The Story Behind My Investment In Envoy

I wrote the first version of this months ago, but Larry (@lg) said to “put it on ice, baby.” Then, of course, Larry emailed me TODAY, while I’m traveling, to post it. So I cleaned it up a bit, and filing this one from the Denver airport. All for Larry and the team at Envoy.

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This will be a short one. Years ago, while working at another startup, one of the engineers mentioned how they wanted to resume discussions with this one engineer named @lg. I remembered his twitter handle and recall running into him a few times (randomly) with a mutual friend. The last time I saw him, he was talking about leaving Twitter and going to Croatia or something Balkan like that.

Fast-forward to the Fall of 2013, a close friend of mine was helping Larry get the company off the ground. At first, I didn’t think to dig deeper, but that was foolish. I ran into my friend at an event in SF and casually remarked that I should invest, sort of as a joke, and he responded with “Actually, that’s going down right now.”

Whoa. OK. I got the intro on Thursday and round was closing on Monday. The product, deck, and business fundamentals were great for an early-stage company, so I was inclined to just go along for the ride. But @lg wanted to meet f2f. I couldn’t meet that weekend for some reason (I don’t live in SF proper), so I drove up to SF early Monday morning before work just to see @lg face to face and get on the same page. It was a great discussion and we synced up on mobile opportunities and challenges very well.

Outside of that roundabout story of reconnecting with @lg, there’s not much to share about the product, Envoy, other than if you’re in the Bay Area and visit other technology companies, you’ve probably already used Envoy’s software. Also, I would point to their product. You will see for yourself just how elegant and dead-simple this solution is, but also how deep the opportunities are as businesses and individuals adopt the platform (which they’re already doing), and as sensor advancements in the phones allow for beacons and other goodies.

Envoy is a terrific, simple, business-minded product built for an age of low energy Bluetooth, context-aware beacons, and security protocols for building entry. It is also a business, and now the goal is to nail down the business model and figure out how to expand it, because I can’t see why businesses wouldn’t want to use this software. All of this has been done, it’s worth noting, with just 3-4 people with very little funding or fanfare. That, in and of itself, is remarkable.

Haystack is written by Semil Shah, and is published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license. Copyright © 2018 Semil Shah.

“I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other.”— Epicurus