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Friday, Aug 12, 2022

Upfront-Backed Software Comes Out of Stealth

Three years ago, Santa Monica-based venture capital investor Upfront Ventures led a $4 million seed round of funding in Projector, a browser-based software for designing presentations collaboratively.

Last month, after three years of development, Upfront Managing Partner Mark Suster announced Projector’s launch. In a blog post, Suster called the platform, “a creative, collaborative toolset for visual communications, allowing users to develop really compelling slides, print materials or social media posts that are more visually compelling and easier-to-build for those who aren’t naturally gifted as visual storytellers.”

The Projector team, which now numbers 13, started working on its signature software in 2016 — the same year Suster and Upfront led the company’s seed round of funding. In 2018, Projector raised another $9 million in a Series A round of funding led by Mayfield; Upfront didn’t participate in the Series A.

Projector’s collaborative design software is aimed at creative organizations and marketing firms. It’s browser-based, similar to Google’s shared documents feature, allowing multiple users to work on design projects and presentations in real time. Projector hasn’t formally launched to the public, but the company is inviting user prospects to test a beta version.

“Projector sets out to simplify (the design) process greatly with one tool & interface for all your visual communication while making your output significantly better by baking great design into your work as you complete it,” Suster said.

“I built a few presentations in Projector and began to forget that I was natively building in my browser because it became so seamless as though I had just fired up a local app,” Suster added.

Projector is led by Trevor O’Brien, who met Suster during a workshop on mass incarceration hosted by Defy Ventures Inc.

O’Brien formerly served as Twitter Inc.’s director of product management. His Projector co-founder, Jeremy Gordon, is also a veteran of Twitter, where he was vice president of engineering.


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