In our busy lives, meeting our friends seems to be a close to impossible task. Getting all of them under one roof even for 5 minutes is a herculean feat and not to mention the long hours spent on numerous calls and messages to do so. Well, well, we understand your frustration! To put all this drama to rest, there is soon going to be a kick-ass app in town called KUMPL.
Meet the Geniuses Behind It!
Suitable named after the German word for friends (kumpel), KUMPL is the result of all the hard work put in by its founders Christian Wehbe, Claudia Sophia Kolly, David Bridge and Daniel Bernard.
They are a promising bunch who come from different backgrounds and nationalities. With Christian being an entrepreneur, Claudia from Hotel Management School, David from Asset Management and Daniel being a Programmer and Software Developer, they most definitely have the right team to lead an exemplary start-up.
In short they are known as, The Dreamer (Christian), The Realist (David), The Permanent Optimist (Claudia), The Articulate Genius (Daniel). Well do we need to say more!
Know KUMPL Better!
KUMPL allows people to book friends for meet ups. It also helps users meet new people within their ‘circle of trust’. This app is like the ‘Expedia for Friends’ that lets people book a meet-up in seconds by matching available time slots, meet friends of friends abroad or at home and lets spontaneously select a city/time to see who is available.
“We are helping people get together easier and more frequently with their friends as well as offering them the option of extending their network by meeting Friends of Friends. Our solution is beautiful, because we built KUMPL on our philosophy of ‘less is more’: A booking app with only two search functions (Friend Booking & Spontaneous Booking) and 3 time slots per day, allowing users to organize a meet-up in seconds”, adds the team.
What Inspired It All?
One day, it all started when Claudia brought up an issue: ‘I can’t believe how difficult it is for me to meet up with friends. Every time we try to organize a get-together it’s like playing Battleship! Everyone is trying to guess when the other person is available and it’s a constant back and forth. The end result is we end up booking something 3 weeks down the line and when that day comes someone has to cancel due to a change in plans. Whatever happened to spontaneous meet-ups?’
These golden words were what triggered an ingenious idea with Christian. He thought why not create a ‘Friend Booking System’ limited to only 3 slots a day for ease (12-2PM; 6-9PM and after 9PM), where someone can select a friend or group of friends and immediately see when everyone’s schedule matches. This way a meet-up could be organized in less than 25 seconds.
He then extended the idea by including a ‘Spontaneous meet-up’ feature where someone can just input a city and time slot and see who is free. The app would then not only give results of friends in that city but also include Friends of Friends (FoFs) who are willing to meet new people.
Challenges Faced By KUMPL
Like most startups, even KUMPL faced challenges with regards to finding funding, perfecting the product and getting proof of concept. However, there biggest hurdle was assembling the right team as they firmly believed that KUMPL had to be developed amongst friends of friends instead of outsourcing the programming.
On Competitors, Targeted Audience & Monetizing
When it boils down to competition, Swarm from Foursquare is probably the app that comes closest to what KUMPL does. However, Swarm operates in a very different fashion. It shows users when Friends are nearby and allows them to meet-up.
“KUMPL shares the same philosophy of friends meeting up but is very different in its application. Contrarily to Swarm, we don’t think seeing where our friends are is effective or appealing. As firstly we wouldn’t want our friends to know every place we are and secondly being close by doesn’t mean we actually have time to meet up (most often we are in that location for a reason). This is why we prefer the KUMPL approach of booking a friend and so if we had to choose a competitor it would be a hybrid between: Facebook, Outlook and Expedia”, says the team.
KUMPL is suitable for the general audience. However, its target audience in the initial year of launch would predominantly be young adults, expats, travelers, socialites and networkers.
The app will be offered for free. The team mainly plans to monetize the app by featuring recommended restaurant/bar for that city after every booking. This is one of the reasons why, Kempinski Hotels have come on board as their official partner.
KUMPL in a Couple of Years
KUMPL is all set to make its big iOS debut in January 2015. The initial focus would be on major cosmopolitan cities like New York, London, Berlin, Milan, Barcelona, Zurich, etc as the team wants to focus on building their user base in the US and Europe.
“Our goal is to become the Swiss Knife of apps. What does this mean? Imagine if we could integrate into KUMPL a chatting system like WhatsApp, a restaurant reservation system like OpenTable and a car booking service like Uber, we would be the only app anyone would ever need. That is the beauty of KUMPL, it has great growth potential by working in partnership with other great companies and hence creating the Swiss Knife of apps”, shares the team enthusiastically.