Celly Raises $1.4 Million to Bring Emergent Social Networks to Families,
Schools & Communities
New Service Enables Groups to Create Networks That Mirror Real-Life
PORTLAND, OR -- (Marketwire) -- 02/19/13 -- Celly today announced
$1.4 million in funding led by Oregon Angel Fund (OAF) with
participation from Upstart Labs, Portland Seed Fund, and individual
investors. The investment follows Celly's rapid adoption by
organizations that require a more adaptable alternative to today's
social networking tools.
"We're excited to be investing in Celly," says Drew Smith, Partner of
the Oregon Angel Fund. "They have great momentum and built a novel
service that resonates with group communication needs. They have
recognized the limitations of existing social networks and designed a
compelling product that meets the needs of workgroups, classrooms,
community organizations and groups of friends and families."
Unlike existing mobile social networking platforms, Celly is based on
a decentralized architecture. This allows for instant, flexible, and
scalable communication between people and groups.
"Our key insight is that, in the real world, social networking is
emergent," explains CEO Russell Okamoto. "Groups need to form
spontaneously, scale gracefully, and combine as interdependent
This emergent phenomenon is common whether it's organizing students
in a classroom, blocks in a neighborhood, departments in a business,
or activists at a rally. Celly mirrors this evolution. Organizers
start lightweight, private social networks, known as "cells," that
members can join in seconds from any device.
Cells grow to any size while maintaining coherent group discussions
since moderators keep conversations on-topic and free of chat storms,
oversharing, and cyberbullying threats. Finally, cells act as social
building blocks that stand-alone or link together to form networks
that adapt to the size, shape, and sharing policies of any
organization. This keeps data secured in private, autonomous groups,
yet empowers teamwork across organizations.
Since launching last fall, students, educators, coworkers, and
community members have embraced Celly to create more than 20,000
cells. Schools use the service for teacher-student and parent-teacher
communications. The City of Portland leverages Celly to keep citizens
informed of important activities related to gang activity and
neighborhood safety. Hospitals use Celly to communicate two-way
messages and emergency alerts. The service also brings together aid
workers and community members as part of the Hurricane Sandy Relief
effort, making it easier to know where supplies and volunteers are
New iPhone App
Today, Celly is also announcing the availability of an iPhone
application. The free app brings a rich experience to iPhone users,
while retaining all the flexibility and control of Celly's platform:
-- Easy: Organizers can create cells with one click and invite members to
participate from any device that supports SMS or web.
-- Flexible: In addition to basic group messaging, members can send
polls, alerts and track topics to share and organize information.
-- Adaptable: Cells can connect to and communicate with one other,
reflecting the complexity and flexibility of our 'real-world' social
Responding to customer demand for international support, both Android
and iPhone applications can now be used outside the U.S. (SMS
available only in the U.S.).
Celly is looking to expand its team. According to CTO Greg Passmore,
"We have many exciting technical challenges ahead of us -- from
massive scale to beautiful user interfaces. Our ambition is to build
the smallest tool that can have the biggest impact on the most
scenarios in the shortest amount of time. We're seeking team members
who are motivated by difficult, game-changing challenges, and who
appreciate our vision of using software for social good."
Celly is a decentralized social networking platform that enables
people and organizations to create "emergent social networks"
accessible from any mobile device. Based in Portland, OR, Celly
powers schools, governments, communities, teams, and political
movements around the world. Get started with Celly at cel.ly, or
follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and our blog.
VOXUS PR for Celly
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