A coterie of former Microsoft Corp executives have landed $4.75m in equity funding to develop social networking systems founded on .NET technologies.
Start-up company Graw Group Inc has received the funding from August Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers.
Graw’s senior management lists four former Microsoft managers, spanning the Office, Visio and Publisher business tools products, and MSN.
According to Graw, the company is exploring collaborative software products and services build on .NET and other emerging technologies. Graw is not providing details, although it is believed to be entering so-called social networking – a phenomena today associated with peer-to-peer online communities like Friendster.
Graw plans a public trial of its technology in its Seattle hometown later this year with a national US rollout during 2005.
Investment by August Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Buyers sees these two companies again putting money into a venture started by Graw co-founders Jeremy Jaech and Ted Johnson. The venture capitalists also funded Jaech and Johnson’s Visio Corp, which was acquired by Microsoft in January 2000.
Jaech served as vice president of Microsoft’s business tools division until June 2000 while Johnson was corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Business tools division until September 2003. Other ex-Microsoft executives serving with Graw are Peter Mullen, now Graw chief software architect, and Dennis Tevlin, vice president of marketing and business development for Graw.