Yahoo, AOL Vets Back Mobile Software Startup

Kakul-Srivastava-BA pair of Yahoo and AOL veterans have launched a mobile startup aimed at making enterprise apps as appealing and user-friendly as consumer apps.

Led by co-founders Kakul Srivastava, formerly GM of Flickr at Yahoo, and Sol Lipman, former VP of Mobile First at AOL, Tomfoolery Inc. will strive to create the equivalent of popular apps like EverNote, Twitter or Clear for the work environment.

“In your personal life, social mobile applications are beautiful, their functionality is meaningful, and they let you make real, human connections,” said Tomfoolery CEO Srivastava. “At work, today’s enterprise software makes us feel about as close to our coworkers as strapping spreadsheets to carrier pigeons.”

San Francisco-based Tomfoolery -- whose official credo is “Work Awesome” -- will launch its first app, for iOS, during the first or second quarter, with Android support to follow. The company did not provide further details on what type of app it will be.

In something of a mission statement posted on its Web site today, the company noted that as people increasingly work remotely, it becomes imperative to collaborate wherever they are. That gives mobile a critical role in how people work today.

“Mobile workers are not only choosing their own devices, they are choosing their own apps. And these apps better be good, because they know how powerful an app can be, how amazing it can look, and how much it can offer,” stated the post.

To build these apps, the startup has raised a seed round of $1.7 million from a group of high-profile tech industry investors led by ex-Yahoo execs Ash Patel of Morado Ventures and Sam Pullara of Sutter Hill Ventures.

Backers also include Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Yahoo veteran and YouSendIt CEO Brad Garlinghouse, Andreessen Horowitz, David Tisch, co-founder of TechStars NYC, and other angel investors. “The opportunity for mobile to continue to disrupt the workplace is tremendous; Tomfoolery is poised to capitalize on this trend,” said Yang, now at AME Cloud Ventures.

Lipman, who serves as Tomfoolery’s chief product officer, brings prior startup experience along with his mobile background at AOL. As a serial entrepreneur, he has also founded companies including Rally Up, 12seconds.tv and Sticky Inc.

In addition to Lipman and Srivastava, Tomfoolery is launching with a team of six, including Simon Batistoni, another ex-Yahoo and formerly engineering lead, social at Tiny Speck, and Ethan Nagel, ex-technical director of Mobile First at AOL.

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