Australian startup Tapestry, which makes an app for Android tablets to help seniors stay connected to family members, has raised $400,000 in new funding in the form of a grant from Commercialisation Australia -- capital it will use to extend its wares to iOS (and beyond tablets), add additional community features, and gear up for a U.S. launch.
It follows $600,000 raised last November from Sydney Angels, with a list of investors that included David Greatorex (founding investor ResMed, SecureNet), Su-Ming Wong (CHAMP Private Equity), Brand Hoff (Tower Software, Director NICTA).
Targeting the ageing population and their family members, Tapestry's service -- currently an Android tablet app -- is an attempt to simplify the social web and make it more accessible to less tech-savvy seniors in order to help them stay connected to family. It does this through a user interface that relies on two different account types — one for “sharing”, aimed at the more tech-savvy family members, and another, dubbed “simplicity”, for the senior(s) in the family who wish to mostly consume content and require the tailored Tapestry experience.
In addition to an Android app, the startup was offering its own (optional) hardware -- a rebadged Toshiba tablet -- though this appears to have been quietly dropped, a sensible move as Android hardware is fast becoming a commodity business.
Instead, the product roadmap looks to be in its software and service only, with expansion to the iPad and iOS in general, along with Android smartphones not just tablets. Tapestry also says it plans to extend its proposition beyond helping families stay connected, to include community-based features, which founder Andrew Dowling describes as "retirement and other group-based group packages".
Meanwhile, further growth is also said to come from a planned U.S. launch, which the startup has been putting in place via a recent trip to the Valley to meet potential investors, partners and customers, backed by the Australian Federal Government-funded Advance Innovation Program.