If you think social media and technology hasn’t left a stone unturned, here’s a start-up to prove you wrong. Launched in March 2016, the new app, kin2kin, is founded on the idea that Facebook – popular though it is – is not actually as inclusive as you might think. And founder Hamish McGregor would know. With a career in finance taking him to various parts of the world, McGregor witnessed the struggles his children experienced communicating and maintaining a connection with their grandfather. The problem for Facebook, he says, is that it connects a person to friends and “some of the adults in the family.
“It doesn’t include the kids under 13 (who are often the most tech savvy) and I am trying to trigger relationships for my kids, not a response back to me,” said McGregor.
“Most grandparents want a simple and private place just for family.”
Of course – there’s Skype for video calls, but then, time zones and busy schedules come into play, says McGregor.
Focussing on “the grandparent, the busy parent, and the kids too young for social media,” the kin2kin team conducted six months of research prior to launching the family photo-sharing platform earlier this year.
“We did a web prototype first, then added iOS, then Android. We were constantly adjusting based on user feedback.”
kin2kin has been downloaded by 5000 users across 51 countries and has experienced 30 per cent organic growth month-on-month.
But this isn’t a competitor with ambitions to go head-to-head with the likes of Facebook – which McGregor describes as just having “a different purpose.” kin2kin is designed to ‘fill in the gaps’ and number of successful entrepreneurs and investors have ‘bought in,’ including app developer Stu Sharpe, the Emmy Award winner for America’s cup in April 2014, and eftpos founder Peter Marshall.
“We raised 1.3 million Australian dollars seed round that we are closing out. It has been raised privately from a collection of previously internationally successful entrepreneurs,” said McGregor.
All – he says – were attracted by “a global addressable market, positive community outcomes, and of course, a great team.”
Since launch, kin2kin has been downloaded by 5000 users across 51 countries and has experienced 30 per cent organic growth month-on-month. And McGregor has great expectations for the future.
“One year from now, we hope for one million happy households. In five years – fifty million happy households,” said McGregor.
“It's amazing the community growth you can get when people endorse and share a positive story.”
Amongst, market research, fund raising and app development – the toughest challenge experienced by McGregor to date will probably come as a surprise: “Selecting the app name.”
McGregor said: “We decided it had to be short and simple and say what it did. We think we got there in the end with kin2kin because we are about stronger relationships, not just photo updates.”
With that in the bag, McGregor says jumping between funding rounds will be most challenging for the business moving forward. Recognising this is a natural path for all entrepreneurs, he concedes “you do feel very vulnerable and distracted by not working on product or with customers.”
Dan Jacobs is the Editor for ShortPress and an experienced business writer across a range of industry sectors.
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