Hello, I am looking to create a simple prototype version of the mobile app idea that I've been working on for some time now. The core of the app will be a social network where people can share content. I know basic Python programming and OOPS concepts though I've never really built anything of significance. I am looking for a platform that will allow me to build native iOS and Android apps using simple codes and drag-drop actions. I am not looking to develop anything fancy but just a minimum viable product to validate my idea. I thought of building a website but that would defeat the purpose of the idea. Thanks for your suggestions.
Gone — or at least on hold for a long while — are the days of hanging around a coffee shop, poking around the internet on the free Wi-Fi while sipping the same coffee for three hours. The entire idea feels kind of alien right now. A little anxiety-inducing, even.
But coffee shops still want to find ways to safely stay in business, and people still want their coffee. With many states limiting orders to pickup/to-go, mobile ordering is seeing a massive uptick across the food industry. That’s great for Starbucks and anyone else who already had mobile ordering in place, but it leaves many smaller shops scrambling for a solution. Building your own app is complicated — and getting people to download it can be its own challenge.
For the last few years, Seattle-based Joe Coffee has been building a mobile ordering “network” for indie coffee spots — basically, a one-stop app for ordering from nearby coffee shops that aren’t Starbucks. The team had raised $ 2.2 million previously; after seeing a massive uptick in usage and interest from coffee shops in recent months, the company has raised another $ 1.3 million to scale up with demand.
CEO Nick Martin tells me that they’ve seen sales volume increase by roughly 20x since March. He also notes that they’ve seen the average tip increase by over 200% during the pandemic — a nice sign that people are trying to show love to the folks behind the counter right now.
This round — a second seed, as the company calls it — is led by Craft Ventures, and backed by Flying Fish Partners (which also invested in Joe’s previous funding).
Joe Coffee’s role here is a two-parter: On the consumer side, they provide the mobile app and web interface for taking orders and offering up promos, with a loyalty points system that works across the “Joe network.” On the coffee shop side, they’re providing signage to get customers into the app, the interface for baristas to process orders and set up deals, along with reporting/analytics to help figure out what’s working best. In exchange, they take 9% per order, which includes credit card processing fees.
Joe Coffee initially focused strictly on its home turf of Seattle, where it’s supporting around 300 coffee shops. They started to expand to other regions in August of last year, opening it up nationwide in January of 2020; today, Martin tells me, they’re working with more than 1,000 shops across the U.S.
Today Traplight, the Finnish mobile games studio focused on highly accessible mid-core games, announces the global launch of its new mobile gaming title Battle Legion alongside an €8 million funding round. Lead investor in the round is the EQT Ventures fund, with participation from Play Ventures and existing investors Initial Capital and Heartcore Capital. The funding will be used to double down on Battle Legion, which merges qualities from both mid-core and casual titles and has already secured high engagement metrics and a positive community response.
Traplight was founded in 2010 by Sami Kalliokoski, Jari Paananen and Riku Rakkola, who have more than 40 years of game development experience between them. Following the success of Big Bang Racing, which was named Best of AppStore 2016, Traplight’s 30-strong team has focused on the development of Battle Legion. The mass battle multiplayer spectator game has deep strategy elements and AI-controlled troops do all the fighting. Players can build their dream army from dozens of versatile fighters, customize everything and discover an expanding collection of skins, battlefields, portraits, banners and titles.
Lars Jörnow, Partner and Investment Advisor at EQT Ventures, said: “Many of today’s top-grossing mobile games have been produced by Nordic gaming studios and the Traplight team is set to continue this rich heritage. Industry veterans Sami, Jari and Riku are a strong founding team who have surrounded themselves with some top mobile gaming talent. The EQT Ventures team believes the Traplight team has the ambition and ability to build the next global gaming success story and we’re looking forward to supporting them on this journey.”
“We’ve learnt a huge amount in the past two years through active testing of different game ideas, building prototypes with small teams, and improving our production processes,” said Riku Rakkola, co-founder and CEO at Traplight. “We now have a game with huge potential and are proud to be partnering with EQT Ventures, Europe’s tier-1 mobile gaming investor. Lars and the team’s extensive mobile gaming experience will be invaluable as we set out to turn our vision of becoming one of the world’s chart-topping games into a reality.”
With a little IT background, here's my doubt, with a little add ons (small check box or another row below) on the mobile application got to stop the whole process of development, is that so?
Is it normal for a web (wix) & mobile application (IOS & Android) to cost a 100k or more & usually how long does the mobile application takes to build, isit somewhere between 6-12 months?
Been very stressed out recently, anyone that has been on this path, would love to hear from you and feedbacks are very much appreciated!
Developer and programmer Brie Code has worked at the peak of the video game industry – she was responsible for many of the AI systems that powered non-player character (NPC) behavior in the extremely popular Assassin’s Creed series created by Ubisoft. It’s obvious that gaming isn’t for everyone, but Code became more and more interested in why that maxim seemed to play out along predictable gender lines, leading her ultimately to develop and launch #SelfCare through her own independent development studio TRU LUV.
#SelfCare went on to win accolades including a spot of Apple’s App Store Best of 2018 list, and Code and TRU LUV was also the first Canadian startup to attend Apple’s Entrepreneur Camp program. Now, with over 2 million downloads of #SelfCare (without any advertising at all), Code and TRU LUV have brought on a number of investors for their first outside funding including Real Ventures, Evolve Ventures, Bridge Builders Collaborative and Artesian Venture Partners.
I spoke to Code about how she came up with and created #SelfCare, what’s next for TRU LUV, and how the current COVID-19 crisis actually emphasizes the need for an alternative to gaming that serves many similar functions, but for a previously underserved groups of people for whom the challenges and rewards structures of traditional gaming just don’t prove very satisfying.
“I became very, very interested in why video games don’t interest about half of people, including all of my friends,” Code told me. “And at that point, tablets were becoming popular, and everyone had a phone. So if there was something universal about this medium, it should be being more widely adopted, yet I was seeing really clear patterns that it wasn’t. The last time I checked, which was maybe a couple years ago, there were 5 billion mobile users and around 2.2 billion mobile gamers.”
Her curiosity piqued by the discrepancy, especially as an industry insider herself, Code began to do her own research to figure out potential causes of the divide – the reason why games only seemed to consistently appeal to about half of the general computer user population, at best.
“I started doing a lot of focus groups and research and I saw really clear patterns, and I knew that if there is a clear pattern, there must be an explanation,” Code said. “What I discovered after I read Sheri Grainer Ray’s book Gender Inclusive Game Design, which she wrote in 2004, in a chapter on stimulation was how, and these are admittedly gross generalizations, but men tend to be stimulated by the sense of danger and things flashing on screen. And women, in her research, tended to be stimulated by something mentioned called a mutually-beneficial outcome to a socially significant situation. That’s when you help an NPC and they help you, for instance. In some way, that’s more significant, in the rules of the world than just the score going up.”
Code then dug in further, using consumer research and further study, and found a potential cause behind this divide that then provided a way forward for developing a new alternative to a traditional gaming paradigm that might prove more appealing to the large group of people who weren’t served by what the industry has traditionally produced.
“I started to read about the psychology of stimulation, and from there I was reading about the psychology of defense, and I found a very simple and clear explanation for this divide, which is that there are two human stress responses,” she said. “One of them, which is much more commonly known, is called the ‘fight-or-flight’ response. When we experience the fight-or-flight response, in the face of challenge or pressure or danger, you have adrenaline released in your body, and that makes you instinctively want to win. So what a game designer does is create these situations of challeng,e and then give you opportunities to win and that leverages the fight-or-flight response to stress: That’s the gamification curve. But there is another human stress response discovered at the UCLA Social Cognitive Neuroscience lab in 2000, By Dr. Shelly Taylor and her colleagues. It’s very prevalent, probably about half of stress responses that humans experience, and it’s called tend-and-befriend.”
Instead of generating an adrenaline surge, it releases oxytocin in the brain, and instead of seeking a victory over a rival, people who experience this want to take care of those who are more vulnerable, connect with friends and allies, and find mutually beneficial solutions to problems jointly faced. Seeking to generate that kind fo response led to what Code and TRU LUV call AI companions, a gaming alternative that is non-zero sum and based on the tend-and-befriend principal. Code’s background as an AI programmer working on some of the most sophisticated virtual character interactions available in modern games obviously came in handy here.
Code thought she might be on to something, but didn’t anticipate the level of #SelfCare’s success, which included 500,00 downloads in just six weeks, and more than 2 million today. And most of the feedback she received from users backed up her hypotheses about what the experience provided, and what users were looking for an an alternative to a mobile gaming experience.
Fast forward to now, and TRU LUV is growing its team, and focused on iterating and developing new products to capitalize on the clear vein of interest they’ve tapped among that underserved half of mobile users. Code and her team have brought on investors whose views and portfolios align with their product vision and company ethos, including Evolve Ventures which has backed a number of socially progressive ventures, and whose managing director Julius Mokrauer actually teaches a course on the subject at Columbia Business School.
#SelfCare was already showing a promising new path forward for mobile experience development before COVID-19 struck, but the product and TRU LUV are focused on “resilience and psychological development,” so it proved well-suited to a market in which mobile users were looking for ways to make sustained isolation more pleasant. Obviously we’re just at the beginning of feeling whatever impacts come out of the COVID-19 crisis, but it seems reasonable to expect that different kinds of mobile apps that trigger responses more aligned with personal well-being will be sought after.
Code says that COVID-19 hasn’t really changed TRU LUV’s vision or approach, but that it has led to the team moving more quickly on in-progress feature production, and on some parts of their roadmap, including building social features that allow players to connect with one another as well as with virtual companions.
“We want to move our production forward a bit faster than planned in order to respond to the need,” Code said.”Also we’re looking at being able to create social experiences a little bit earlier than planned, and also to attend to the need of people to be able to connect, above and beyond people who connect through video games.”
DomainInvesting.com: Nepotism Barbie is trending on Twitter right now, and the domain name NepotismBarbie.com was registered at GoDaddy in January of this year. It doesn’t look like the registrant has done anything with this domain name, but that is not really the point of this article. Have a look at NepotismBarbie.com, a domain name that resolves…
We use mobile messaging apps daily, in both our professional and personal lives. Thus, it’s understandable that many startups are using them for work during these unprecedented times. But how can startups harness the power of messaging apps when it comes to business?
Messaging apps can provide many benefits to your company’s communications strategy. Some of the more obvious benefits include:
- Mobile-first can be used easily when on the move
- Real time team and client/customer communication
- Connects remote teams
- Makes internal communication much faster
- Replaces long, unwieldy email chains
- Makes previously invisible contact and collaboration (i.e. meetings and phone calls) visible and shared in the organization
- Cost savings (i.e. on international or long-distance phone calls and travel)
- Presence awareness: the ability to see when colleagues are available/unavailable
- Improved employee engagement, motivation and morale through sharing of team triumphs and wins
- Customer service apps and AI automation help you to provide customer service at scale
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Categorizing messaging apps and tools
Understanding what messaging tools are out there can help you define the technology that you may require, as well as the possible benefits to your business.
Messaging apps can be broadly categorized as the following:
Professional messaging apps
Professional messaging, for use by businesses and individual professionals, is distinct from consumer messaging platforms (i.e. WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger), largely because of the required admin features, additional controls and legal compliance.
Professional messaging apps are fast and professional forms of communication that can benefit your business in a number of ways:
- Used interpersonally for direct messages as well as for groups
- Used internally and externally across organizations for group and individual messaging
- Extensively used for social, networking, community purposes
- Provides a business with full control, configuration, governance and data compliance via app/web admin interface managed by the business
These apps are the professional equivalent of the consumer apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which should not be used for business purposes. Instead, these professional messaging apps work well for high value customer groups, networks and communities, as well as one-to-one interpersonal messaging.
Some apps are designed to meet the requirements and legislation of particular industries (i.e. Hospify for healthcare) while others are general purpose business messaging apps.
Examples of professional messaging apps: Hospify, Guild, Novastone
Workflow communications tools
Although these solutions enable messaging, they are not “messaging apps” in the pure sense of the first category. They are about communication more broadly, and although there is a social element, the focus is on project and task collaboration in teams. These tools are more about productivity and efficiency rather than communication, connection or community.
The main purpose of these tools is for team collaboration around projects and tasks, and are used in teams with some direct messaging between team members.
Examples of workflow communications tools: MS Teams and Slack
It’s time for you to master your messaging
Mobile messaging is still a relatively new business communications channel, in spite of its unstoppable growth. It feels a lot like social media did a decade ago.
As more digital tools are added to the internal and external communications mix, including workflow communications, video conferencing and messaging, it’s important to clarify what messaging medium (not simply which technology) is best suited to your startup’s particular purposes or needs.
Your business needs to understand the benefits and risks of messaging in order to create messaging strategies and choose the right technologies to protect your business.
Whether you are considering providing customer support via consumer messaging apps, getting your remote working right, or ensuring data sharing is compliant around messaging, it is time for you to harness the potential of mobile messaging while successfully navigating the risks.
The post How to Harness the Power of Mobile Messaging for Your Business appeared first on StartupNation.
Now that the world is going WFH, the only thing keeping me from spending most of my time grinding + tanning outdoors is the fact that mobile internet is so damn expensive (i'm in Canada).
We are now at a point where satellite bandwidth should not be 10X more expensive than running fibre, maybe it's slower but I don't care. This sounds to me like ISP are up-charging the convenience of mobile.
Has anyone looked into the economics? Maybe the process of what it takes to sign up as a mobile ISP? Cheers.
I currently have a $ 5-6k budget and am trying to find a way to have an existing iOS app I have redeveloped under React Native or Flutter. I am currently unsure which options might work the best. The app I have is social media related and needs Firebase, Photo Capabilities, Messaging and Push Notifications. A few ideas I had were:
1) Hiring a developer off upwork or elsewhere and working with them from scratch.
2) Working with an agency or middleman such as Toptal, lemon.io (if you have thoughts about these it would be great to hear) , etc.
3) Buying a few templates off codecanyon or elsewhere and then hiring a developer with these. I am hoping this might cut down on development time or costs.
Generally, I am unsure which might be the best options. My overall goal is to have something that can work well enough for an initial round of investment seeking, and only needs minor modifications for new features or bugs that come up. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!
Recently, Vivid Money, a new challenger bank announced its launch in Germany with support from Berlin-based solarisBank and Visa. The Berlin-based company aims to help people to make more of their money by combining the all-in-one mobile-first approach with a full-service package.
Artem Yamanov, the co-founder of Vivid Money, said: We are living in a time when people are receiving no or even negative interest rates for their deposits and high transactional costs. Even today, they are still suffering from poor service in banking and investing. With Vivid Money, we enable our customers to organise their financial life easily, securely, and in all its different facets – from spending to investing – all in one app and individually tailored to their needs. We want to educate our customers on how to grow their money, providing them with the right tools to save automatically. With Vivid Money, they have numerous options to grow their wealth without having to open a separate account or deposit account with different providers for each service. This way, they can easily start with stock trading and start to take control of their financial lives.”
What makes Vivid Money stand out?
With this platform, users can open an account for free in just a few minutes and manage their finances simply and intuitively via their smartphone. On top of that, every user will get a free anonymised metal Visa debit card for secure payments and cash withdrawals.
Apart from the bank account, Vivid Money offers various services including cash back programs, sub-accounts in foreign currencies, and, shortly, investment products.
Notably, Germany is the first and, for the time being, the only market in which the Vivid Standard and Vivid Prime products will be available. Also, the challenger bank is working together with solarisBank, which provides the fully licensed Banking-as-a-Service platform, and with Visa as an exclusive payment technology partner for Europe.
Dr. Roland Folz, CEO of solarisBank AG, said: We are excited to welcome Vivid Money as our newest partner. By trusting our proven banking-as-a-service platform, Vivid Money is well prepared to conquer the European banking market. With our modular approach and an easy-to-integrate, scalable infrastructure we reduce time to market significantly and enable Vivid Money to compose an attractive offering that allows them to grow fast.”
Superior banking and investment experience
Founded in 2019 by Artem Yamanov and Alexander Emeshev in Berlin, the company’s mission is to provide customers throughout Europe with a superior banking and investment experience and to offer a wide range of financial services (including savings accounts, multi-currency accounts, and stock exchange) without unnecessary fees.
Albrecht Kiel, Regional Managing Director Central Europe at Visa, said: “We are proud to be the exclusive launch partner for Vivid in Europe and to support their entry into the German market. The payment behaviour in Germany is currently changing rapidly – consumers increasingly want to pay digitally – mobile and contactless. This is why the launch of the mobile-first Visa Debit card by Vivid comes exactly at the right point in time. I am convinced that the joint product proposition by Visa, Vivid, and solarisBank will further drive the adaptation of digital payments in Germany.”
Main image credits: Vivid Money
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