Making plans with friends can be like herding cats. Finding out who’s available when and trying to get everyone to agree on a place to meet at a certain time is one of the most problematic issues facing this current generation. Unfortunately, most of today’s messaging and calendaring options are insufficiently prepared to deal with this problem. But CalPal is.
CalPal is a new app that simplifies calendaring and communications so meeting participants can collaboratively plan and chat about upcoming events. It works by integrating with users’ existing calendar services and imports events that they already have. It also allows them to add new events and syncs back up with those services.
The startup was founded by Rahul Jaswa and Michael Bachand in March 2012. Since then, the pair have been working to find ways that they could add value to the traditional calendaring space.
That started with an app that early on was about local event discovery and helping users discover things that were happening around them. But as the founders looked more deeply into the problem, what they found was that people didn’t need help discovering new and interesting things to do, they needed help planning things with the people they wanted to hang out with.
CalPal works like nearly every other calendaring app, syncing back to the services that they already use. But it adds a layer of functionality that most other apps don’t to facilitate plan making.
The problems associated with making those plans usually revolve around communicating with people prior to meeting. In that way, it changes the single-user calendar experience and makes them collaborative. Users can create an event and invite anyone from their contact list.
Once created, anyone who is invited can make changes to time or location, enabling plans to evolve based on people’s interests and availability. That will allow groups of users to set up a potential hangout sesh without having to know all the details and determine what works over time, rather than the other way around.
The most important part of the application is a messaging functionality built straight into events. Previously, meeting participants had to coordinate details through other means of communication — whether it be email, SMS, or some other type of messaging service.
In most cases, that meant that conversations were siloed and not every participant was aware of what was happening. By contrast, all conversations that happen on CalPal are visible to everyone who plans on attending. New users can also be added at any time or drop out if they can’t attend.
CalPal has raised about $600,000 in seed funding from investors that include Samsung EVP John Pleasants, Adify co-founders Rick Thompson and Russ Fradin, SnapStick founder Rakesh Mathur, DropBox CFO Sujay Jaswa, Wilson Sonsini Investments, Ed Cluss, Raj Jaswa, Rahul Jaswa, Mike Jung, Daniel Eskapa, and Igor Ryabenkiy.