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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

May 16, 2013 at 6:02 PM

SquareHub debuts private Facebook for families

Whether or not Dave Cotter’s new venture takes off, he has a future in fund raising.

 

Cotter lined up a remarkable team of investors behind SquareHub, a new private networking service for families called SquareHub. The service provides messaging, status updates, a shared calendar and photo sharing through a free iPhone app that became available this week.

squarehub3

Cotter, a former Amazon.com manager and co-founder of Seattle’s AdXpose, had personal motivations. He needed a better tool to stay in touch and coordinate schedules with his children and ex-wife.

“Especially with our teens and ‘tweens, we noticed that the more gadgets family members had and the more networks we used, the harder it was to stay coordinated and emotionally connected,” he said in a release. “Facebook is too noisy and public. Our kids rarely use email, and filtering out the important stuff from hundreds of text messages was too cumbersome.”

Co-founders — who together have nine kids — include Gilles Anquetil, an Apple veteran and former chief executive of MotionBridge; Barry Chu, former vice president at BlueKai and Medio; and Bruno Botnivik, former MotionBridge chief technology officer and Bing mobile lead developer.

SquareHub works primarily on iPhones but can also send messages to other devices via email or SMS. It also works with an iPod Touch or iPad, and the company plans to release an Android version of its app this summer.

The Seattle-based company raised $650,000 from investors, who can presumably throw more into the pot if necessary.

Backers include former T-Mobile marketing chief Cole Brodman, Isilon founder Sujal Patel, investor Geoff Entress and aQuantive co-founder Mike Galgon. Plus some of the top executives at Amazon.com, including senior vice presidents Jeff Wilke and Brian Valentine; Kindle Vice President Ian Freed; App Store VP Mike George; and development manager Prakash Bulusu.

“Today’s families are bombarded by demands that push them apart,” Brodman said in a release. “While mobile technology makes it easy to connect with a lot of people during the day, it has never really tackled the problem of bringing the most important people closer together — your family.”

Here’s Cotter providing a demonstration:

[do action=”brightcove-video” videoid=”2387171308001″/]

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