Everyme Founders Launching Origami to Help Families Stay in Touch

Today the founders of private group sharing app Everyme announced their upcoming project, Origami, which focuses on private sharing for families. Everyme, which was part of startup accelerator Y Combinator and recently added $2.15 million in Series A funding, will stay active, and co-founder Oliver Cameron said they’ll be releasing an Android tablet app soon. Origami will launch in private beta in a couple of weeks, with plans to open it up to the public sometime in 2013.

Cameron said in an interview that along with groups of friends sharing photos after a trip, families are one of the largest user groups on Everyme. “The basic premise of Everyme is that people actually want privacy,” Cameron said. “What we’ve seen is that families love the use case of Everyme, where they have this private space where they know that only them can see this stuff that they’re sharing.” He said though they intended it to be used for families when they launched it, they built it to be somewhat generic, so it can be used by friends, couples, or any other user groups.

Though the Everyme team is keeping Origami’s functionality largely under wraps, Cameron did say it would be a place to share photos, send updates, plan events, and generally have one central place where all family members can communicate on a regular basis, whether they’re tech-savvy or not. Cameron describes it as a mix of Skype, Gmail, and other communication services combined into one platform, that will feature a newsfeed-style central dashboard.

“That’s what we’ve been focused on with Origami, building a new product that’s just meant for families, that really caters to them, takes advantage of the fact that these people are all tightly knit and have known each other for many, many years.”

While most family members are now on Facebook, and small groups are using Path to share with an intimate group of people, Cameron believes that having a place devoted to just your family’s activity is key. Families will pay a monthly subscription fee to get access to the platform, and Cameron said they want to launch a premium product right off the bat, and likely won’t offer a free basic version.

They’ll be testing with a group of families over the next few months, and though Cameron said it will be web-focused, it will also be available for Android and iOS. It will also give families the ability to import photos from sites like Facebook and Instagram to make getting it set up easier.

There are a variety of family-focused apps out there, from family scrapbooking apps like Kidfolio and Quilt, to apps like SeeMail and SPOKEnPHOTO that let families add voice and other multimedia to their photos. Not to mention the countless social networks for families, including FamilyLeaf23snaps, Care.com’s Karoo, and MyHeritage. Probably the most recent competitors are Rootsy, originally called When.com, which launched in early September and lets families build their family tree, and share videos, photos and updates, and Burst, a private photo-sharing app focused on families that raised $3.5 million in funding in June 2012.

Cameron said the main problem they’re trying to solve compared to other family-focused apps and networks is making it much easier to onboard users, so only one family members needs to have some level of tech savviness to get it set up. They aren’t ready to share exactly what that signup process will entail though.

Everyme launched an iPhone app in April 2012, followed by an Android app in May, with an Android tablet app coming soon. Origami will be a product of Everyme, which will remain active (Cameron said there are “thousands of people using it every day), though the team of six is using the bulk of its recent funding round to build Origami.

With so many companies trying to tackle the idea of family networking, Origami will have to pull back the curtain on its unique features and sign-up process in order to show what actually sets it apart from its countless competitors. With private sharing apps gaining popularity, from photo-specific apps like Moshpic and SeeMail to networks like Path, the opportunity is there, but proving it’s the best solution will be the biggest challenge.

BetaKit readers can sign up for priority access to Origami here


Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin Bury is a Co-founder and CEO at Willful, an online estate planning platform. Also a former Managing Director at Eighty-Eight, a creative communications agency based in Toronto. She was formerly the Managing Editor at BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter at @erinbury.

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