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A few months after announcing that it had raised $2 million (1.48 million euro) from leading Russian VC Runa Capital, Russian startup TalkBits has launched its apps for Android and iOS in the United States and United Kingdom.
Billed as a “social walkie-talkie”, Talkbits is a service which aims to promote social interaction through geo-tagged voice chats. As an example, the company says, you could find out about traffic jams from neighboring drivers or about lectures from fellow students, but this app really has value in any public setting as it allows strangers to interact and to potentially increase their enjoyment or understanding of a particular situation. These conversations don’t need to be public, either, as the app allows for private chats among friends. The app also offers topic-specific channels for those interested in a particular subject. Conversations users have are archived for later enjoyment.
TalkBits is headed by CEO Olga Steidl, who was previously VP for Mobile Ecosystem at Yandex, has been a mentor at SeedCamp and Springboard Mobile 2012, and has established herself as a leading figure in the Russian startup community.
In terms of plans, the company says that it will soon be launching apps for Turkey, Brazil, Singapore, Indonesia, and South Korea. I think it’s interesting that they’ve elected to focus on these markets before western European countries and even Russia, the home country of members of the country’s leadership team. I imagine that apps for these countries will be rolled out eventually, but the next round of countries to receive apps is certainly an interesting mix.
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