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Vork

Germany
Market: Internet and IT
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready
Min investment
$ 10.000
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$ 150.000
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equalizer 559 из 1000
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Idea
'Tinder' for Networks - connect, share and solve problems in trusted networks - using card swipe interface, machine learning AI & other 'things' - built in Ukraine
B2b mobile app for companies, associations and communities to connect, share and solve problems within their 'trusted networks'. Unique feature of the card-swipe interface ("Tinder for Networks") driven by content (not people's profiles). Members and networks owners can share problems or information in card format. Cards are tagged with a ML AI, cards are then directed to users based on tag matching AI, and each member gets a unique deck of cards each day. Swiping right (yes) starts a 1:1 chat or a group chat. Every swipe also updates the tag matching. In addition to Cards and Chat there is also a Member List and a geolocation map (for people - and soon content). The business model is monthly subscription licenses - and in future we have a platform for additional revenue streams.
Current Status
MVP product in App Stores end March - end April 100+ users for soft beta launch. We will roll out to large networks in mid May. We also start working on an updated UX for the app, plus developing quick-win features on the existing app. After two months we will then move to improving the core platform.
Market
Global market - though the app starts as English the content can be any language. Our first customers will be global companies and associations (e.g. international professional bodies).

We will have paying and non-paying customers - paying will be companies and commercial networks (i.e. where members already pay a membership fee) - and non-paying will be NGO and other communities (help us gain reach).

The enterprise social network market is growing - we believe we can carve a profitable niche as a mobile only app that is very engaging and useful to staff, whilst also handling existing content through an API (to be built - plus we need to complete a white label version as well).

User persona - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UiRwCn1ERQ3G-AlpQYae-t_la6YiB4Pfi_N6WkVx5fs/edit?usp=sharing (target users, why they use, type of use - this is to guide our product)
Problem or Opportunity
We operate in the enterprise social network space.

Companies - several use cases for better knowledge sharing & problem solving (sales, business development, innovation, internal communications, change management) - employees use mobiles all the time, overwhelmed by Slack / Yammer, we can take content and package into Cards plus get problems solved much faster

Associations / Networks - most association members like networking but there are no good tools to network effectively around content (people matching is painful!). For professional associations (i.e. ACCA with 600,000 members - accounting) they have a younger audience so they need an exciting app, plus they need a way of communicating at scale without overwhelming people (i.e. our swipe interface + AI)

Also users want to consolidate apps - so not 5 apps for 5 networks. Our app can consolidate all of them - and over time we will be able to package other apps into our containers / cards so that the user can productively spend 5 - 20 mins a day in our app - working // vorking!
Solution (product or service)
Native iOS and Android mobile app - available now on app stores:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.vorknetwork.vork&hl=en
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/vork/id1177124351
Main features:
- Cards - content from users, network owners or created automatically from web content. Presented to users as a deck of cards - similar to Tinder. Card decks are created by AI matching engine (VME). Every swipe is recorded and adjusts the relative weights of tags for each user. When a user right-swipes (yes) they can start a group chat or a 1:1 chat, plus they can see other members who liked the card and can interact with them
Chat - 1:1 and group chat. 1:1 chats also integrate the cards - so you can start a conversation from content.
Members - one click to connect to Linkedin, or create own profile. Members visible in list format with a search option
Map - view members in your networks in a map - zoom in, clustering, etc (we will also put content / Cards on the map soon)
Networks - similar to Facebook groups with Open, Closed and Secret networks - can see networks, apply to join, plus curator functionality (i.e. approving members, etc)

App is free to download and the rules on charging will depend on the networks. Company networks will be paying at $5 per member per month.

Over time we will have a white label version of the app for businesses, plus we will add in Freemium features.
Competitors
We view competitors in the following segments:
- enterprise social network apps - MS Office 365 Groups / Yammer, IBM Connections, Facebook @ Work, Slack - social tools in business context
- people-finding apps - Grip, Shapr - like dating for business
- business connection networks - Opportunity Network - connect around problems and charge retainer and / or finders fees
- association & event apps - Higher Logic, Association Applications Group - member database, newsletters, event app for agenda, venue, people matching
- general social networks - Facebook Groups, Linkedin, Whatsapp groups
Advantages or differentiators
We believe we have a unique offering through card swipe, AI, trusted networks, and integrated chat, map, search & member list all on a mobile. All the other competitors have major weaknesses in the area of connecting people together and to content.

Also the founding team is already in the top networks - CEO Mark is a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer (network of hundreds of tech companies) and Young Global Leader (1,500 top business people worldwide) and is very closely connected to the Global Shapers (7.000), Association of Association Executives (10,000 member associations), Hult Business School, etc. He is in the right networks to start with!

Also two of the founders have done a successful IPO (and outperformed the market by 40% while they ran the company) - and grew the company to $7M annual revenue.

Mark is also a prominent speaker - he has done 4 TEDx talks, is a Professor (only 8 day a year time commitment fortunately!), has written a book "Scaling: Small Smart moves for Outsized Results" - and so is a requested speaker (which helps with free marketing).

The collective team we have each have 20 years experience developing and selling b2b software - so we know what we are doing on the tech and business development side. We all have global experience - with focus on US, Europe and Austalia - New Zealand.
Finance
Monthly subscription license for the software - for companies $5 - 10 per person per month (per network) // for non-profits and communities $1 per person per month (per network)

In 2017 selling pilot networks more in a business development method - i.e. coming up with a price per pilot driven by value to the client rather than a per seat model. We have two potential pilot projects we would like to close - both $30K projects for about 2000 users (one in R&D and the other in education)

Over time, our aim of $1 per person per network per month should lead to approx USD2.5M per year per 100K members. This is because individuals tend to be members of two or more networks.

In addition we also aim to get either the network owner paying or the individual. There are many networks where users pay to be a member already (e.g. my mother pays to be in the Ballroom Dancing association in the UK - and she wants to find dance partners and rides to the venues!)
Invested in previous rounds, $
 
$ 1.250.000
Business model
Core business is subscription license - classic B2B SaaS
Users either pay indirectly (companies or network owner pays) or directly (they pay - money will go through the app store).
We will add on freemium features (similar to Linkedin)

Over time we will add in other business models through the cards (providing we get good user feedback). For example:
- Event Card - show an event and if they swipe they are interested they could get a discount for signing up and paying - and we get a cut
- product card - as above
- recruiting card - share the finders fee, etc
Money will be spent on
100K development - UX, quick fixes to existing MVP, new functionality (chat, maps, card interface, AI matching)
50K business - marketing & client travel, marketing materials (articles), project contractors, legal, general expenses

Goal to get the company to cash flow break even in 6 months - i.e. generate around 30K monthly - 1 b2b client per month
Offer for investor
Convertible note with USD3M cap - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1plbFye-cPo1rhTjf5VKAk2rM9hiCN24P885yWHodHh4/edit?usp=sharing
- the term sheet
- 5% interest, converts with 1M raise or 3 years
Team or Management
Макс Семенчук
UX/UI - Runs Dev company
Yvonne Lindow
Founder & CTO
richard kenyon
Chief Data Scientist
Mark Turrell
CEO & Founder
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Users not liking the app - either not downloading or not using after the first use

Companies not wanting to buy licenses for their employees

Not enough content to swipe on (will be handled with CSV/JSON import of web content to always have at least 25 cards to swipe on every day)

First association users not liking the app - as these pilot users are all owners of large networks, they are perfect users... unless they have a bad experience
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Mark mentors for several accelerator and incubator programs already - we have used the advice from other mentors in his network. However we decided not to be in an incubator at this time (but would consider being in an accelerator depending on what was on offer)
Won the competition and other awards
As a founder, Mark Turrell and Dr Yvonne Lindow were nominated a Technology Pioneer by the WEF for their work on collective intelligence to create Imaginatik. The app we had then - Idea Central - was similar to the new one - apart from it was web only and much more complex! We also won a knowledge management award from the Economist, Basex Award for collaboration and we were nominated a Firestarter company.

Vork - the new app - has not been presented for any awards yet (starting stealth)
Invention/Patent
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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
Presentation
Photos
Videos
Website address
 
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