Monday, June 22, 2015

With $30 Million More in Hand, IFTTT Looks to the Internet of Things

One ambitious start-up wants to reroute the plumbing of the consumer Internet. Now it has the money to try to make it happen.

The start-up, called IFTTT (pronounced like “gift” without the “g”), announced on Thursday it had raised $30 million in funding, its largest round yet, from the venture capital firms Norwest Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. 

If nothing else, IFTTT’s service is rather clever. The title is an acronym — short for “If This Then That” — which neatly describes the function of the product. It is essentially a giant switchboard to connect disparate services, anything from Facebook to text messages to telephone calls. Users can create “recipes” in which an action on one service can trigger an action on another entirely different service. 

Earlier this week, for example, I connected my Instagram and Dropbox accounts to IFTTT. I made a recipe that forced IFTTT to upload any new Instagram photo I took to my Dropbox online storage account. More than 100 other Internet services connect to IFTTT, including Twitter and YouTube.

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