True Knowledge, the Cambridge UK company behind the flagship personal assistant app, Evi, is opening a base in Silicon Valley to cash in on US demand.Evi, which Cambridge entrepreneur Hermann Hauser enthusiastically demonstrated to US entrepreneurs at the recent Cambridge Phenomenon book launch, has taken the world by storm and True Knowledge has now changed its name to Evi.
The company has also announced new features, has passed its millionth installation and has appointed a new CEO – Silicon Valley ‘veteran’ Barak Berkowitz.
With these parallel moves, Evi has positioned itself for a strong spurt of international growth. The web-based True Knowledge web service is now found at www.evi.com
Barak Berkowitz is a Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur who was most recently managing director of Wolfram|Alpha and CEO of blogging leader Six Apart.
Evi Founder William Tunstall-Pedoe, will become Evi’s chief product officer and will continue to concentrate on product leadership, innovation and breakthrough consumer products.
Berkowitz brings a rich pedigree of consumer technology success. He started his career at Macy's, where he built the world's first chain of consumer computer stores.
He subsequently went to Apple, where he worked in the Advanced Technology Group and ran multiple consumer marketing programs. In 1997, he became Executive Vice-President and general manager of Disney’s Go Network, which he helped build into one of the Top 5 web portals at that time.
In 1999, he co-founded and became president of OmniSky, the wireless Internet innovator, which went public in 2000 and was later acquired by EarthLink.
Tunstall-Pedoe said: “Our early success has naturally led us to seek an individual who can take us to the next level. Barak’s 30 years of experience bringing highly-interactive consumer technologies to market and strong network of connections in the US entrepreneurial community makes him an outstanding choice for Evi.”
As part of its growth Evi will add a new Silicon Valley office in the early summer.
Evi has been enhanced with new phone control features on both the iOS and Android platforms, including:
• The ability to ask Evi to initiate a phone call. e.g. ‘call William’
• Sending texts. e.g. you can say to Evi ‘text William to say I’ll be there in 10 minutes’
Evi says its personal assistant app for iOS and Android platforms has been installed more than one million times since the January 23 launch. The million-user milestone – which roughly calculates to a new user installing Evi every ten seconds since her debut – is a combination of total installations through all services where Evi is available, such as iTunes and Google Play.
The Evi app skyrocketed to popularity the week it launched, winning #1 popularity status in the iTunes App Store in both the US and UK. It continues to be a leader in the personal assistant space.
Evi’s mission is to get things done through a technology that understands natural language in the context of each user and the world they live in.
Founded in 2007, Cambridge, UK and US-based Evi currently employs 25 people. The company is venture funded, with the main investor being London-based Octopus Ventures.