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Seattle Crowd Backs Mobile App Zapd In New $3.5 Million Round

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Mika Salmi described the new backers of PressPlane, the parent company of new mobile app Zapd, as a “who’s who” of Seattle in a note to me and he wasn’t joking. Madrona Capital and Real Networks founder Rob Glaser led the Seattle-based startup’s $3.5 million second round for a total raise of $5.6 million.

Founded by Kelly Smith, the Seattle-based startup launched out of Curious Office in 2008 with backing by Salmi (the founder of Atom Entertainment who used to live there), Second Avenue Partners, Expedia founder Rich Barton, former Expedia CEO Erik Blachford and others, with plans for a “buy and sell” marketplace for graphic design that became Inkd. The newest product debuted in late March: Zapd, an iPhone and iPad app that allows users to create mobile web sites and blogs. That includes easily sharing multiple photos, which Salmi offers as a selling point compared to other mobile photo-sharing options.. It’s been downloaded more than 500,000 times and claims more than 300,000 users. Since launch, it’s also added web creation and editing but the real potential here lies in the ability to create and manage on the fly. Salmi describes it as a cross between Twitter and Tumblr; not sure about the former but Tumblr is a clear target.

Where’s the money? Salmi: “We are planning to have various in-app purchases for widgets, custom themes, custom domains, etc though a contingent of people think we should just wait and see where it develops (a la Twitter, Facebook and Google) and have a unique bizmodel crafted just for the company and how it is used.” They’re also considering a paid pro version with deeper tools and features, Salmi added later.

Glaser, now a venture partner at Accel, and Madrona’s Len Jordan join Salmi, Smith and Second Ave.’s Mike Slade on the board.

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