One thing that working from home over the past few months taught us is that relationships matter. Some of us have been isolated with our loved ones, while others have been separated. Science has shown that those who have strong relationships are happier and tend to live longer. But by scheduling date nights and giving you personalized gift ideas, could a mobile app keep your romance blooming?
Jewell Sparks meets Hubertus Crain, the CEO of Keeepr, a new app designed to help couples stay together.
What motivated you to start a company focused on relationship dynamics?
As a busy professional, I didn’t prioritize my own relationship, which ultimately ended in heartbreak. I realized afterward that there were a million little things I could have done to make my partner feel special. I vowed not to make the same mistake in my next relationship, but I didn’t know where to start. I looked for tools to help me and could not find any. I decided to create such a tool and that’s when Keeepr was born.
How did you go from building other people’s companies to founding your own?
I always had an entrepreneurial drive and I’m a full on risk-taker. At the age of 24, I founded my first company in Berlin. a distribution company for digital content, mostly music and video. After two years of operations, I successfully merged the company with a larger competitor. Then I joined two e-commerce venture builders and Uber. Now I’m finally back with a new startup concept and will follow my dreams till the end.
Are you seeking to fundraise within the upcoming months?
I have bootstrapped the MVP to get initial traction, but now we are seeking a $500k pre-seed investment round with strategic early-stage investors to rapidly grow the user base and improve the overall product experience. The ideal investors not only put money on the table, but further help us with strategic decisions, and their know-how to scale and bring our vision to life.
The pandemic has further shown society that our relationships – partners, family, and friends – are crucial. It’s easy to take these relationships for granted in good times. Now, when times are tough, we are all leaning on our loved ones to get us through. But these relationships need to be nurtured over time, with many actions big and small, to show people how important they are to us. That’s where Keeepr offers value, giving people date night ideas, gift recommendations, reminders for important personal events, and advice for being a better partner, family member, and friend. We’re eager to get feedback from initial users about what features they enjoy and how we can iterate on that.
Who are your main competitors and what is your USP?
We will face competition from other apps that aim to help facilitate social interactions through reminders, especially those designed for personal relationships instead of professional relationships. Some companies have developed apps in the “Personal CRM” category, as they have dubbed it. Right now our closest competitors are Fabriq and Tuned in the US.
Keeepr stands out from competitors because it includes gift and activity recommendations, date-night ideas, important personal event reminders, and actionable, easy-to-digest relationship advice, all in one place.
What relationship types will you focus on upon launch?
We’ll initially be heavily focused on people in romantic relationships. However, we’ll have content related to friends and family relationships as well. We know that people are better partners when they are happy, and having strong friends and family relationships are a predictor of happiness. Right now, our objective is to learn more about what our users want. I believe the business model and relationship focus area will stay the same but the user behavior and use of functionalities will vary in each market.
You are based in both Berlin and New York City. Where will you launch the product first and why?
The iOS application will be launched on the US market first to hopefully achieve a product/market fit and to get some early adopters and traction. I have chosen the US market first because the overall divorce rate is extremely high (50 percent of first marriages and 67 percent of second marriages end in divorce). There’s a clear opportunity to help people nurture their relationships. Additionally, in the US new business concepts have higher success and adoption rates, especially in social networks and consumer services.
Are you currently accepting beta testers for your product?
Yes, we are! But currently, users need to be in the US to actually download the app once it’s released. For more information about the release date and to sign up to become a beta tester please visit www.keeepr.com
How exactly will Keeepr make our relationships better?
Keeepr makes it easier to prioritize your relationships. When people get busy they tend to forget that they need to make gestures showing their loved ones how special they are. With important date reminders, gift recommendations, activity ideas, and relationship advice, users will get that little nudge they need to make these gestures. Keeepr takes away the decision paralysis or lack of knowledge that can often cause friction.
But isn’t it possible to manage our schedules with our partners through mobile calendars and messaging?
Keeepr is much more than just a calendar or organizer. In addition to those features, Keeepr provides activity ideas, gift recommendations (which, over time, will become more and more personalized), as well as easy-to-digest relationship advice that people can easily incorporate. For example, you’ll get a reminder for your partner’s birthday ahead of time, you can book a restaurant for their birthday dinner (or get suggestions for how to make date-night-in extra special), be able to buy a gift, and get tips for being a better communicator all through Keeepr. No other relationship management app needed!
How will you build your company?
Thus far I’ve bootstrapped the company. We have freelancers and some impressive advisors on board at the moment. Once we’ve secured funding, we’ll look to start hiring primarily on the tech side. As far as location, that’s still up in the air due to the pandemic. As the situation evolves, we’ll make that decision, but a fully remote, distributed team is not out of the question.
When do you plan on launching?
The application is nearly completed and we’re planning to launch in mid-June. We can’t share acquisition targets, but suffice to say that we’re looking to help as many people as possible with Keeepr. The focus of the app is to help people nurture their relationships by giving them the tools they need all in one place. As we understand more about our users, we may look to add additional services.