If the world of mobile applications and social networking has hindered the search engines in no other way, it has at least deprived the companies of some of its top players. There’s been an exodus over the last few months, wherein top-level executives from Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google have all fled the scene to join up with, invest in, or establish start-up companies in the explosive growth industries of mobile apps.
That’s what’s happened with Fritz Lanman, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Corporate Strategy and Acquisitions, who quit his job officially back in December. Initial rumors stated that Lanman was leaving so he could do angel investing as his primary form of work (Lanman is well known as an angel investor), but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Rather, as reported by Tech Crunch, Lanman is using his angel investing skills only to raise funds for his own mobile app start-up.
This start-up is a social utility program that’s known as 5Star — not to be confused with either the company 5Star Specialty programs or the British R&B group — and his investing prowess was enough to garner Lanman over a million in first tier funds. Little is known about 5Star at this point, and no public information resources have yet been released.
Lanman certainly has enough of a technological background to judge the market and the viability of a new technology company. After all, he’s seen rapid growth companies firsthand thanks to his history of angel investing; he’s worked in the strategic development of various divisions of Microsoft, and he’s served as a C-level consultant to a number of prominent companies. During his time at Microsoft, he was able to successfully manage some of the more successful new features, including Microsoft’s deals with both Yahoo and Facebook.