Day had turned to dusk, and I hadn’t even noticed. It was now a cool evening in Palo Alto, and I realized that I hadn’t glanced at the time in well over three hours.
Caleb Elston and I had originally sat down for a late Sunday lunch to talk about his insanely beautiful and elegant app, Yobongo. The app had been in beta for just two weeks, and it was hot. Caleb was now faced with an incredible array of people and firms that wanted to invest in his (now) massively oversubscribed angel round.
Within ten minutes of meeting Caleb, I knew we’d invest (or in this case try very hard to), and I knew why my team was so excited about Yobongo.
Four hours and two coffee shops later (Coupa then Univ Cafe, for those location minded), Caleb and I looked up from our conversation and realized we indeed had a deep shared passion for the possibilities around a next generation communication platform.
Om, Puneet and Adam had been working closely with Caleb over the prior few months, but he and I had yet to meet. All I knew when I showed up was that his app was beautiful and my team loved him. I’ve invested in a lot of messaging companies over the years, and I remain passionate about the future of messaging. True is doing a lot in this space right now, and when I saw and heard Caleb’s vision for Yobongo, it resonated instantly with our perspective on where messaging is headed in the post-PC environment.
Caleb’s extraordinary vision is coupled with an intense product sense and an understanding of the power of anthropomorphic technology. The “last inch” of UX is well understood by the team at Yobongo, but what makes the app unique is it’s human element. Yobongo has a personality: it is friendly, transparent, connective, always on, there to help. Very few apps in our experience make you feel good. Somehow Yobongo does this, and engages users at a different level. One of my partners called it “addictive” after a few days in the beta.
Vision and capabilities are important, but so is tenacity: great entrepreneurial teams build fast, build beautiful, launch and iterate. Watching Caleb and the team through pre-beta/beta period quickly convinced us that the Yobongo team was exceptional.
Caleb had his choice of many, many top firms in the valley, and we’re beyond pleased to be the lead investor in the Yobongo Seed Round.
We’re joined in this investment by our close friends at Freestyle Capital, as well as an incredible angel group of friends including Shervin Pishevar, Mitch Kapor, Dave Morin, Kevin Rose, Karl Jacob, to name a few.
With every new investment we welcome the Founding team into the True Community. Our network of 130 Founders is exceptional, different, and valuable. It is tightly weaved, and we protect and nourish this family with an amazing array of products and services to make the world a better place for entrepreneurs. All of us at True feel a real duty to keep the fidelity of our Founder Community extremely high, and it’s with great excitement that we bring Caleb and co-founder David Kasper into the True family.
As we approach next week’s True FounderCamp, we’re thrilled that Caleb now has access the wisdom, experience and camaraderie of the 130 other True Founders for the journey ahead.
Welcome Caleb, David and Yobongo to True!