VKB – Profile
HQ: Menlo Park, CA with R&D in Jerusalem, Israel
Management: The Company is searching for a CEO. President is Jonathan Curtiss who has been a management consultant for tech startups in Europe and Israel. Chairman is Harris Toibb, primary investor, and founder of Toibb Enterprises – a commercial real estate owner.
Investors: In January 2005, VKB raised $4.4M in its Series C funding led by Toibb Enterprises. This new round brings the total amount raised to over $11M.
Business Model: Licenses virtual keyboard technology. The company’s first product is a small accessory for wireless handhelds that projects a full-size, functional keyboard on any flat surface, allowing touch-typing input. Product typically costs an additional $200 and has been getting solid reviews. The same virtual interface technology will also be embedded in cell phones, PDAs, ultra-light notebook computers, gaming consoles, interactive TV set top boxes, and digital media gateways. Siemens is selling the technology in Europe. President expects sales of $5M in 2005.
Competitors: Synosphere, iBizCorp.
Dirt: We dig this concept. It could be the first big improvement on input since the mouse – forget about voice command computing for now. Future applications for verticals are there if the first application is hard-to-market. For example, in the medical market keyboards are often needed in sterile environments and VKB’s virtual keyboard can be used on any sterile surface, making it very easy to clean. VKB is also working with toy manufacturers to create virtual games such as chess or checkers, where players can move virtual pieces on a virtual board.