Modena, Italy based company GlassUp may claim the first non-UK listing on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs. The company is seeking to raise £100,000 for 7.69% equity in the tech company. Pre-money valuation of GlassUp is posted at £1,200,390. The company had previously completed a rewards based crowdfunding round on Indiegogo in June 2013. The flexible funding campaign raised $127,738 on a $150,000 goal. 512 backers supported the Indiegogo campaign where a rewards level of $299 offered up a pair of the glasses – scheduled to ship in February 2014. The pricing of GlassUp is considerably less than competitor Google Glass which currently retails (if you are an explorer) for $1500.00.
GlassUp has developed glasses that display messages to wearers from their bluetooth connected smartphones. Effectively the glasses act as a second screen output from your smartphone. The GlassUP product is a more utilitarian device in comparison to Google Glass as their product is “receive only” and does not allow photos or videos (thus no privacy issues as well). The company is expecting to integrate with a diverse number of smartphone apps where the user may control the apps directly from the glasses. GlassUp will be demoing an early prototype of their product this month at CES 2014.
The company web site indicates that many apps are under development now. Some examples of usage shared by GlassUp include:
- Emails, text messages, Facebook updates, tweets, RSS, calendar events, incoming calls
- Breaking news, weather, stock exchange, sport results
- Real time feedback display for running, biking, sailing, action sports
- Turn by turn directions to riders (motorcycles, bikes,..)
- Aid for hearing impaired
- Translations display when talking in different languages
- Patients’ body data to a surgeon
- Instructions to workers in warehousing or maintenance
- Teleprompter for public speaking
- Subtitles at the movies (for hearing impaired and for different languages)
- Details about works of art at a museum
The company is led by CEO and founder Francesco Giartosio who held previous executive positions at Fiat, Ducati and other companies. Giartosio founded ContiPronti – Italy’s first online accounting service. He also started Giarty described as an “Italian Yelp” which was not successful. Giartosio loves startups and states “my passion is to innovate and simplify the way things are done.”
UK based equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs announced their pan-European expansion to offer investment crowdfunding this past November. The platform offers companies a vehicle to create a UK based shell company and to offer shares in their company to any individual in Europe.
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