The mysterious, unnamed eleventh start-up firm to participate in the first-ever TechStars New York seed-stage investor program has now revealed itself. The company is called OnSwipe, and it was remaining in the shadows until it could announce a $1 million seed round.
The Observer broke the names yesterday of the eleven startups in TechStars NY’s inaugural class.
OnSwipe focuses on building a simple platform for tablet publishing and advertising. New York players like Betaworks and Eniac Ventures got in on the seed round. In fact, Betaworks CEO John Borthwick was OnSwipe’s first user.
According to founder Jason Baptiste, the company, which has roots in Miami and Boston, has been criss-crossing the nation over the last month on a marathon fundraising trip. “I don’t think I’ve spent more than 48 [hours] in a single zip code over the last 30 days.”
New York, however, will be OnSwipe’s permanent home base. Baptiste is already calling out competitors in the city’s tight market for tech talent. “Hide your designers, hide your developers, because we’re recruiting everybody out there.”
Those are bold words, but $1 million isn’t really heavyweight cash in the city these days. Of course, the company does have the added advantage of being a TechStars company, which means access to the top players in Silicon Alley.
Silicon Alley is certainly the right place for the company, because it positions them close to media and publishing giants. With 50 million tablets expected to purchased by 2012, and tablet sales of magazine apps disappointing so far, there is a big opportunity for a new platform to emerge.
OnSwipe is also wisely aiming beyond just the iPad, delivering its content through a native HTML5 app experience via the browser on any touch-enabled device.
Typically TechStars companies wait to graduate to begin raising money, so a million bucks on the first day of class is an auspicious start for the fledgling New York program.