Palantir just scooped up some fresh minds to aid its mission of analyzing the world’s information. Today Y Combinator Summer 2012 startup Voicegem announced its team is joining Palantir, and it will shut down its voice email service in mid-March. Voicegem had delivered over one million seconds of voice recordings, but now its makers are moving to a team that’s “truly changing the world.”
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Arda Kara and Alexander Blessing came up with the idea for Voicegem while working on computer science master’s degrees at Stanford. They wanted to intimately communicate with their families back in Turkey and Germany, but the time difference made phone calls tough. So they built a simple website and app where you could enter an email address, record a voice message, and have Voicegem the recipient a link to the web-hosted audio message.
The product got some traction with senior citizens who aren’t as familiar with typing as old-fashioned talking. Then Voicegem writes “It became the alternative to a phone call for thousands of people of all ages. Folks ranging from families to language students, aspiring singers to podcasters and universities to businesses.”
But as Hacker News commenter Aaron Brethorst points out, a million seconds of audio recordings cut up into 30-second voice messages meant Voicegem was averaging only 138 recordings per day over its six-month lifespan. That might not have been promising enough to push forward as a full-fledged business, and Voicegem never announced it had raised any additional funding beyond Y Combinator….. Click the link at the top to read the rest!