Catch: The Online Notekeeping System for the Non-Organized
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the company is only just about to start marketing it, and hasn’t yet figured out if it will eventually change the pricing structure to allow for group memberships for offices or companies. Brown looks at Catch Pro as a “prosumer” product, and says that an enterprise version of Catch will come further down the line.
Because it’s not a social networking site, Catch has put security measures in place to keep content private, though users can choose to share bits and pieces. The Catch site is secured over an encrypted SSL browser connection, and mobile syncing is encrypted as well. “Unlike some of the very popular social sites, we have been SSL, all the way, all the time, end to end,” Brown says. “There’s no way somebody is going to see your stuff on a Starbucks Wi-Fi.”
The company’s seed funding came from “a number of super angels in the silicon valley area.” Catch also raised about $7 million in series A funding this year from investors including ,” Reid Hoffman’s Greylock Partners Discovery Fund and Boston-based Excel Venture Management. Now, the company of two founders has grown to a staff of 15, and Brown says they plan to “add significantly to their team” this year.
So far, Catch’s uptake has been promising, a feat Brown attributes to “betting early on Android and doing really well in the Android ecosystem.” Catch offers several apps for Android phones, including the notepad app Catch Notes; Compass, a personal check-in app that gives GPS directions and can even help users find their car in a crowded parking lot; and a simple text-based app called AK notebook. In aggregate the company’s Android apps have been downloaded 15 million times. In the last 30 days, the Catch website has had 5.6 million monthly active users and 43 million page views. “That puts us as not just one of the leading players in productivity [apps] on Android, but also one of the big players on Android,” Brown says.
The company has also opened up its platform so that other developers can tie their apps into Catch. For example, if you download the Daily Horoscope app there’s a Catch button in there so that you can save your horoscope. A recipe app with a Catch button can add ingredients to your shopping list. The BBC news app includes a button so that you can bookmark stories in Catch. “For the developers of those apps, it’s three lines of code and they have all of their notebook functionality integrated into their app,” he says.
Last year, Catch partnered with the TED Prize for the Move Your App competition, which challenged developers to use the Catch technology to build an app that would track physical activity. A total of 246 developers entered the contest, and the grand prize winner got to speak at the TED Global conference in Oxford. In a couple of months, Catch will kick of its second contest, the subject of which has not yet been announced.
Brown sees Catch’s open platform and its ability to organize its users’ information for them as the big difference between it and competing services like Evernote. Catch users don’t have to be neat freaks or pack rats to find it useful. “What’s different in our approach and philosophy is that you don’t have to be an organized person to use catch, ” Brown says. “It’s very lightweight and easy to capture information, and then powerful in the backend in terms of organizing more and more of that for you automatically. It’s for normal people who aren’t necessarily organized.”