Anna Figoluschka (1 son, 11 years old) launched the KidPick app three years ago because she was working full-time and needed to be flexible in her job. As a result, it often happened that pick-ups from daycare and school had to be organised ad hoc and at short notice.
This was often time-consuming and therefore she came up with the idea to develop the KidPick-App. The same happened with Cryptogames. With the KidPick app, you can connect with other parents or family members in a secure environment and easily arrange appointments for children or care (pick-up, drop-off to places).
We met Anna and asked her about the development of the app.
Did you start making up the app by yourself?
Anna: Right. First I asked people from my environment, designers and programmers, what they think. We practically played ping-pong with the idea until I found a day-care centre dad who found the idea totally exciting and was also an IT manager who then said: “I’m going to get in on this”. We then started to build the first version of the app as a web app and tested it in the Kita environment and then quickly realized that we had added too many features. We then limited the app more and more. My co-founder left the company because he had to continue earning money, which was not possible with the app at that stage, and also because he had a slightly different idea of the app than I did. I decided then to continue on my own. Read more about this topic, by clicking here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/gdpr-consent/?next_url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.washingtonpost.com%2flifestyle%2fkidspost%2f
Hauptstadtmutti: When did the app go online?
Anna: In August 2015 the iOS version was launched and in February the Android version. At that time we had reached the proof of concept pretty quickly, which means a few thousand downloads, even international, because the KidPick app was on the market in English from the very beginning. There were even more from America, Latin America and China than from Germany. So the demand was there, but we realized that the product needed to be improved much faster.
Hauptstadtmutti: So you have modified the app for the last two years?
Anna: With interruptions, yes. In between the developers went bankrupt and I had to see how to continue and where to get money to pay new developers. Since 2017 I have an angel investor on board and was able to finance the new version with it.
Was that your plan too?
Anna: The plan at the beginning was actually to find investors. With my co-founder we also tried a lot. But in the various programs we were told time and again: “You are older. How do you want to do that? Working 24 hours a day, that’s not possible. You have children.” When I tried to raise money on my own, I reached the “male” limit. The product was too “feminine” for the potential (male) backers, childcare is a woman’s thing. And then I was also a mother AND single founder. Nah, that didn’t fit them at all.
Capital city mum: Interesting. You always think that the start-up world is quite open and modern and there for everyone. But that seems quite conservative.
Anna: Yes, unfortunately. It would be really nice if it would be different.
Hauptstadtmutti: So, but now there is the new version. If you have more downloads internationally, are you also marketing in the markets? If so, how do you do that?
Anna: In any case, the goal is to produce content in several languages and to hire native speakers to work the markets. The markets are totally different and heterogeneous. Other topics are also relevant there, but the topic of care and everyday organisation is actually much more urgent in the USA and China, because in these countries parental leave and social benefits are not as ad hoc as they are here. In China, for example, the one-child policy makes the issue of security even more important and conventional messengers do not necessarily offer a solution.
Capital city mum: Keyword security. What is the advantage of your app in terms of data protection?
Anna: KidPick is hosted on German servers and we are in control. The app only lets in those contacts that have been confirmed twice with an individual invitation code.
Hauptstadtmutti: Do I have to pay for the KidPick app?
Anna: We have found that in order for many people to use the app, it makes sense that there is no one-time high price, but that the app is free and only the urgent requests are paid. At some point, when more features are added, there will be a yearly subscription. But for the time being, we will stick with the free model.
Hauptstadtmutti: Is the app mainly used by families or rather by groups of friends or day-care centre group parents?
Anna: It is mainly used by circles of friends. Often starting from a mother who knits her network. It is usually about trips at children’s birthdays and then simply continued in the daily routine with daycare or school. In families the arrangements are often made verbally at breakfast. The most common case is extended circle of friends or patchwork family.
Capital city mum: If you say there will be more features in the future. Will you tell us which ones they will be?
Anna: The issue with spontaneous pickup is the problem of power of attorney. So in the future we will give the possibility to create powers of attorney automatically. As soon as you have requested a pick-up and can show the power of attorney, it can also be verified by the educators and after-school care staff. This makes things a lot easier. We want to expand the topic of document management in general. The next step will be events, such as children’s birthdays. Checklists, guest lists and wish lists will also be integrated. In the future, the app could also include something like an allergy pass.