Austin’s Mike Maples and Scott Harmon form Swivel

on Jun6

Mike Maples, managing partner of the venture capital firm Floodgate, sits for a photo in Menlo Park, California.

Tony Avelar | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mike Maples, managing partner of the venture capital firm Floodgate, sits for a photo in Menlo Park, California.

Scott Harmon and Mike Maples are synonymous with Austin tech. They co-founded software developer Motive, which went public in 2004, and before that worked together at Tivoli Software, which was bought by IBM in 1996 for almost $750 million.

Maples — who’s since become a prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist with early investments in Twitter, Cruise Automation and Okta — has just made a big bet on Harmon’s newest stealth start-up, Swivel, which appears to be a competitor to WeWork.

According to a filing with the SEC on Friday, Maples has invested $1 million in a Harmon-led project called Poquito. It’s Maples second investment in the company, as he previously invested $850,000, according to a filing in November.

Harmon didn’t respond to a request for comment, and Maples — co-founder of Floodgate — said that his former co-worker is staying stealthy at the moment, though he did say that Poquito was a code name for Swivel. Harmon’s LinkedIn profile says he’s been co-founder of Swivel since October.

Swivel calls itself a “workshifting” platform that “lets employees set schedules that enable them to get their best work done from the best places.” The company’s website promotes a pilot program targeting operators of co-working spaces and managers looking to offer flexibility for employees.

WeWork has catapulted to a valuation approaching $20 billion by opening up co-working locations in 23 U.S. cities and 15 other countries. Unlike earlier versions of the shared office, WeWork has focused on creating community-oriented spaces with a start-up feel that offer everything from on-demand workstations to private offices for teams.

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