Today at the Mobile World Congress, Seattle startup Glympse announced a partnership with Samsung’s ChatON app. The two companies will integrate Glympse’s real-time, temporary location into the chat app that comes pre-installed on most Samsung phones. The app also crosses platforms, allowing chat from Android, Apple, Blackberry and feature phones.
“There are great synergies between Samsung’s ChatON and Glympse, and we’re excited to give the app’s global user base access to real-time location sharing,” said Bryan Trussel, co-founder and CEO of Glympse. “We believe location technology should be ubiquitous and incredibly easy to use, and by putting it directly into an SMS conversation, we’re providing a rich and immediate way for people to share where they are.”
ChatON reportedly has 180 million users. It’s no WhatsApp, but 100+ million users in 200 countries isn’t anything to sneeze at, either.
The partnership allows Glympse to spread its real time, temporary location technology across still more platforms. The app is already integrated into several cars, navigation apps, and on the Samsung smart watch, Galaxy Gear.
The recent flurry of partnership announcements is a new trend for Glympse, and one the company has long hoped for. Founded in 2009, a mere 2 years after the debut of the iPhone, Glympse has always felt like the underdog.
“The conventional wisdom was, ‘How would I use that?’” Trussel told me. “It’s really nice to come into our own.”
The company has 19 employees now and has only raised $7.5 million. They aren’t profitable yet, but as they continue to license their technology to high profile partners, the future is looking bright.
“We always strive to provide our users with the best, most innovative technologies to enhance their mobile conversations and, we hope, to make their lives easier,” said Jay Park, vice president, Samsung Electronics. “Real-time location sharing was at the top of our list, and we are excited to partner with Glympse to offer their technology to ChatON users around the globe.”