June 30, 2009
Have Trouble Organizing Things and Events? Plaxo Can Help You Organize All Your Events and Link to Many of Your Social Network Accounts
A new and unique service has appeared in the internet industry. Plaxo is the latest in internet innovation, claiming to organize your appointments, calendar, and even help you link together all your accounts on the well known social networks, such as Flickr.com, YouTube, Digg, and others. Plaxo also offers downloads for your computer for both Windows and Mac users. These downloadable applications can automatically update your appointments to your iCal, for Mac users, Outlook Express, etc. To use Plaxo, you must sign up and it is free, because Plaxo generates its revenues with advertising.
Signing up for Plaxo is very easy. All you need to do is to type in your full name, your email address, and your password. Once you have typed in all your prompts, you will be prompted to confirm your email address. Theoretically, you should be able to do this from the Plaxo website by clicking on a hyperlink, but the hyperlink is obviously inactive. That is a bit inconvenient, but it is no problem, because you can get to your email and you will see an email from Plaxo asking you to confirm your email. Once you open this email, you will be prompted to click on a hyperlink that asks you to confirm your email. Once you have clicked on that link, you will be led right into your Plaxo account. You will be prompted to type in your friends which Plaxo gets automatically from your address book. Plaxo works with all the internet emails, such as Yahoo!, Gmail, and others. You also have the option to add your work email, if you choose to do so. Plaxo will then take you to your friends list, which it gathers from your email’s address book and you can select or deselect contacts if you wish to do so.
Once you have entered Plaxo, you can update your profile. You can upload your photograph, which is very easy to do. You can upload either jpeg, gif or png files. You can also update all your personal data, such as your religious and political views, your activities and interests, and your favorite movies and TV shows. You can also add your favorite books to your profile. Your profile also allows you to change your contact information and hide your birthday if you choose to do so.
If you click on the downloads link at the bottom of the page, you will find that Plaxo offers four different downloads and you can download either one for free. The first download is a toolbar for Outlook and Outlook Express, which is great for those of you who use either one of these applications to access your email. This toolbar is also equipped with Pulse Integration.
The second download is a toolbar for Apple’s iCal application and it allows Plaxo to get everything up out of your iCal app and link it with your Plaxo account. This application is also equipped with Pulse Integration.
The third download that Plaxo offers is for Windows Mobile and is for Windows users. This app is designed to keep your Windows mobile phone in sync with your Plaxo account.
The fourth download is Pulse Notifier for Windows and this application is designed to alert you when your friends share videos, music, or messages on Pulse.
Plaxo is the brainchild of Todd Masonis and Cameron Ring. Both of these men are seasoned entrepreneurs and have both founded other successful companies before.
Besides being one of Plaxo’s cofounders, Mr. Masonis still works at Plaxo as the Vice President of Products and does all the lead user interface and windows design for the Plaxo website and apps as well. Before founding Plaxo, Mr. Masonis founded netElement and Natient Technologies. Plaxo is the third startup that Mr. Masonis participated in its founding.
Besides being the other cofounder of the company, Mr. Ring aslo works at Plaxo as the Chief Architect of Plaxo. Mr. Ring’s main duty at Plaxo is to oversee all the client side development at Plaxo, including the integration of the company’s software together with Outlook and Outlook Express. Mr. Ring also founded netElement together with Mr. Masonis.
Plaxo is based in Mountain View, California and is a privately owned company. Including the two above mentioned cofounders, Plaxo has nine people on its management team and six people on its board of directors.
Plaxo’s investors include Sequoia Capital, which invested $3.8 million in series A funding in 2002; Globespan Ventures, which invested $8.5 million in series B funding in 2003; Cisco, which invested $7 million in series C funding in 2004; and Duff Ackerman & Goodrich, which invested $9 million in series D funding in 2007.
Sequoia Capital is one of the largest global vc firms based in the United States and besides its main offices in the United States, Sequoia Capital also has offices in India, China, and Israel. Some of the companies in Sequoia’s Portfolio include Actona, Actuate, Agile, Aspect Development, Aster Data, Cast Iron Systems, Central Point, and others.
Plaxo does have a few competitors, one of which is its major competitor Linkedin. Linkedin offers a service similar to Plaxo, however, Plaxo’s downloadable apps give the company an upper edge in the market. Linkedin is also based in Mountain View, California and is a privately owned corporation that was founded in 2002 and has over 100 employees. Linkedin has 12 people on its management team and six people on its board of directors.
For more information about Plaxo, click here.