.

While this is great news for OTG, it’s equally compelling news for Foundry Group. This is their third investment in a Portland-area startup—Urban Airship and Cloudability are also Foundry companies. (The fourth if you consider Moz‘ growing presence in Portland.) It also marks Foundry’s inaugural investment as part of AngelList‘s new syndicates.

And, according to Foundry’s Brad Feld, that proved to be an intensive process:

We knew we had a lot to figure out around how the AngelList syndicate would actually work. We also knew that AngelList had a lot of work to do to get all the software and legal dynamics working properly. We’ve spent the last three months working with AngelList, our lawyers (Cooley), and a few other experts to make sure everything was set up the correct way. It was much more complicated than we expected, and we’ve learned a lot more about 506(b), 506(c), what the JOBS act made better, what the JOBS act made worse, and the general insanity of unscrambling new government regulations that purport to make thing easier, but actually make things harder.

For more information on the funding, see Mike Rogoway’s write up or Malia Spencer’s coverage in the Portland Business Journal. For more on the company, visit OnTheGo Platforms.

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