Twitter co-founder and startup legend Christopher Isaac Stone, popularly known as Biz Stone, will invest in a Bengaluru-based startup, Lookup, as one of the company’s Series A investors. Lookup plans to raise $3 million in this round from Stone and a top VC firm, whose identity it refused to reveal.
Lookup helps people find information on local businesses through text messaging.
Lookup founder and CEO Deepak Ravindran told FE that he was honoured to work with Stone. “He’s not a regular investor who you can find every day. His experience in building iconic brands such as Twitter and his creativity will be very helpful for us in building our product,” he said.
“Entrepreneurship is not just a tag or a title but it is the way of my life. I am excited to build and nurture a strong relationship with Biz (Stone). His prodigious ventures are simply phenomenal. He is the co-founder of Twitter, GQ’s Nerd of the Year and one of the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting,” Ravindran said. He is one of those rarities who believe that “You can be successful and also be nice at the same time”, as his book Things a Little Bird Told Me is about.
“I learned growing up that our daily needs and activities were catered to by the innumerable small shops around town. I noticed that though there were many shops, to get the thing you want, you have to hustle. One has to be quite lucky to find it in the first shop you go to. It can take doing a round of half-a-dozen local pharmacies to get you a strip of pills a specialist doctor prescribed; the sleek new mobile phone you wanted to touch and feel before buying might be available in every other color but the one you wanted. This is a problem not just in small towns, but even a tech-savvy city like Bangalore or Mumbai where people may have got used to shopping in malls or e-commerce sites but still run to the local drugstore for stomach flu pills or the BP medication that just ran out,”writes Raveendran in his blog, explaining the company’s business model.
Thus happened Lookup, a free app for both consumers and businesses. To maintain this, the startup raised a total of $382,000 in its seed round within the first month of launch, from multiple investors including Infosys’ Kris Gopalakrishnan, Teru Sato, DeNA and MKS Group (Switzerland). “Our current downloads stand at over 200,000,” Raveendran said. It is listed as an Essential App list in Google Play. Over 3 million messages are exchanged a month.
Soon Lookup is expanding into other networks including SMS and Whatsapp.
Biz Stone had this to say on his Twitter account about his investment, “Excited to join @deepakravindran in his next act @lookup. Such an amazing person and inspiring entrepreneur.”