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Sochat Announces $2M Seed Funding

2015-11-02
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, New messaging app and connection platform, today announced it has secured $2M in Series Seed funding.
Sochat (https://www.sochat.com), a new messaging app and connection platform, today announced it has secured $2m in Series Seed funding. Eniac Ventures, an early investor in Airbnb and Dubsmash, led the round. WeChat founder and product lead Allen Zhang also participated, along with New Enterprise Associates, Greylock Partners, Slow Ventures, Foundation Capital, Betaworks, Maiden Lane, and Steven Sinofsky of Andreessen Horowitz.

When it comes to messaging, Sochat Founder and CEO Lukens Orthwein has a background that's hard to beat. He spent years in China where he founded and led WeChat's Growth Team, helping to bring the messaging giant from its early days to over 500 million active users.

Sochat looks to completely upend how people text and form new connections on their phones. The goal? To finally overturn iMessage and old-fashioned texting in America, where a fragmented messaging market has left people still using very old technology.

In addition to a broad suite of fast and secure messaging features, Sochat allows for instant automatic connections between people over Bluetooth. 'The way it works is simple: walk into a room, pull out Sochat, and see a list of pictures and first names for everybody else there with you,' describes Founder and CEO Lukens Orthwein.

Sochat allows users to effortlessly start conversations and group chats with virtually anybody they meet in person, while they're still in the room or any time after the fact. 'Instant, responsive messaging right to your pocket is the clear future of communication, and Bluetooth connections are one of the ways Sochat makes it a lot easier to chat with a lot more people. Exchanging phone numbers is a ridiculously outdated approach,' Orthwein continued.

While some people worry that Bluetooth usage might impact battery, it's actually extremely efficient. Sochat uses 'Bluetooth Low Energy' (BLE) technology to ensure that there is virtually no battery impact at all from leaving your Bluetooth on all day.

The Bluetooth features, which work offline too and let you do things like chat with other passengers on your airplane, are just the tip of the iceberg. Sochat supports connecting with friends anywhere via username search, real name search, Facebook friend matching, and phone number matching.

The app lets users search and send any GIFs they want from the largest GIF database in the world. Other popular features include encrypted self-destructing messages, a unique and very convenient take on voice messages, emoji, locations, virtual business cards, and more. You can even set up notifications to let you know when friends show up near you.

'Messaging accounts for a huge portion of how we spend our day and interact with those around us. Ask anyone who's lived in China and they're shocked at how far behind mobile messaging is in America. At Sochat we are building out a simple but disruptive experience, and I'm appreciative of our early success and strong support from investors.'
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