The number of smartphones users around the world have skyrocketed, and more people are accessing the Web on their mobile phones than ever before. Social networking has taken the world by storm, spurred on by the growing number of social networking services. What do you get when all these trends converge? We tend to end up with very confused online identities and social profiles, that’s what. That’s the sweet spot new service Roound aims to address.
Singapore-based Roound (www.roound.com) is a mobile social profile management application, if you like, that combines your contacts database and social media information into a single online identity that can be shared online and on mobile devices. “As mobile web usage continues its rapid growth, whether you are an individual or a business, your online profile should be accessible on mobile devices,” says Rif Chia, founder of Roound.
Roound is a great way to aggregate all your social profiles, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare or the myriad of other social networking services. What’s also interesting is that it even generates a unique QR code for you, which you can print on your business cards, or even on marketing materials if you’re a business. And if you’re that anal, you can also track and measure analytics, such as the number of profile views and where those views are coming from, of your Roound profile.
Oh, just don’t confuse Roound with Foound, another Singapore-based social media startup (we covered them here). “I think Danny did a great job,” Chia says about Foound‘s err, founder. “Roound is definitely not a competitor… (as) it is not a social network. I don’t foresee any confusion at this moment, other than both are based in Singapore.”
Focus On The Product
Roound is not Chia’s first startup. His recent developments include location-based service Nearby.sg, as well as Mobi59, a mobile web development agency. Chia believes that the biggest challenge ahead for Roound is in the fragmentation of mobile devices, not only in terms of native application development but the fact that even mobile web development is fragmented with the myriad engines behind mobile browsers. Chia says they have had to develop a cross-platform framework internally at Roound that would works on most modern mobile devices – Android, iOS, Blackberry, Palm WebOS, etc – and aim to improve the framework to support older mobile devices.
Chia says that in Singapore, the government has launched many initiatives to promote and support entrepreneurship. However, he believes that the main problem that most Singapore startups face is the difficulty in securing funding in the early stages of their growth, as the community of angel investors in Singapore is simply less active than those in other parts of the world.
His advice to early-stage startups in Singapore? “Focus on the product, work within your budget and build a good network,” he concludes.