Betabeat first met Tout’s Tawheed Kader–TK, as he’s known–at South By Southwest, where he was pitching an app that takes some of the pain out of repetitive emails. He already had paid subscribers and we heard glowing reviews from people who were using it. But apparently we weren’t the most important contact Mr. Kader made at the festival. He met Dave McClure over dinner and vodka. “The funny thing is, I ended up pitching Tout to just about everyone on that table except for Dave,” Mr. Kader says.
“The only real exchange the two of us had was when Dave stared at my vodka martini with 16 olives (because that’s just how I roll), and asked ‘Hey TK…. howʼs that drink treating you?’ Needless to say, Dave and I connected soon after, and before I knew it, not only was he investing in Tout, but he also convinced me to move out to California for the summer to join the 500 Startups Accelerator program.”
Mr. Kader also met Joshua Baer of Capital Factory, who became an investor, at SXSW. His other investors/advisors include Esther Dyson, Eric Ries, Owen Davis, and others, including another email entrepreneur, Vivek Sharma, and a diamond cutter, Daniel Eskapa.
UPDATE: We heard back in April that Tout planned to raise $500,000 for its seed round, but Mr. Kader said this round was set for $250,000 and was oversubscribed. (Maybe the extra money can go for cocktail olives?) “We’re doing out 500k+ round come Demo Day at 500Startups,” the founder said in an email.
Tout plans to use the money to expand the team. Mr. Kader has already recruited a community manager, Margaux Guyonneau, a southern girl who moved to the city after she got the job off Twitter.
“Toutʼs singular goal is to help people communicate better via email,” Mr. Kader writes in a blog post. “The way we do this is by identifying patterns that exist in how people communicate and then optimizing for those patterns. We think Repetitive Email (what weʼre working on now) is one such pattern. As we get closer to perfecting this pattern, we want to move onto other patterns as well including: Scheduling, Introductions, Contact Info Sharing and even Group Discussions.”