Private social network for families launches beta version and secures investment
Kindaba, a Scottish-based family-focused private social network have just launched a limited beta form of their product. In addition, they have secured an investment which will help the company expand internationally.
The firm received £30,000 from Edinburgh-based pre-seed funding incubator, Seed Haus. That places Kindaba in the inaugural cohort of five early-stage startups. Seed Haus provides equity investment through a syndicate of high-profile Scottish entrepreneurs and investors including Sir Tom Hunter, video game innovator Chris van der Kuyl, and BrewDog’s James Watt.
“We’re excited about working with Kindaba. The product really spoke to us. It addresses a pain-point that impacts the founders directly, which is something we love to see in early-stage opportunities,” says Calum Forsyth, Seed Haus CEO. “Kindaba has a strong team who we believe are able to make this succeed.”
The importance of privacy
Kindaba CEO Rob Gelb founded the company in 2017 after experiencing first-hand the challenge of maintaining online privacy.
“I come from a privacy-conscious family,” he says. “I have relatives all over the world who don’t feel comfortable using Facebook, but like me, want to follow the adventures of the latest new cousin and stay in touch.”
After speaking with others, Rob found that his family weren’t alone. More than half (56%) of parents prefer to keep family photos and videos away from social media for reasons of privacy, according to a recent Ofcom study.
“I wanted a way for you to keep everyone up to date without worrying who else can see these moments. Something that’s more private than Facebook, but that’s better suited to families and all their photos than WhatsApp,” says Gelb.
Unlike traditional social networks, with Kindaba, families create private circles of a household and family followers. No one is discoverable publicly, there are no ads and simple privacy settings give you confidence in who can see anything that you post or share.
No selling of private data
“With Kindaba, you own your own content, and we don’t sell your personal data to anyone,” says Kindaba co-founder Lizzie Brough.
“A big problem with existing social networks is that you are the product. It’s in their best interest to understand you as much as they can so they can target ads to you for profit,” she explains. “That’s fine if you’re happy to give up a large degree of privacy, but the way public social networks go about that data mining is something that concerns a lot of people, especially parents,” she says.
Timing is key
Seed Haus’s Forsyth sees the timing as key: “The market has matured significantly in recent years; the generation that grew up using social media platforms are on the cusp of starting their own families. Users are more digitally literate than ever before and are seeking strong privacy controls. We believe that Kindaba sit at this interface and add real value.”
After two years of market research, Gelb and Brough founded Kindaba in January 2017 and secured £55,000 in first round funding by February, at which point they entered the Entrepreneurial Spark Edinburgh Hub. They then grew the team to four, and began building the platform.
The team are looking forward to launching the platform more widely.
“The response so far has been exciting. The more we talk to parents everywhere, the same issues are coming up again and again,” says Gelb. “The market is just getting started when it comes to targeted SaaS for individuals. No one’s doing it well for families yet, and we’re ready to change that.”
Kindaba is currently in limited preview release with their beta, and the next batch of invitations close at the end of next week. Visit here to get on the list now.
Why innovation and marketing are the perfect partners to make changes that matter￼
With the rapid evolution of traditional marketing and the appearance of digital marketing, technology and innovation has become part of any marketer’s life without the need of working for a…
Transitioning to a four-day week – CEO’s vow to strike a healthier balance in the workplace
I came to Scotland nearly 20 years ago from Ireland, with no contacts but a lot of determination. While Ireland will always be my home, Scotland has given me amazing…
Women Lead: The female-led company championing intuitive working
Over the last two years, the pandemic forced a shift to more remote and flexible working practices. Whilst we might be seeing a “return to normal”, some companies are choosing…
Women Lead: My passion for young people to consider a career in digital
Twenty years ago, I stumbled across my career in digital marketing almost by accident. It was during my honours degree in marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University. I was on work…
Women Lead: Inclusive Silicon Valley cohort gives hope to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds
Things are happening on the Scottish tech scene. Big and small initiatives are creating a fantastic ripple effect on the sector, bottom up and top down, thanks to the recommendations…
Women Lead: The story of an entrepreneurial scientist
I first arrived in Scotland over 20 years ago. I had £75 in my wallet and a scholarship offer to do a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Sometimes I…
Please mind the gap… or healthcare may fall
Imagine sharing a lengthy train journey with others. From beginning to end, imagine how often you might hear ‘mind the gap’ messages about embarking and disembarking safely. Picture how navigating…
Women Lead: My journey from Dragons’ Den to Silicon Valley
Following her appearance on Dragons’ Den, Sheila Hogan, serial entrepreneur, founder and chief executive of digital legacy vault, Biscuit Tin, shares her experience of her time in the Den and…