Home Seizing Opportunity: How CrashCorp Became SimpleGeo

Seizing Opportunity: How CrashCorp Became SimpleGeo

Back-end geolocation data providers SimpleGeo announced today that it has raised over $8 million in Series A funding. Included among the investors is Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital and Foundry Group, which like SimpleGeo, is located in Boulder, Colorado. While the news of the funding is certainly interesting, the more fascinating story about SimpleGeo is how the company got to where it is today.

Like many early-stage startups, SimpleGeo is the evolution of an earlier company which had a similar but significantly different focus. That company, CrashCorp, was created by SocialThing founder Matt Galligan and Joe Stump, former Chief Architect at Digg. Their original plan was create mobile games using augmented reality, but they soon learned that the hardest part was developing the back-end geolocation infrastructure that would support their applications.

It was at this point that Galligan and Stump saw an opportunity, quickly changed directions and created SimpleGeo. Instead of jumping in the with the masses of application developers using augmented reality to wow smart-phone users, the pair instead focused on serving the needs of the developers themselves, creating a “geodata in a box” service. With SimpleGeo as a foundation, application developers can skip the hard development work and build their own apps that utilize location-awareness and augmented reality, much like the Foursquares and Layars of today.

SimpleGeo’s transformation from CrashCorp is not unlike that of Occipital, whose shift following unsuccessful fundraising efforts led to the creation of RedLaser, the well-known barcode scanning iPhone application. Occipital also now serves as a back-end infrastructure for other applications that want to take advantage of its image recognition technology.

Some applications will go as far as to combine these various infrastructures into a single application. stickybits, which debuted at South by Southwest earlier this year, built an application using both Occipital and SimpleGeo to create a location-based social barcode scanning experience for users – a truly unique mashup of technologies.

Sometimes the best strategy for a new startup isn’t joining the zeitgeist and attempting to steal users from one service or another; it’s being the skeleton that lets others launch their projects more easily. For both Occipital and SimpleGeo, shifting directions out of the app development rat race led them to their current success as back-end service providers. Of course, they never would have wound up in their current positions had they never ventured into the startup scene in the first place, so don’t be disappointed when your first great idea ends up being a bust – it may just lead to the next big thing.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.