The competition for note-taking is as fierce as it has ever been with many high-value productivity startups fighting for an audience that can potentially serve endless productivity ramifications. In the past year, Notion raised $ 2 billion, Coda raised $ 636 million, and Roam raised $ 200 million.
A new competitor in space emerges from stealth with new funding from Andreessen Horowitz. The free app, called Mem, is an early access platform dedicated to pushing users to quickly jot down their thoughts without focusing too much on their underlying organization. The founders of the startup have broad ambitions for what their platform could become in the future, exploiting new advancements in machine learning and even AR.
“Really, the differentiation is [information] it’s invocable wherever you are, ”Mem co-founder Kevin Moody told TechCrunch. “So in the short term, through your desktop app with Mem Spotlight as your heads-up display wherever you are, in the medium term through a mobile assistive app, and then in the long term, imagine contact lenses that overlap useful content for you in the world. “
Moody and co-founder Dennis Xu tell TechCrunch they raised $ 5.6 million in a16z-led fundraising round with additional participation from their cultural leadership fund, Will Smith’s dreamers.vc, Floodgate, Unusual Ventures and Shrug Capital. The tour also hosted a handful of angel investors, including Harry Stebbings, Julia Lipton, Tony Liu, Rahul Vohra and Todd Goldberg, among others.
In its current version, Mem pushes users into “lean organization” rather than clicking folders and links to find the perfect place to nest their thoughts. Users can quickly mark dedicated users or topics in their notes. A lot of user workflow relies on research and chronological organization, showing users their most recently viewed notes. Users can also set reminders for certain notes, bringing a popular messaging framework to note taking.
To users of stored apps like Apple Notes, these interface quirks may not come across as much of a shock, though the design is still a departure from apps like Notion and Airtable that have focused heavily on structure rather than design. ‘immediacy.
Perhaps the biggest change in Mem is the way users access the information they dumped on the platform. The founders say they want to avoid their app being seen as a “destination,” instead hoping that users will rely heavily on an overlay using a keyboard shortcut called Mem Spotlight that lets them search for the information they want. might need for an email, presentation, or text message. The broader hope of the founders and investors behind Mem is that the team can harness the intelligence of the platform over time to better understand your brain’s data dump – and possibly other sources of. information about your digital footprint – to know you better than any ad network or social media graphic does.
“What would it mean to just passively capture your digital footprint and then use it as if it were structured,” says Moody. “If we can actually have our own Mem modeling of all of these entities, whether it’s text, or maybe contacts, people you know, or these are the events you go to and these different sources feed Mem, what would it mean for Mem to have a product that is the “you” API? “
For now, the startup’s app isn’t as grand as what the founders might see in its future, but as Mem continues to bring in the early adopters of its waitlist and add to its features. office, the company is moving towards a platform that they hope is more determinant in how its users “remember” information.