The idea was successful from the day it emerged. It was born during a brainstorming session for the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon that Andriy, Eleanor and I won out of a field of 750+ developers.
Co-Founders Matthieu Rigolot, Andriy Marin and Eleanor Harding started Hiboo, a messaging app that lets you see what your friends type while they’re typing! With genuine real-time messaging and no need to wait or to tap “send”, you communicate at the speed of thought.
Prior to Hiboo, Matthieu and Andriy had previously worked on another app which was placed at top 10 out of over 400 competing apps in The Big App Fund competition, a contest organised by Worth Capital and Facebook.
Also, Eleanor & Matthieu worked on a project called The Ultrascope, led by the Open Space Agency, which was shown to President Obama at The White House.
Arnaud Auger, their Chief Marketing Officer, helped grow a food delivery app from 0 to 250K Monthly Active Users in 4 months. He is also a professor in Digital, Social & Mobile Marketing at the CELSA Paris-Sorbonne university.
“Andriy once tried to explain a complex technical problem to me via SMS. I waited for what felt like a year while he was typing and then had to read it in full before replying to him.”, says Matthieu.
They felt that they should be able to see every keystroke in real-time, what followed was a brainstorming session at the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon, which they ended up winning with another idea. The concept of real-time messaging stuck on their minds and they decided to push it further to become the full-fledged product.
Specifically for Hiboo, the team had to build a new protocol from scratch and optimize the infrastructure a great deal to process messages with minimal latency and cope with scalability.
Another challenge they had to face was sticking to their original vision and roadmap, though various ideas constantly keep changing their approach.
“With faster replies and hilarious messages guaranteed, we’re showing you both sides of the story. We’re moving forward from static and synchronous messaging.”
Their direct competitors are Shuff and Beam Messenger, though both provide real-time experience, the difference lies in the execution, according the Matthieu.
“Our concept is strong and our app is both in demand and well-loved by our users. We have the ability to execute, to gather top-tier talent and build valuable partnerships. The sky is the limit.” he added.
They expect around 50K users in the first month and plan to grow to 150k users by April 2016, when they’ll be releasing their Android version in the Play Store.
Their target demographics are the young audience of 13-25 year old students from the UK, the U.S and early tech adopters. They plan t0 expand to the asian market and rest of the world.
Integration with enterprise messaging providers like Slack or Intercom, providing real-time messaging as a service are part of their monetization plan.
To know more and download the app, visit: http://www.hiboo.co/