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Paper iPad app developer wants to reimagine tablet collaboration after new investment

by Doug Drinkwater

June 19 2013

Paper has been one of the best-selling iPad apps since launching in early 2012
Paper has been one of the best-selling iPad apps since launching in early 2012

FiftyThree, the developer behind the incredibly successful Paper iPad app, has received $15 million in new funding, money which the company could use to improve tablet collaboration and to enter the hardware market.

Founded by a number of former Microsoft executives who used to work on the now-canned Courier tablet project, FiftyThree has won numerous accolades over the last year for Paper, which Apple named as the best iPad app of 2012.

The app typically attracts both wannabe and professional artists and designers with a suite of color palettes and editing tools but, having now reached eight million downloads, it looks like investors have also being tracking the company's rise.

FiftyThree announced on Tuesday that it has attracted a $15 million Series A round of funding, led by Chris Dixon at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, and revealed how it could use the money to focus on improving tablet collaboration.
 
"Social media has changed the way we communicate, but real collaboration has been left behind. Still nothing has surpassed the simple act of sitting down in a room with a group of motivated people," read a company blog post, which also hinted at future hardware products.
 
"We believe a breakthrough around collaboration will revolutionize the creative process. How we work together. How we discover new collaborators to work with."
 
In an interview with The Verge later in the day, the firm even dropped another hint that it could look to introduce a Microsoft Office-like set of tools for creative tablet users.
 
"When you look at the space we’re in (which has existed since 2008), we haven’t even seen something like Office emerge on the tablet side," said FiftyThree founder Georg Petschnigg.
 
"Our goal is to build essentially a suite of mobile tools for creativity."

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