We’ve all been on holiday taking endless snaps of incredible places, amazing dishes, and a few selfies of course. But imagine if you could share these photos with your friends and show them exactly where you were when you captured that moment. Welcome to Kojai.
Perth startup Scantherma is already an exciting innovator, providing products and services in the field of Remote Sensing and Thermal Imaging, but their latest product wants to push their reach even further.
Hayley Baldwin, Digital Marketing Manager answered some questions for me.
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Q: Explain your start-up’s purpose.
A: Kojai is the ‘little brother’ of Mappt, a mobile mapping app for Android tablets used by geologists, engineers and biologists (www.mappt.com.au). Mappt was developed by Perth-based geospatial company, Scantherma in 2012. A year after Mappt was released, the mapping engine behind the software was re-structured and deployed for use with social media, and Kojai was born.
By integrating mapping technology, Kojai enhances how your moments are captured, and your story is shared.
The app adds another dimension to the photo-sharing experience through geo-tagging, making it more visual than ever. It does this by finding your location and posting your photos onto a map. These images can then be shared via social media, accompanied by a mini map to show their friends exactly where they were when they captured the shot. This lets users map out their moments and share their journey with their friends wherever they go.
Although you are revealing your location with your friends, you share what you want, when you want. “Kojai gives you the power to choose how your information is revealed and to whom,” says Kojai’s Lead Developer Christopher Lowe. “The user’s privacy is our top priority, and was essential to the app’s development,” he says.
As long as your phone’s camera GPS is on, it will record the location any photos you take, so you can upload it to your Kojai map at any time, plus activating ‘Private Mode’ will hide where you are when you post or log in to Kojai.
Unlike other apps where location features are an afterthought, geo-tagging is the core of Kojai.
“It’s perfect for meeting up with friends at new locations, large campuses or at festivals. We can all log in and find each other,” says Amir Farhand, CEO of Kojai.
Furthermore, if a friend gives you food envy but didn’t name the restaurant, Kojai will pin point where you can hunt that dish down. Have all of this at your fingertips with no fees, no adverts and no private information recorded.
So whether you want to share an oozing donut at a local bakery, or a selfie at the Sydney Opera House, let Kojai put your moments on the map.
Q: How will you fund and grow your start up?
A: This is a common question as Kojai is free to download, has no adverts and we do not sell our users’ information. We do not plan on changing this. Depending on Kojai’s growth, we may decide to raise seed A funding.
Q: What’s so hard about your start-up idea anyway?
A: Recognising the obstacles the idea has to overcome, as it is entering a saturated, competitive market. However, we do believe that Kojai will survive as it is unique. It turns around the idea of posting pictures into an album by using maps to share and post your moments with your network. It has the potential to be a game changer, but we need people to be open to new apps, rather than sticking with the ones they already use and know. Kojai is for everyone as everyone is mobile.
Q: Why would I choose you and not your competitor (c’mon, everyone has one)?
A: Unlike other apps that integrate location features as an afterthought, this is the core of Kojai so it can do more. No other app collates social media posts on a map; it’s awesome seeing exactly where your friends are posting from all around the world! Plus it can shift with social media trends, so in five year’s time, Facebook and Twitter may have dwindled, but we can integrate the new social media.
Q: What’s the most important tool, resource, person or anything that enabled you to launch your start-up?
A: Leadership and teamwork. You have to have a direction you want to move in, and specific goals to aim for with the right people to make your start up successful. Start-ups are hard work and there can be many disappointing moments, so you need to make sure you keep everyone’s motivation up, and that you have their support in return.
Q: What was the best advice you ever got about your startup, and who from?
A: Honestly, most of the advice we’ve been given has been quite negative or restrictive at best due to the saturated app market. However, we believe Kojai has great potential and a firm place in the market, we just need people to be open to it.
Q: Who are the founders in your team/What’s their story?
Amir Farhand – CEO & Founder
Amir created the idea for Kojai based on our existing geospatial application, Mappt, which is designed for technicians and professionals who need accurate geo-located information.
Chris Lowe – Developer
Chris started building software when he was just 9 years old. He was instrumental in helping develop most of Kojai’s awesome features.
Hayley Baldwin – Media Strategist
Hayley works on getting Kojai out to our target audience through all media outlets and organises marketing promotions.
Shervin Family – Imaging Technician
Shervin has an extensive background in animation and game design. He’s the creative mind behind our design concepts, artwork and logo.
Joel Malone – Developer
Joel has been a software developer for 12 years. He is the Lead Developer for Mappt, but also works with Chris on developing Kojai.
Darren Mottolini – Sales Manager
Darren has a lot of experience in marketing and sales. He primarily sells Mappt, but also helps to get the Kojai name known.
Neil Prentice – Business Development Manager
Neil has a background in science and marketing. He helps the corporate side of Kojai.
Thanks Hayley, and well done to all the team. If you think you could have some fun with this, try it out. kojaisocial.com