Primary Role
Co-Founder & Chief Strategist @
17 Investments in 12 Companies
San Francisco

Person Details


Barney Pell is the co-founder, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of LocoMobi Inc. Barney has a long history as a leading technology innovator, product visionary, entrepreneur and angel investor based in Silicon Valley.

Barney is known for being an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Mayfield, a top Venture Capital firm, which he left to become Founder and CEO of Powerset, which built a natural-language based search engine that read each sentence in Wikipedia and answered user queries in plain English.

Microsoft acquired Powerset in 2008 to help create its new search engine, Bing. Barney then served Microsoft as Search Strategist, Evangelist, and Chief Architect for Local Search at Bing, until leaving Microsoft in September 2011 to return to the start-up world full-time.

Barney also has active investor, board member, and advisory roles with multiple start-up companies and non-profits across a variety of industries. Barney is Co-Founder, Vice Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Moon Express, a private company building autonomous robotic lunar landers to enable exploration and commercial development of the solar system.

This builds on his earlier career managing advanced software technologies at NASA. Highlights of innovations during Barney’s career at NASA include mission critical software to support planning and collaboration for the Mars Exploration Rovers mission; Clarissa, the first spoken dialog system in space; and the development of the Remote Agent, the first AI system to fly onboard and control a deep space probe.

Remote Agent is widely considered one of the top achievements in the history of Artificial Intelligence and was awarded NASA’s "software of the year" award in 1999. Barney is also Associate Founder and Trustee of Singularity University (SU), a new university created to educate leaders for life in a future driven by accelerating technological change.

Other recent active angel investments and advisory positions include: Getaround, Robotex, Halcyon Molecular, SpaceX, and CrowdFlower. Recent start-ups that have had successful exits include: Appjet (now Google), Aardvark (now Google), Hot Potato (now Facebook), Etacts (now SalesForce.com), Movity (now Trulia), and LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network which recently went public after acquiring its hundred-millionth member.

Barney received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and his B.S. degree in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a National Merit Scholar.

Barney is a frequent speaker at conferences and universities. These include keynote talks at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the Association for Computational Linguistics, Search Marketing Expos, International Semantic Web Conference, World Wide Web Conference, the Informational Retrieval Conference, and panels at SXSW Interactive.

Barney has also spoken at the NPA and IPI conferences and has been featured in all major Parking industry magazines.

Jobs (8)


Associate Founder


Co-Founder & Chief Strategist

Co-Founder & CTO

Aug, 2010 - Current   (about 6 years)
Search Strategist, Evangelist, & Chief Architect
Team Member
Apr 27, 2010
Oct 27, 1984
Founder & CEO

Board & Advisor Roles (6)

DateInvested InRoundDetails
Aug, 2016$2M / Series APersonal Investment
May, 2016$1.1M / SeedPersonal Investment
Jul, 2015$1.5M / Series APersonal Investment
Jun, 2014$3.3M / Series APersonal Investment
Jun, 2014$1.6M / SeedPersonal Investment
Dec, 2013$12.5M / Private EquityPersonal Investment
Dec, 2013$5.5M / Series APersonal Investment
Jul, 2012$1M / SeedPersonal Investment
May, 2012$3.5M / SeedPersonal Investment
Mar, 2012$1.2M / Series APersonal Investment
Dec, 2011$1.1M / SeedPersonal Investment
Oct, 2011undisclosed amount / SeedPersonal Investment
Sep, 2011$3.4M / SeedPersonal Investment
Jan, 2011undisclosed amount / SeedPersonal Investment
Nov, 2010$600k / AngelPersonal Investment
Sep, 2010$2.5M / Private EquityPersonal Investment
Mar, 2009$1.2M / SeedPersonal Investment

Education (2)


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