The Verge reports that FiftyThree, the team behind Paper, the highest grossing app in the App Store, has received $15 million in investment funding to create what it says will be the Office suite of a more creative future.
“Our goal is to build essentially a suite of mobile tools for creativity,” says FiftyThree founder and Microsoft vet Georg Petschnigg, which means for all intents and purposes, FiftyThree has just begun. Well, Microsoft just debuted Office for iPhone, but an app that defined productivity on desktops — ported to mobile — doesn’t seem to be what Petschnigg has in mind. “It’s about imagining the right solution,” he says, “and that takes time.” …
Paper was awarded “App of the Year” in 2012. The app, which works on the freemium model. The initial download of the app is free, and you then buy paintbrushes for $2 each. The app has been downloaded over 8 million times, and was updated last month with new features, including Made with Paper, a social feed of other people’s work created with the app to provide inspiration.
FiftyThree’s $15 million Series A round of funding was led by Chris Dixon at Andreessen Horowitz, and he was joined by a list of high profile investors including SV Angel’s Ron Conway, Highline Ventures, Thrive Capital’s Josh Kushner, and Twitter / Square founder Jack Dorsey.
The company was co-founded by John Ikeda, who designed every Xbox 360 accessory from the controller to the Kinect, and has hired Jim Koo, ex-director of mechanical engineering at Sonos, and the designer of Microsoft’s award-winning Arc Mouse, Audrey Louchart.
Petschnigg wouldn’t come across with details on any future products from the company, but did share that collaboration will be critical to the future of Paper and any upcoming products. Saying, “When you look at the web today and what social media has done by giving everyone a voice, or how Wikipedia has given us the ability to recall information — we really haven’t figured out how to develop better ideas and new ideas together.”