T2: A Rival to Twitter Raises $1.1M from High-Profile Angels

T2, the startup helmed by Gabor Cselle and aiming to disrupt Twitter, has raised $1.1 million from angel investors including Bradley Horowitz, Rich Miner and Katherine Maher (ex-Wikipedia CEO). Despite its current alpha with less than 100 users and yet-to-be named status, T2 appears ready to ride the wave of interest in Twitter’s current state.

Cselle is a serial entrepreneur and experienced product builder, having founded startups sold to Twitter and Google. He also shares his expertise on Twitter, garnering backers for his current projects. His record speaks for itself!

Horowitz, a Google veteran, helmed and created multiple products including the ill-fated Google+; he was also the first to invest in Slack. Miner co-founded Android and helped establish GV (formerly Google Ventures).

T2 is not the permanent name; it’s just temporary.

Caselle’s idea for a new service began as his musings on Twitter about the missed opportunity after Elon Musk took over. He developed these thoughts into statements of potential, which became the rallying cry for his T2 project started in November 2020.

T2, a Bay Area-based startup, has recently launched an early-stage closed alpha. With seven employees on board including Twitter alums like Cselle himself, the funding will be used to keep hiring for roles such as CTO and further develop the product and concept.

Cselle on T2: “We aim to create a comfortable, familiar atmosphere that evokes the original.”

Which version of the “original” Twitter T2 is recreating remains unclear, as Twitter has changed significantly over time and T2 is choosing which features to focus on and what might be excluded. For instance, tweets in the earliest iteration of Twitter were limited to 140 characters while they are now doubled at 280 characters.

The goal of T2 is to make it as simple and accessible as possible, leveraging familiarity to foster conversations and connections. As Cselle put it: “In consumer social, community is key.”

Cselle estimates the current number of people using its early version at less than 100, but with tens of thousands already on the sign-up list, it’s aiming for a critical mass to reach.

“We’re working quickly to get our product out,” he said.

Growth is linked to T2’s success in determining whether it has something worth building and the potential for a community; as such, early talks with VCs and other investors are already underway. However, these sources of funding won’t back T2 until certain milestones have been achieved.

The goal is 5,000 active users.

While the product is being developed, a publicly accessible Google Spreadsheet titled “What Would It Take To Build Another Twitter” serves as a north star and an open brainstorm for Cselle and his team, along with observers.

Cselle is an avid planner. He puts even family vacations into spreadsheets!

Will Twitter suffer a sustained loss of users, and if so, will they switch to another social media platform or something else entirely?

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Ava Patel

Ava Patel is a cultural critic and commentator with a focus on literature and the arts. She is known for her thought-provoking essays and reviews, and has a talent for bringing new and diverse voices to the forefront of the cultural conversation.

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