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Ex-Googler Tom Moss Gets $18 Million From Accel, Google Ventures to Build a Mobile Something

Moss, who has come and gone from Google twice, says this startup is his "moon shot."

Tom Moss, an entrepreneur and two-time Googler, is announcing Tuesday that his new venture–Nextbit–has landed $18 million in funding from Accel and Google Ventures.

He isn’t saying exactly what his company is doing, but tells Re/code it is something big in the mobile space and involves more than just Android.

Moss left his post as head of Android business development at Google in 2010 to start 3LM, but ended up back at Google after Motorola bought the mobile security startup and then in turn sold itself to Google. Moss left Google again to become an entrepreneur-in-residence at Accel Partners, where he cooked up the idea for Nextbit with longtime colleague Mike Chan.

Although much progress has been made in recent years in mobile computing, Moss says the industry has done the equivalent of going from a typewriter to an Apple II, but said there is much more room to grow.

“We are in the Apple IIe days of mobile,” Moss told Re/code. “It’s just starting.”

The 14-person San Francisco-based company has been working at whatever it is doing for about a year now.

There are some hints in Moss’ background and in the other people that are part of the team–a group that includes workers with experience in iOS and Android as well as recruits from Amazon and Dropbox.

“We love to solve crazy complex problems by architecting elegant solutions,” Nextbit says on its barebones Web site.

Joining Nextbit’s board is Google Ventures partner Rich Miner, who is also a co-founder of Android and worked with Moss on Google’s mobile operating system.

“Tom had an uncanny ability to address and understand their pain points,” Miner said in an e-mail. “He’s always one step ahead, and is better equipped than anyone I know to build a platform and products that address this space and bring a next-generation vision to market.”

Accel’s Rich Wong, who is also joining NextBit’s board, said (without going into detail) that Nextbit’s idea is a big one–and also one that involves significant technological and business model challenges.

“It is a big swing,” Wong said. “If anybody can pull it off, this is the team that can do it.”

Moss agreed, saying that it is his “moon shot”–clearly showing he has picked up a phrase or two from his two tours of duty at Google.

So, what are the odds that Moss ends up back at Google following another acquisition?

“That’s definitely not a business plan,” he said.

This article originally appeared on

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