POD 003: How Do You Establish a Successful Start-Up If All That You Have Done Is a Calendar Application?
- Posted by Timur Taepov
- On March 7, 2015
- app, calendar, sunrise
It seems that there is yet another calendar app. What can be more boring? What can somebody invent in that niche? But Sunrise calendar’s team has done it.
Sunrise calendar co-founder Pierre Valade says “We deeply think that the calendar is an underestimated space that can make money on its own”.
So what is the secret sauce of this app? How did it gain popularity among users and positive reviews and feedback.
It became possible due to its awesome and sexy design, its wide range of integrations (Google Calendar, Google Maps, iCal, MS Exchange, Facebook, LinkedIn,Triplt, SongKick, emails, etc.), its cross platform market (iOS, Android, OS X, Web, Chrome), and its additional functions like making calls, writing sms, and sending emails directly from the calendar. This calendar is more than “just another” calendar application, it is an entire cloud platform that allows you to setup other calendar services — including a work calendar and a Facebook calendar with friends’ birthdays.
Again Valade says “We connect directly to Apple’s servers, like the iOS Calendar app would connect to iCloud”.
“Part of the benefit of using Sunrise, after all, is that it doesn’t rely on, often messy, client-side ”syncing” to move around your events like the iOS Calendar does. It instead reads your events from a server, and can thus be more dynamic and easily adaptable to different platforms like Android and the web”.
Previous fund raising rounds from well-known business angels and venture funds can be great proof that app’s business model is viable.
“Sunrise is announcing today that it has raised $2.2 million to build an even smarter calendar. It will let you text a friend straight from an event page and give you one-tap access to dialing a cab.
Valade says that the calendar, like the email inbox, should be where some actual productive action begins, not just a place you go to see what’s on the docket for today. The funding round is led by Resolute and NextView Ventures, with additional investments from SV Angel, BoxGroup, Lerer Ventures, 500 Startups, and Terrapin Bale. A few other notable investors are former Tumblr president, former Google Director of Product Hunter Walk, Foursquare founder, and Path founder”.
It has to be mentioned that the Sunrise company valuation reached $100 million and that Microsoft announced acquisition of the Sunrise calendar app. Microsoft will be integrating this app into its ecosystem as part of the approach by the new CEO to acquire the best products on the market. As part of this plan, Microsoft has also acquired Acompli, which will be a basis platform for Outlook.
“The acquisition is yet another step in Microsoft’s plan to own productivity across multiple platforms, and expand its mobile Office suite”.
Corporate VP of Outlook and Office 365 Rajesh Jha says “Today’s acquisition of Sunrise, our recent acquisition of Acompli and our new touch-optimized universal Office apps for Windows 10 all exemplify Microsoft’s ambition to rethink the productivity category”.
So what is the key success factor of the app? Sunrise’s founder explains the success in the following way:
“If you can save people time, it’s worth a lot of money”.
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