Smile! Next startup from Blade incubator wants to solve digital photos


The next startup off the assembly line at Boston-based Blade will focus on a headache that pretty much everyone has: How do you keep track of and share the best photos you take? Some of them may wind up on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook — or perhaps on the front of your holiday card. But the majority “remain locked away on our digital devices,” Lineage Labs contends, “rarely finding the right way or the right time to be shared and enjoyed.”

Lineage is on the verge of launching a product called Bevy, and co-founders Firdaus Bhathena and Nancy Dussault Smith were out at the Consumer Electronics Show last week, meeting with press and prospective partners.

Update: On February 5th, Lineage announced that it had raised $4 million in initial funding from Blade, The Kraft Group, CommonAngels Ventures, and Windspeed Ventures. But a spokesperson said the company wasn’t yet ready to reveal when the product will be released.


Lineage co-founder Nancy Dussault Smith.

Smith wasn’t ready to go into details about Lineage or Bevy, but she said the startup has eight employees, the majority of whom are software developers. Unlike the two previous startups launched by Blade, WiGo and Classy, Lineage isn’t primarily focusing on college students and young adults. Smith says the product is oriented to families. “Digital photography is wonderful, and we’re all capturing more moments,” she says. “But you lose some of the magic — you may take 70 pictures, but two of them are good.”

Lineage’s LinkedIn page says the company aims to make it easier to store and organize digital photos and videos, “and above all, enjoy them with friends and family.” That makes me wonder if Lineage is focused on new ways to share photos on a TV, digital photo frame, or some other kind of display. Another clue points in a different direction: Bevy’s trademark covers not just software, but also “external computer hard drives featuring software for editing, managing, and sharing photos.” Also, Bevy’s VP of engineering and operations, Adam Craft, hails from Dragon Innovation, a Cambridge company that helps startups manage hardware manufacturing. Craft was also a longtime R&D and engineering exec at Bedford-based iRobot.

Smith also has some hardware experience: before joining Blade last year to develop Lineage, she was VP of marketing communications at iRobot. Bhathena was a founder of WebLine (acquired by Cisco) and Relicore (acquired by Symantec). Blade describes itself as a startup “foundry” that supplies initial seed funding, office space, and expertise to chosen entrepreneurs — and often helps them recruit team members.

Scott Kirsner writes the Innovation Economy column every Sunday in the Boston Globe, in which he tracks entrepreneurship, investment, and big company activities around New England.
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