Silicon Valley ‘Prodigy’ Gets $15 Million Investment For Startup

Matthew Sullivan Contributor

The startup launched by Larry Gadea, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who was once hired by Google when he was 18, is getting a $15 million investment.

The application, named Envoy, is a visitor registration service used by more than 1,000 business across the country.

On Tuesday, Envoy announced the $15 million investment by Andreessen Horowitz. That’s on top of an additional $1.5 million was contributed to kick start Envoy from Silicon Valley investment corporations in November 2014, according to Business Insider.

In 2013, Gadea created Envoy to innovate how offices check-in guests. The application allows visitors to sign in through an iPad app, print out a name tag with their photo on it, and notify the company of their arrival. Its latest update can send push notifications to the iPhone and display photos on the Apple Watch.

“If you go around Silicon Valley today, almost every start-up you go to has Envoy at the front desk. It’s sort of become a hit viral app,” American investor Chris Dixon told BI.

“Larry’s a prodigy. He’s just a classic scrappy, super brilliant Silicon Valley entrepreneur.”

Gadea was just 18 years old when he received a job offer from Google. After self-developing a plug-in for Google’s Desktop Search program, the mega-company reached out to hire him on the spot. Gadea was worried that he had been doing something illegal.

“They wanted me there full-time. I was super excited, an 18 year old getting a Google offer,” Gadea wrote in a blog post.

Gadea would become one of the first engineers at Google Canada after working throughout his college career. At the end of his stint with Google, Gadea began working with Twitter.

“So there was a time … about 3 years ago. I was ‘funemployed’ post-Twitter and looking for my next thing to work on. Before Envoy, literally nothing at the front desk existed to help make the situation better. Sometimes the receptionist would be there, but often times not. The solution was clear, and that’s what we went out to build,” Gadea writes.

The application has become a staple in offices everywhere. Since its debut two years ago, Envoy has registered more than 1 million visitors at 1,000 offices worldwide. The application runs in nine different languages. This success has been exclusively based attributed on word-of-mouth, according to Gadea.

“Our customer base is growing 20% month-over-month and the demand is not stopping, Gadea said.