January 16, 2009

TweetDeck's Funding Shows Good Ideas Can Still Attract Good Money

This morning's great news came from TweetDeck author Iain Dodsworth, who managed to start a round of funding that when completed could be as much as $500,000. The popular Twitter application, which has only been around for just six months' time, spent very little time in obscurity, jumping out of the gate and racing to the top of the charts, alongside Thwirl and Twitterific. While most of the headlines in the financial space of late have been filled with doom and gloom, Dodsworth's strike of fortune displays the best apps showing serious momentum can still attract forward-thinking investors.

The story was broken early this morning by Peter Kafka of All Things D. (See: Another Twitter App Funded: TweetDeck Raises an Angel Round. Next Up: A Business Plan) The report says TweetDeck has been downloaded a quarter million times, and hundreds of thousands of tweets are sent from the application each day.

TweetDeck has become practically the only way to logically consume the firehose of Twitter, slicing and dicing the incoming tweets from friends into logical groups, or keeping search terms, replies, and direct messages in their own columns. And TweetDeck's done some smart things since its launch, adding on support for other popular third party services, like TweetShrink, 12 Seconds, and more. As Iain, e-mailed me today, when I sent him a note of congratulations, "Lots in the pipeline now, extremely excited."

In my 2008 recap covering the top 10 new services of the year, I slugged TweetDeck as #4 overall, saying:
"If (Iain) can get enough people to donate or pay for the application, there's no question he could make a full-time living from the resulting revenue. The question is, will people who expect a free service to have 100% uptime spring for the app that gets them there?"
I personally would pay money for TweetDeck today. I am always happy to pay for good software, which is what TweetDeck is. I don't want to forecast what's next for the service, as I do have some insight there, and don't plan to break confidence, but I have personally enjoyed watching the service ramp up following its July debut, which we covered.

See also: The Deal Twitter organizer Tweetdeck scores seed round, where the reporter says:
"(Iain) sent the program to 10 friends for fun and then watched in astonishment as Tweetdeck became an overnight hit, thanks to a glowing review by influential tech blogger Louis Gray who stumbled on it in the word-of-mouth "viral" way of social media."
That's the kind of report I love. Just like our seeing Socialmedian go from debut to sale in less than a year, it's been fun to have a front-row seat to the success. Looking forward to more success for TweetDeck and more successes for innovative startups.