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Google Ventures invests in friend finder app

Little Sir Echoecho, I want to stalk my friends

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

Google’s investment arm, Google Ventures, has contributed to a round of seed funding for location-based, mobile friend finder app Echoecho. The investment was part of a $US750,000 funding round that included investors UK-based venture firm PROfounders Capital and a select group of angel investors.

The LA-based company says it plans to use the funds for product development, hiring and expanding its operations.

The Echoecho app allows users to query the location of anyone in their address book, then see that location on a graphical map.

“We’ve all been in a situation when we’re near our friends, but can’t actually find them,” said Nick Bicanic, the company’s co-founder and CEO. “We wanted to create an app for that and we wanted one that people would actually use — that doesn’t destroy the battery life of your phone, broadcast your location to everyone in the world or force you to join yet another social network.”

The service works anywhere in the world across multiple platforms including Android, iPhone, Blackberry, and Nokia. An Echoecho API is also available to developers.

Bicanic says that the app was born from personal experience and frustration. “In the 21st century, smartphones with us at all times, it didn't make sense to waste time looking for friends. So we picked apart what we really wanted and what phones are good and bad at, we designed the first version of echoecho. We've been improving it based on comments and insights from real users ever since,” he says. ®

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