Zenly

Locate your friends in realtime - GPS tracker

#5 Product of the DayMay 19, 2016

Reviews

Discussion

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Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
Thanks @gabriel__lewis for hunting us! We are super happy to be on PH today! Hi guys! Co-founders of Zenly here, hoping to catch some quality feedback on what we are doing. We’ve been on a mission to popularize constant location sharing for the past 5 years. Zenly is now the closest thing to a social network built on a map, with your friends and family. We were hardcore users of Foursquare and Gowalla but felt there was too much friction in the asynchronous check-in. We launched our first app 3 years ago that was focused on families & teen security. It did well in terms of downloads, and very bad in terms of retention. People were deleting the app because it was killing their batteries… So we spent more than 2 years cracking low-power, realtime anytime, and precise location sharing. We released in stealth what was our internal prototype a year ago only hoping to catch 200-300 users who would validate our algorithms IRL. We’ve been growing by 8% per week organically since and are launching officially today. On average people receive 6-8 phone calls & texts about their location per day: “I’m leaving” “I’ll be here in 10 mins” “Where are you?” “On my way”. Zenly is the best way to get an answer immediately, sharing your location continuously or temporarily, in the app, or through a URL. Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe are using Zenly every week. Teens use it with large groups of friends to stay connected, never miss out, meet-up, find each other outdoors (festivals, beaches, etc). Families, roommates and couples use it to coordinate, and for safety reasons. NGOs use it to keep track of their dispatched team members, often in remote areas around the world. There is even a bus system in Chile using it to communicate bus positions to their customers. We discover new use cases every day… you can even share your location with a link temporarily anywhere on the web... Our users engage in conversations based on what they see in Zenly, and the next step is allowing them to happen in-app. The very first proof of concept is our emojis which one could see as Yo with context. 2 taps and 1 emoji to share a message that’s often more explicit that 200 characters. Looking forward hearing from you all! Ask us anything! EDIT: @romaindillet was nice enough to share some thoughts about his experience with Zenly on @techcrunch http://techcrunch.com/2016/05/19...
Dan Rosenshain@danr_4 · I try to be honest
@an21m "On average people receive 6-8 phone calls & texts about their location per day" Source? I like the sound of how you grew until launch. It feels you were able to slowly capture value through UX iteration rather than feature-wise since it seems there aren't many features. Was this a pivot? are you bootstrapped? any investments? Now for the obvious question: How do you plan to monetize? since this is peer to peer, unlike 4sq, I tend to believe it has less monetary value. IAP for vanity stuff? Ads? Premium features? Edit: OK, read the TC article, 10m euros is quite a lot, and very impressive investors. I guess your metrics speak for themselves. I'm interested to know how did you fund building the product before the investment? Seed? Bootstrapped? It's rather rare to see startups waiting to nail the product before getting a substantial funding round. Kudos.
Hugo Fauquenoi@hfauq · Helping users grow @twistappteam
@an21m @gabriel__lewis @romaindillet @techcrunch Quite impressed by the playful UX and the low battery consumption, it's rock solid! Q: How do you guys see competition with Facebook Messenger? Their strength: they own the network (all my friends are using it, it's easy to share my location with them). I guess it's the end of "I'll be there in 5 minutes!" and "I'm already on my way" when I'm still stuck in the couch.. Btw, French power! 🇫🇷🍷
Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
Thanks @danr_4 ! Bootstrapped, Launch, Seed, Pivot. Bootstrap again. We ate pasta for years :) All our cash was going into engineering, buying test devices, and design. We have a few plans to monetize but it's too early to focus on them yet. All our efforts go into growth & product, shooting for 1M DAUs as fast as we can.
Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
Great question @hfauq ! A few years ago Google couldn't push the privacy questions around your online identity & photo sharing because they had a brand asset to protect. Facebook took the social space. We think it will be a pure player, cross-os, and entirely focused on the subject that will take the location sharing vertical. Just like Instagram & Snapchat took photo sharing on mobile, or WeChat & Whatsapp were winning chat before Messenger.
Hugo Fauquenoi@hfauq · Helping users grow @twistappteam
@an21m Focus always wins! I'm confident you'll nail this. People look really engaged with the app! Cheers!
Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
@hfauq thanks! Doing our best!
Dan Rosenshain@danr_4 · I try to be honest
@an21m cool. Well, good luck, I hope there's a sustainable business there.
Hayden Williams@howillia · VC @BBGVentures
@an21m awesome app, well deserved feature by Apple! One thing I noticed is that if a friend manually kills their Zenly app (on iOS), I can see still see their location. How does this work? I thought Apple doesn't allow an iPhone to send location data when an app has been manually killed. Is this a new feature on iOS? Keep it up!
Jean de La Rochebrochard@2lr · Partner, Kima Ventures
I've been following the team since january 2013 out of a random connection after having noticed the release of their first product on twitter. The release of Zenly last year came to me as a revelation of how powerful it could become. I have about 110 friends in my network and can't wait to see more social features to come out, the interactions from knowing where you are in real time are endless and so powerful ! :) Keep pushing guys, it's an honor to be part of your journey !
Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
It's an even bigger honor to have you as such a strong believer & backer @2lr ! Our next step is to get you to 20+ openings a day:
Ali Karagoz@alikaragoz
I'm using Zenly for more than a year now, couldn't be more happy with it <3
Gabriel Lewis
Hunter
@gabriel__lewis · 🤔
I just installed this on my phone, share my link on twitter. My phone has been buzzing for the last five minutes with notifications of people opening my link... 😯 Cool Idea :)
Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
@gabriel__lewis thanks for the hunt & the nice words !
Val Lefebvre@valfounder · Founder of Hotscoreapp.com
I love the product, I've been using it for a while and am impressed by the evolution of it. Indeed, the UX is very very well done and you can tell the product team is gearing up on the "fun" part of the experience, making it very accessible and cool to use. High-five to the FRENCHIES :D
Antoine Martin
Maker
@an21m · CEO, Zenly
Thanks @valfounder ! We love what you've been building too :)