London-based Onin has raised £2.75 million in a seed round led by Octopus Ventures. The startup offers a solution to one of the world’s most pressing problems - event planning - combining calendar and chat in one app. The seed funding is earmarked to help the company continue the development of its calendar integration service and features.
The service is provided by a keyboard extension, thereby making it available in every imaginable chat service including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Telegram, etc., you chat on it, switch a keyboard, et voilà, instant access to your calendar.
“Across my career, there’s been one theme - building technology that brings people together. From apps that helped promote events to ones that found you a date, the calendar has always been central but disconnected,” says Onin founder and CEO Ryan Brodie. “Calendars live outside the conversations that drive them and weren’t designed for the social lives we live today. Onin is solving this problem. Our vision is to build a social world without fragmentation.”
According to Brodie and Co. there’s potential to add further services down the road that could boost bottom lines for small businesses including payments and bookings.
On the investment, Octopus Ventures’ Karan Mehta commented, “Today, services like WhatsApp are used beyond checking in with our family and friends. We use these apps to manage multiple aspects of our personal and professional lives - but the calendar is missing and causing friction. Onin elegantly solves this problem. Ryan is a visionary leader and a magnet for exceptional talent. We’re excited to see what he and the team accomplish together in the coming years.”
If you're thinking that this sounds vaguely like Sunrise's Meet app of yore, you're not alone, as the similarities are more than striking, proving that good ideas really never fade away, they're just reiterated, repackaged, and replayed.