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Friday, May 17, 2013

Al Gore and Bono invest in Biz Stone's mystery startup


Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has picked up some interesting celebrity investors for his mysterious mobile startup Jelly. The list, published on the company's Tumblr Thursday, includes rockstar Bono, former vice president of the United States Al Gore, and Greg Yaitanes, the director of hit TV shows like "Lost," and "Heroes."
"We chose angels like Al Gore, a Partner at KPCB and Chairman and Co-founder of Generation Investment Management, Greg Yaitanes, a Hollywood director, and Roya Mahboob, an entrepreneur doing amazing work for women in Afghanistan partly because they work in divergent fields. Knowledge diversity is something we prize highly and is also something that will be represented in our product," the blog post reads.
Yaitanes, an angel investor of Twitter, and Gore, a partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, are no strangers to tech investments. Jelly didn't say how much money it raised this round.
Jelly's got some tech notables as well. Other investors includes Stone's fellow Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, The Obvious Corporation co-founder Jason Goldman, popular science writer Steven Johnson and Roya Mahboob, one of the first IT female CEOs in Afghanistan.
Spark Capital lead this first round of funding with additional investment from SV Angel. Spark General Partner Bijan Sabet will now serve on Jelly's board of directors.
Stone launched the startup earlier this yearand it's expected to be a product that people can use on smartphones or tablets. The funding announcement didn't give any concrete examples of what Jelly actually is, but it will probably be something involving the intersection of mobile tech and the social good, considering its angels.
"As mobile devices have taken an increasingly central role in our lives, humanity has grown more connected than ever--herein lies massive opportunity," the post reads. "With this capital raise, Jelly has the means to hire more great talent and continue building what we think of as the natural next step for our connected society. We will share more about Jelly from a product perspective when we move beyond early prototyping."
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