The company of the day is sobees, based in Switzerland. sobees is the perfect desktop companion for online social networks. You will find below an interview with François Bochatay and Vincent Rithner, co-founders of sobees. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
We are François Bochatay and Vincent Rithner, co-founders of sobees – my social desktop aggregator.
BizSpark being a global network, of thousands of promising startups, we are very proud to be recognized in this way.
François was working in the financial industry as program manager. Vincent was senior consultant at Microsoft.
The idea was born about 2 years ago just after WPF was released. We knew there would be a great potential for rich applications combining the web on the desktop. Today, social networking sites have exploded, they all have APIs and users are increasingly using desktop apps to interact with their social networks and update their statuses (22% of all Tweets are posted from desktop apps according to Tweetstats).
sobees is the perfect desktop companion for online social networks. sobees offers an easy unified user experience to access, organize and share information from the likes of Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, Digg, Flickr and Youtube, directly on the desktop.
We target mainstream users but our initial market are tech-savvy people who regularly connect to social sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIN.
We lauched at Demo 09 and are a Red Herring 100 Europe Winner.
We just closed an Angel round of financing and are now looking for Series A funding.
Both growth and internationalization are our primary focuses this year. We are focusing on the US market, which is was a consideration in launching at DEMO. We are now preparing to grow by opening a subsidiary in the US.
We have currently 6 full-time employees, 4 of them are developers.
We are hiring talented developers in Switzerland and business developers in America. We are a dynamic team; we developed, with a very small team, a full-featured solution. We are now looking to hire developers of verticals of sobees for devices such as Netbooks, phones.
We are building on .NET 3.5 SP1 WPF and Silverlight 3 for the power they give us to develop fast. The only limitation of the technology is the lack cross-platform compatibility (we already support XP, Vista and 7), Silverlight 3 is, however, enabling us to reach new platforms such as Macs.
We have a patent pending. We are the very first to aggregate as many services as we do on the desktop. Our platform enables us to add additional services very efficiently. For instance, it only took us a single week to integrate Facebook Open Stream API, making us the first application after Facebook partners to integrate this functionality.
There are great opportunities to build rich native applications connected to the cloud. We are also convinced that the instant web is becoming a great resource. We are following very closely the advent of better search and trending tools for this resource.
We are now looking for Series A funding.
We joined the day after BizSpark launched in Switzerland. It is a great program, with many benefits, chief among which are the free resource which enable us to save precious money.
I would recommend to start small, focus on just one service and iterate. We learned as much by building a small Twitter/Friendfeed client as we learned building sobees alpha. The combination of both experiences helped us a lot in providing the current sobees. Among other things our experience enables us to produce applications with great user experiences at very low costs.
Thank you, Bizspark, for giving us the resources to grow efficiently.