Phil Gordon is known in poker circles as an intelligent mind who has won at the World Poker Tour, made impressive showings at the World Series of Poker, and authored a number of acclaimed books.
Now, Gordon has secured a purported $2.35 million in seed money to start-up a new tech company, known as Tetrapod Software.
About Gordon’s New Venture
Tetrapod Software’s first offering is a product called “Chatbox” which is an instant messaging chat option for both desktop and mobile users.
The software allows users to engage in private chatting either by using their platform or by simply CC’ing those on an email chain. The software is offered up for free and on the official Tetrapod Software website, more is coming soon. Features such as calendar integration, Dropbox support, APIs, voice features, and SMS will be offered with Chatbox.
Chatbox is aimed at school groups, sports clubs, inter-company projects, and other groups of people aiming at communicating with each other.
The goal is to offer these groups a means of collaborating outside of email in a pain-free and private way. The company has open-sourced the core server architecture so that they would not have to rebuild the platform again. Security is of paramount concern to Tetrapod Software, as they communicate exclusively over SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and all data is stored with 256-bit encryption on their servers.
Tetrapod Software Details
Currently, there is no mention of how the company will monetize its services. In their official FAQ, they state they are self-funded and not raising money, however multiple industry reports state that Gordon helped raised the $2+ million the company needed to take the next step in operations.
According to reports, investors include former Yahoo President Sue Decker, as well as board members for companies such as Costco, Berkshire Hathaway, PayPal, and Vocus. Joining the company’s board includes Doug Miller, the Chief Revenue Officer for Living Social. Tetrapod Software purportedly has only six employees but is expected to announce a round of hiring for engineering and executive leadership later this year.
About Phil Gordon
Born in Texas, Gordon grew up in Georgia and started attending the renowned engineering university Georgia Tech at the age of 15. In his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event in 2001, he finished in fourth place and won $400,000.
The next year he made two WSOP final tables. In 2004 he won the World Poker Tour $5,000 Bay 101 Shooting Star event for $360,000 and his only title. Since then he has authored several popular poker-themed books, such as “Poker: The Real Deal” and “Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No Limit Hold’em” as well as penned articles for numerous magazines. He’s currently best known for his commentary work for Celebrity Poker Showdown which ran for seven seasons.
Famous Poker Entrepreneurs
Gordon is certainly not the first well known poker player to start up a business. Well-known poker theorist and author David Sklansky won three WSOP bracelets, which he parlayed into a publishing business.
Dewey Tomko used his winnings to open a casino in Costa Rica.
Hasan Habib, who won a bracelet in 2004, used his winnings to open up a chain of video rental stores.
Faraz “The Toilet” Jaka won big during a period some years ago and flipped part of his $4 million in winnings to open doors for investments in real estate, a hip-hop music production company, and a company known as Axis Casterboarding.
Taylor Caby, an accomplished pro in his own right, co-founded CardRunners, which was a popular poker training site. Now he helps run DraftDay, which is a daily fantasy sports site.