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Caribu

Technology that makes the feelings of human connection possible is an exceptional thing. It helps create opportunities to experience one another, even if you can't physically be together. Hearing your child's voice, listening to them laugh at a story, and seeing their face is priceless.

In the case of Caribu, there was a connection the founders wanted to help create between a mother and a son. A father and daughter. A grandparent and grandchild. No matter how far apart. A way to help families draw closer.

Ben Mallett, the founder and CEO of Caribu, spawned the idea in a classroom with his co-founders while studying in a Masters program. After presenting the idea at multiple competitions in the United Kingdom, the founders received enough prize money to begin building the app. The concept was to give children and their close family members the ability to stay connected visually through storytelling.

People continually said they missed spending time with their kids, and they especially missed the ability to share stories before bedtime. This was the seed of the idea behind Caribu. A way to make story time possible no matter where you are.

To help hone in on the direction for Caribu, Ben asked his initial members, “What do you miss the most when you’re away from your family?” People continually said they missed spending time with their kids, and they especially missed the ability to share stories before bedtime.

This was the seed of the idea behind Caribu. A way to make story time possible no matter where you are.

Development

Ben came to Crew looking for a developer to create the app. Based on what was needed to build Caribu, he was matched with Ze, a talented iOS developer that has worked on three apps that have amassed over a million members and have hit number one in the App Store in 35 countries.

The Caribu team worked on how they could simplify the app and turned to Ze for his input as an experienced app maker. With Ze’s help, the the team decided the most important thing was to get the video experience right first.

If they didn’t nail this, nothing else would matter. With some early designs of the app, the Caribu team let children try the concept. They noticed the kids had a natural tendency of using the iPad in landscape mode.

caribu-ipad

After setting up partnerships with book publishers and showing them the app, the team found that publishers also preferred to see their stories displayed the same way.

This helped the Caribu team decide on an important feature of locking the app in landscape mode so they could develop the best video calling experience for children, their parents, and the stories.

After a few months of development, Caribu went live in the App Store. Their launch was covered by The Next Web, Gizmodo, and Forbes — and the reviews started to come in.


Updates

  • The Next Web labeled Caribu as App of the Month and “… one to watch”.
  • Gizmodo and The Sun praised Caribu as App of the Week.
  • Caribu now has an average 5 out of 5-star App Store rating, a testament to the quality of the app.
  • Shortly after the launch, Caribu began working under Microsoft Ventures and has already started to create an even better experience for their members.

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