One of the more interesting and active companies in the new mobility start-up space is Moovel, a subsidiary of Daimler. Recently, following the company’s 2014 purchase of MyTaxi, Moovel acquired Familonet, a family focused social media app with additional security and geolocation capabilities.
The Daimler subsidiary wants to benefit from the knowledge and technology that it will acquire from Familonet. The latter was founded in Hamburg in 2012 and will remain headquartered there as part of the Daimler subsidiary that will now have 40 of 250 worldwide Moovel employees in the city. The Familonet app, which according to the company founders has two million users, will remain on iOS and Android, but Moovel hopes to integrate the technology into an operating system for mobility products.
Familonet was founded in 2012 by Hauke Windmüller, Michael Asshauer and David Nellessen. The aim of the app is to make it easier for families and groups of friends, co-inhabitants or colleagues to communicate in daily situations. Apart from the ability to chat, share news and photos, Familonet also provides more security. For example, children in family chat can check in at a specific place and tell their parents where they are.
In addition, the app also has geolocation features. Within groups, participants indicate where they are. For example, other family members know when someone is in the supermarket and can react when they urgently need food, or parents can check when their child has arrived safely at school.
The app has both a freemium model and a premium version with additional functions. In addition, the company sells the technology, developed in-house, as a SaaS model to other companies and offers additional advice in the area of mobile location.
In the past twelve months Familonet has raised just under one million euros, and has been seeing operating profits since July 2016. Start-up investors included Cutback Ventures, Venista Ventures, HR Ventures and West Tech Ventures.
The question remains, what interest does Moovel, essentially a mobility company, have in Familonet?
According to the latter, Moovel could use the expertise of Familonet “in geofencing and live locating”. These would help the Daimler subsidiary to develop mobility solutions in the future.
“Both the mobile geolocation technology and the team of developers with location expertise are a big plus for Moovel,” commented Oliver Wahlen, CTO of Moovel.