Social networking app Color raises $41m


The creators of a new social networking app have raised $41 million in venture capital from a host of investors, with the company planning to take the service global.


Color is a free application for iPhones and Androids, enabling users to share photos and videos with other iPhone and Android users within 150 feet.


The app also has a built-in SMS and text messaging service in order to facilitate discussion between users.


Founded in California, Color is already available via the Apple App Store and the Android Market in the United States, Europe and Asia.


It has raised $41 million in financing from Bain Capital Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Silicon Valley Bank, with proceeds used to develop Color’s technology and provide the service throughout the world.


Sequoia Capital partner Doug Leone will join Bain Capital Ventures managing director Mike Krupka on Color’s board of directors.


Leone has likened Color to the iPhone, claiming Color will transform the way people communicate in the same way the iPhone revolutionised the mobile phone market.


“Once or twice a decade, a company emerges from Silicon Valley that can change everything. Color is one of those companies,” Leone said in a statement.


According to Color chief executive Bill Nguyen, Color is the “most advanced and intuitive” way for iPhone and Android users to share content as it happens.


“We are happiest when we experience life together, not alone and days later online. By creating Color, we made it possible to instantly capture, experience and share life with those around you without rigid web concepts like ‘friending’,” Nguyen says.


Employing patent-pending technology, Color detects nearby smart phones with the use of advanced proximity algorithms.


Every photo, video, and text captured by each smartphone through Color is then instantly shared with surrounding phones also using Color.


A visual bulletin of real-time activity is displayed for all people using Color nearby, enabling users to “view” the lives of others.


Every photo and video captured using Color is stored on the web for immediate access via the application, without requiring massive amounts of storage space on the user’s phone.


Each day is displayed as a series of thumbnail images, enabling users to scroll through them using an intuitive touch interface.


Despite Color’s success in securing venture capital, in addition to investors’ confidence in the company, customer reviews have so far been critical of the app.


On the company’s website, one user wrote: “This app crashes almost instantly. Like, 20 seconds after it starts.”


Another user criticised the lack of information about the app’s three buttons, starting there is “no explanation of what they do and how to make them do what I want”, while another user wrote he has no interest in the activities of others around him.