Bring­ing hap­pi­ness through a mo­bile

The Jewish Chronicle - - Business - BY CANDICE KRIEGER

ODED RAN left his r o l e a s head o f c o n s u mer mark e t i ng f or Win­dows Phone UK at Mi­crosoft to join s t a r t - up T o uch­note be­cause, he says: “I thought: ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’” Touchnote, founded in 2008 by Raam Thakrar and Paul Bur­din, en­ables users to cre­ate and send printed per­son­alised post­cards across the world via their mo­bile phone, tablet or com­puter. The ap­pli­ca­tion was ini­tially de­vel­oped for the web fol­low­ing a din­ner con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the founders who couldn’t un­der­stand why it wasn’t eas­ier to send picture cards from mo­bile phones. Users sim­ply down­load the app, se­lect an im­age from their photo li­brary or cam­era roll, en­ter some text, the re­cip­i­ent’s ad­dress and the vir­tual card will be de­liv­ered as a printed one. There is also the op­tion to doodle on pic­tures or add a small Google map to show the sender’s lo­ca­tion.

“I thought it was such a clever idea,” says Mr Ran, who joined the Touchnote team in 2011. He had spent the pre­vi­ous four years at Mi­crosoft where he was re­spon­si­ble for launch­ing Mi­crosoft’s Win­dows Phone 7 to UK con­sumers. “Ev­ery­one loves re­ceiv­ing a picture card. It’s a busi­ness that puts a smile on ev­ery­one’s face.

“A lot of peo­ple ple don’t have time to go out and buy a card. This way you can do all your h o l i d a y c a r d s while sit­ting on the tube.”

Mr Oded’s role when he joined was to help grow Touch- note into a global l player. More than n two mil­lion of the e apps have been downnloaded on mo­bile l e phones, over 750,000 00 of them on An­droids, ds, mak­ing it the num­ber ber one An­droid post­card ard app at the time of writ­ing.

The com­pany has print­ing sta­tions in London, New York and north­ern Ger­many and sends post­cards to more than 200 coun­tries for $1.49 in the US, €1.49 in Europe and £1.49 in the UK (first class Royal Mail). Sixty per cent of cus­tomers are from the US. The UK is the sec­ond largest mar­ket with around 20 per cent.

Mr Oded, 33, iden­ti­fies the greet­ing card in­dus­try as worth $5 bil­lion in the US alone. Un­sur­pris­ing then that Tou­cho Tou­chote team have re­cently launc launched a sec­ond prod­uct, Hugm Hug­mail.

Aim Aimed at the older gen­er­a­tion, Hug­mail uses larger font sizes and en­ables users to set rem re­minders, such as “send gran grandma a post­card ev­ery two weeks.”

Mr Ran says: “We are launch­ing Hug­mail as a sep­a­rate brand to con­nect the dig­i­tal gen­er­a­tion with those who haven’t grown up with the in­ter­net. A lot of older peo­ple end up miss­ing out on news from fam­ily be­cause they don’t spend as much time on­line and aren’t us­ing smart­phones. That’s where Hug­mail comes in.”

Now based in London, Jerusalemite Mr Oded has ten years ex­pe­ri­ence launch­ing web and mo­bile prod­ucts in the UK, US and Is­rael. Be­fore Mi­crosoft, where he was also head of mo­bile ser­vices UK, he was in charge of prod­uct man­age­ment at Re­tailx, a global leader in re­tail soft­ware. He has de­grees from the He­brew Univer­sity and Har­vard Busi­ness School and was a team leader i n t he I s r a e l i De­fense Forces. www.hug­mail. com www.touchnote.

com

Left to right: Raam Thakrar, Oded Ran and Paul Bur­din

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.