Helping humans find the sun: why we’ve invested in Shadowmap
Do you remember what you were doing in the winter of 2013?
Georg, Shadowmap’s Founder, remembers those days pretty well. He was working like crazy, going to the office before the sun rose and leaving after it set. His former workplace was situated in the inner parts of the city, such that just knowing where he could get a sunny lunch break became a struggle.
He recalls not seeing the sun for over two weeks. And it was during those dark and busy times where the first pieces of the idea started forming in his mind. To his surprise, all the data was there, but there was no tool utilizing it.
The vision of building an interactive 3D map on your mobile to identify the sun’s position resonated with everyone he talked to. Not only creatives, but friends, realtors, sustainability enthusiasts, social entrepreneurs and more.
Fast forward to 2020. Georg launches the first alpha version of Shadowmap. Quite clunky, but again as Reid Hoffman says, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” And despite that, he begins to get lots of external validation.
Soon after that, Simon joins, whom Georg had worked with at a previous venture. And it becomes the story of two friends from Vienna on a mission to help people find the sun (and sometimes shade).
The Sun. Because “the source of all life on earth” would have probably been too long.
It’s no secret that this giant ball of fire is what moves the earth. It affects every aspect of our life and the environment around us. Then, why do we ignore the sun most of our time? Why don’t we integrate (information about) sunlight into all our daily decisions? Where to have lunch? Where to buy an apartment? Where to go for a run? Where to build a solar panel in the garden?
We don’t. But why? It’s not due to data scarcity. The information is publicly available. Yet it’s not put together in a way that enables everyone to use it. The tools available are only used by a very small group of specialists — mostly architects.
In other words, we lack a fast, reliable and global tool to integrate the sun’s availability into our everyday decisions, plans and communications. But do people actually care? Well, without a marketing budget Shadowmap’s early traction spanned from an Australian customer building solar powered communications infrastructure, to a US museum wanting to verify the date of their paintings, to one of Austria’s largest corporations for a movie shoot in Turkey and a busy Viennese guy looking for a spot in the sun for his lunch break.
At the intersection between health, sustainability and IoT, the use cases are uncountable. Most likely Georg hasn’t even foreseen half of them yet. We at Calm/Storm Ventures are fanatics of purpose driven founders transforming our life and well-being for the better. We couldn’t be more proud to be backing Georg and Simon. We’ve built the thesis of our fund on the idea that software will democratize access to a better and healthier life. Shadowmap is the tool that will democratize access to information about sunlight — the basis for our health. We couldn’t be more on target. We had to invest.
From any of us in the north looking for a spot in the sun or all our friends in the south just reaching out for some shade, to photographers, designers, realtors all the way to social enterprises and municipalities.
If you’re building something to change our life towards a healthier future, pitch us!