A few months ago, I had the chance to catch up with British serial entrepreneur Keith Teare at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna, where we sat down for a brief interview to discuss his latest venture, Just.me.

The startup, which is backed by the likes of Google Ventures, SV Angel and betaworks, is building a ‘new type of social network’ that lives on your smartphone and the cloud and can be accessed from your desktop browser, rather than the other way around.

Just.me 212709 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

Teare has been around the entrepreneurial block a few times. Now mostly involved with Just.me and Palo Alto incubator Archimedes Labs, he has also in the past been actively involved in the founding of ventures like TechCrunch, Easynet, RealNames, cScape and fotopedia, among others.

He’s also quite a good thinker and writer about the mobile space, as his latest posts on TechCrunch prove: you absolutely must read The Mobile Paradox and Unnatural Acts And The Rise Of Mobile if you have an interest in the mobile industry.

Just.me is still in stealth mode, and was actually supposed to hit app stores before the end of 2012. That didn’t happen, obviously, but Teare has confirmed that it will launch in beta at Digital Life Design (DLD) on January 21.

Upon launch, native mobile applications will be available for both iOS and Android. The service will be free of charge (both the app and storage) and be available in a host of different languages, including English, Chinese, Korean and Japanese.

Screenshots of the upcoming apps can be found below the video.

We can’t wait to give it a whirl.

In the interview, Teare describes Just.me thusly:

“Just.me is an upgrade to email and SMS. It integrates the two of them in a single app, and it sits on top of them, so you can send messages in Just.me to friends from your address book. And if they don’t have Just.me, it will use email and SMS as fall-back transports.”

I asked Teare to tell me a bit more about the service, the business model (which Teare says is patented), and Archimedes Labs.

just.me 212942 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

just.me 212906 Upgrading your phone to be truly social: A chat with Just.me founder Keith Teare (video)

Top image credit: Thinkstock