Microsoft bought and shut down this entrepreneur’s app. But now he’s raised money for a successor
German entrepreneur Christian Reber sold his to-do list app Wunderlist to Microsoft in 2015 for a sum that was reported to be between $100 million and $200 million only to watch the U.S. tech giant shut it down four years later.
Now he’s just raised funding for a follow-on app called Superlist, which he’s set up with four other entrepreneurs including two of the other Wunderlist co-founders.
Reber told CNBC earlier this year that the Wunderlist acquisition left him feeling “really unhappy” and annoyed. One of the main reasons Reber was so frustrated when Microsoft shut down Wunderlist is because he felt that the app never became the product he wanted to build.
He didn’t give up there though. In 2021, he launched Superlist, which he describes as the “unofficial successor to Wunderlist” and a “passion project.”
Superlist is a task and project management app that aims to help people collaborate in a hybrid-working world. It’s currently still in the second phase of its release life cycle.
“What we wanted to do was build the de facto standard application to collaborate on personal projects and in business,” Reber told CNBC earlier this year, adding that there are either enterprise products like Asana and Trello or personal to-do list apps like Things or To Do.
“I feel like nothing really nailed the bridge between both,” he said. “You either get like very cluttered software that is basically optimized for project managers, or you get like these very personal to-do apps that make it impossible to collaborate.”
Superlist is designed to help users scale a project from one person to 100 or 200 people.
The Berlin-headquartered company announced Monday that it has secured 10 million euros ($11 million) in a seed funding round led by venture capital firm EQT Ventures. Total investment in the company now stands at 13.5 million euros.
“The global productivity management software market is projected to reach $102.98 billion by 2027, so there is real opportunity for a tool that harnesses team members’ individuality and focuses specifically on the challenges of the modern workplace,” said EQT Ventures partner Ted Persson in a statement.
Superlist said it will use the new funding to double the size of its team from 20 to 40 by the end of 2022, with a focus on hiring developers, designers and product leads.
In addition to Superlist, Reber has also co-founded a Microsoft PowerPoint competitor called Pitch. The four-year-old business, which employs around 160 people, has raised a little over $130 million and it was most recently valued at $600 million.
“I think it’s incredibly easy to raise funding for technology companies right now because it’s like there’s more money than companies on the market,” Reber said. “As a founder who is starting companies more frequently, I feel like it’s never been better to raise.”