Drop Messages brings enchantment to location-based messaging

Image via Drop Messages
Image via Drop Messages

Remember that time you sent your Boo a text to pick up eggs at the grocery story but they forgot because it got buried under the wave of steamy messages sent throughout the workday? History.

At least that’s what local startup Drop Messages hopes for.

Currently available for iPhone only, the app allows users to leave location based messages anywhere in the world. Move into the location where a friend has ‘left you a Drop’ and up pops their message.

Drop adds more serendipity to the traditional text message, co-founder Eric Noeth said.

“The feeling that you get is so enriching,” he said.

The outlook is promising enough that one co-founder, Zach Dewitt, is leaving Harvard Business School to pursue Drop Messages full time.

Dewitt and Noeth met at TPG Capital where they focused on media and communication technology companies. Dewitt came from Goldman Sachs and Noeth from Morgan Stanley, but both had always imagined themselves starting a venture of their own.

Drop Message was founded in March 2013 and won the pitch contest at TechCrunch’s Boston event in the fall of that year.

However, the location based applications is a crowded field, and, frankly, apps that rely on GPS tend to be battery hogs. So what differentiates Drop Messages?

Already, both Siri and Google Now allow users to set reminders for themselves based on a location. (Granted I’ve found Google Now never seems to know when I’m at Market Basket.) But for the co-founders, Drop Messages’ special sauce lies in the surprise element of receiving a message from a friend when you enter a location with a Drop: that serendipity that Noeth described.

“I find myself leaving drops for people way more than I’m texting,” Noeth said.

Head of user acquisition Calley Means said Drop Messages is about “making the world around you come more alive.”

He cites a report from Mary Meeker and her rhetoric about “unbundling” the web and the rise of “invisible apps” as inspiration for Drop Messages. Both are crucial concepts for how the company hopes to differentiate from major players like Apple and Google.

“If you read about all the big players pushing into the location-based space, it seems a bit forced,” Noeth said.

As for the technology and potential for battery drain Dewitt exudes optimism.

“The technology is working very well. It’s very accurate,” Dewitt said.

Addressing battery life, Drop Messages can use both GPS and WiFi to determine whether or not a phone is in range and selectively activates GPS when necessary, Dewitt said.

While the co-founders would not disclose financial specifics, the company has been bootstrapped up until this point. However, the company plans to announce their seed funding round in the coming weeks. The co-founders said they find themselves in the fortunate position of entertaining many suitors and are looking for support from both coasts.

George is a regular contributor to BetaBoston, and can be reached at george.levines@gmail.com.
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