VCs put $4 million on expansion of Alewife startup Modo Labs
Modo Labs, a maker of smartphone apps based on open-source software that are serving businesses and universities around the world — including a notable one right here in Cambridge, namely Harvard — got $4 million in venture capital Tuesday. Modo is based near Alewife.
The money, from Storm Ventures and New Magellan Ventures, will allow the company to expand from its current 150 clients, Chief Executive Andrew Yu said. The Modo team began as students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and its Kurogo Framework “started as a project to provide information to mobile device users at MIT back in 2007,” he said.
One use for Modo technology was described about a year ago on the finance new site TheStreet:
With a click of an on-screen icon, you can call up class schedules, check homework assignments and survey a map of the campus. But these apps are increasingly sophisticated and unique, including GPS-created updates on shuttle bus schedules that tell students how far away their ride is and a University of Iowa app that lets students check available washing machines, allowing them to reserve one and be spared the hassle of dragging a laundry bag across campus in vain.
“I think with lowering the barrier to entry even further by providing this easier-to-use tool we will be able to go up to hundreds if not thousands — and hopefully, down the road, tens of thousands — of apps that have been built using this building block,” Yu told TheStreet’s Joe Mont, referring to the Kurogo platform. “That’s our ultimate hope.”
Tae Hea Nahm, founding managing director of Storm Ventures, said he was impressed by Modo’s “traction with top-tier customers and very strong customer references” in buying into its expansion plans.
In addition to Harvard, some institutions using Modo technology are Boston College, Brown University, Middlebury College, the University of Vermont, the Rochester Institute of Technology, St. Edward’s University, Union College, the University of Central Florida, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Georgia State University, Algonquin College in Canada and the U.K.’s University of Sunderland.