Founder Collective and Venrock back Burner

Burner said Thursday that it has raised $2 million in funding. Founder Collective and Venrock led the round with participation from 500 Startups, David Cohen and TenOneTen. As a result of this funding, David Frankel of Founder Collective and Marissa Campise of Venrock will join Burner’s board. Burner is an app designed to give consumers greater control of their personal data.

PRESS RELEASE

Los Angeles, CA – September 26, 2013 – Burner today released an update to its popular app that allows consumers to create and manage multiple phone numbers for their voice and text communications. The app has been completely redesigned for iOS 7 and makes it even easier for users to take control of their mobile identity.
The company also today announced a $2 million investment led by Founder Collective and Venrock.
“Consumers want and deserve to control their mobile identity. Burner gives users power over the ‘who, when and how’ of their phone numbers and their voice and text connections, in the same way social networks let users manage who they’re friends with,” said Greg Cohn, co-founder and CEO of Ad Hoc Labs, makers of Burner. “Our redesign moves beyond disposable phone numbers and makes Burner faster, more elegant, and easier to integrate into your day-to-day communications.”
The redesigned application’s emphasis on usability and clean design is evident from the opening screens of the made-for-iOS 7 overhaul. The dashboard, now the primary view within the app, emphasizes Burner’s capability to manage multiple phone numbers, each of which can be individually named and configured, and features its own text and voice message center. Performance improvements to texting, deeper address-book integration, and intelligent number lookups have also been incorporated.
Founder Collective and Venrock join a group of previous investors including 500 Startups and David Cohen, and are joined by several new angels and boutique funds in this round, including TenOneTen, the new vehicle of LA angels Gil Elbaz and David Waxman. With the investment, David Frankel of Founder Collective and Marissa Campise of Venrock will join the company’s board of directors.
“Phone numbers should be as simple to get and use as email addresses are today, so people can more intelligently manage their mobile identities in the real world,” said David Frankel, Managing Partner at Founder Collective. “There are hundreds of use cases, from teachers texting with students to online dating and selling things on Craigslist, where you just shouldn’t ever have to give out your primary mobile phone number. Burner has a strong vision of our mobile future backed by a very experienced start up team, and we’re thrilled to be involved!”
Marissa Campise, Vice President from Venrock said, “Separating phone number management from carrier control is a disruptive idea. Moving the call and SMS interface out of the carriers’ stack provides true number portability, giving consumers more flexibility and control. We also believe there’s a longer-term trend separating user identity from a single mobile number.”
Recently named one of TIME’s top 50 apps of 2013, Burner enables users to create multiple temporary mobile phone numbers for voice and text. For a limited time, Burner is running a “7 for iOS 7” promotion. For new users to the Burner app, all free sample Burners will now be good for 7 days, short (aka “mini-”) Burners get a 7-day boost to 14 days, and all current Burner numbers will gain a one-time bonus of 7 days.
About Ad Hoc Labs, Inc.
Ad Hoc Labs, the team behind Burner, is a mobile software company focused on creating tools to empower consumers by giving them better control of their privacy, communications, and identity. The company was founded by Greg Cohn (formerly of Yahoo! and several prior startups) and Will Carter (formerly of Nokia, and whose previous efforts include several early and innovative mobile and location apps). Investors include Founder Collective, Venrock, Miramar Digital Ventures, TenOneTen Ventures, 500 Startups, David Cohen, and others.
About Founder Collective
Headquartered in New York and Cambridge, Founder Collective is a peer-to-peer venture capital fund established in 2009 with a maniacal focus on the seed stage. All partners have themselves founded technology companies with significant exits. “Founder Collective is the fund we wish existed when we each built our first startup.” Notable portfolio companies include Uber, Makerbot, Buzzfeed, HotelTonight, Coupang, Optimizely and Seatgeek. Please visit http://foundercollective.com/ and follow us @fcollective.
About Venrock
Originally established as the venture capital arm of the Rockefeller family in 1969, Venrock continues a tradition of partnering with entrepreneurs to establish successful, enduring companies. With a primary focus on technology and healthcare, portfolio companies have included Adify, Apple Computer, Athenahealth, Centocor, Check Point Software, DoubleClick, Endeca, Gilead Sciences, Idec Pharma, Imperva, Illumina, Intel, Millennium Pharma, SlideShare and Tudou. For more information, please visit Venrock’s website at www.venrock.com and follow the firm on Twitter at @venrock.com.

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