UPDATED 14:11 EDT / FEBRUARY 02 2011

A $2.25M Birthday Round for Massive Health co-Founder Aza Raskin

It’s been a wonderful birthday for Aza Raskin (I keep forgetting the little genius is younger than I am), with the news of a hefty seed round for his latest startup, Massive Health.  With the $2.25 million round, led by Felicis VC, Greylock Discovery Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Mohr Davidow Ventures and Charles River Ventures, Raskin and his team have a powerful support group behind this project, still hiding safely in stealth mode.

That’s not to say Massive Health isn’t diligently at work behind the scenes—and with such a healthy fund just to get this thing started, one can only guess at the great things the company will have to offer at launch. We have some general ideas on Massive Health’s principles, however, thanks to a chat I had with Raskin a few weeks ago, regarding his goals for the company. Managing data seems to be a core focus for the startup, and the timing of Massive Health’s funding couldn’t be better–SiliconANGLE is currently at the O’Reilly Strata Conference, covering the many emerging implications and opportunities for big data, data discovery and data manipulation.

While we don’t know much about Massive Health’s services or product offerings, we do know of its plans to bring big data analysis and other techniques to the forefront, helping users to “discover insights that improves lives,” writes Massive Health’s co-founder Sutha Kamal in a blog post today.  “Crowdsourcing, game mechanics, and social networking are cool, and applying it to helping someone get and stay healthy? That’s exciting. That’s powerful.”

The project hasn’t been in stealth mode for very long, as barely two months have passed since Raskin left his position as Creative Lead at Mozilla to pursue Massive Health.  Things seem to be moving right along with the project, and already the team is looking to expand.  Now flush with cash, Raskin and Kamal are seeking out new hires, telling nothing of job requirements, but hinting at the caliber of their growing team:

“Doug Soo—our engineering lead—was employee #6 at Linden Lab, the makers of Second Life. They make enormously scalable systems and a product that’s fundamentally about people. It’s not a coincidence that he’s joined us.”

The mere mention of scaling systems gives me goosebumps, just thinking about the potential behind a method of data accessibility that enables comprehensive introspection, particularly for health purposes.  And looking back at Raskin’s myriad of other projects, you can bet that Massive Health is going to be an exciting, but more importantly, fun project to work on.

“We believe deeply in creating a spunky and healthy environment,” Raskin says, when I asked of the culture he hopes to instill at Massive Health’s office. “You’ve got to, when your charter is to tackle the chronic diseases which cost the US health care system 90%, driven by just 15% of patients.

“One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about creating software is that software is the easiest part of my job.  Culture is the hardest part,” Raskin goes on. “Creating a product that changes behavior requires a dogged pursuit of user experience. Our dream is to build a world where the best-designed products aren’t just phones and music players, but also for people who are sick.”


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