App that lets strangers wake each other up gets $1-million investment


The weird and wonderful Russian community wake-up app that wants to change the way we start our days has just received another cash injection to expand its market to the rest of the world.

Wakie has secured US$1-million in funding from Russian-based Venture Capital firms, LETA Capital and Titanium Venture Capital. With the idea of letting strangers from around the world help each other wake up, instead of an annoying alarm clock, LETA Capital’s investment now amounts to US$3-million.

Wakie is the international version of Budist, a free Russian-language wake up app that’s responsible for 30 million wake up calls from 1.5 million users.

It works like this: Wakie’s community is made up of Wakies, who are the wake-up callers, and the Sleepyheads, who are the ones getting woken up. When it’s time for the Sleepyheads to wake up, the app connects them with Wakies of a similar age and an opposite gender. Using encrypted calls, it’s up to the Wakies to then cheer up the Sleepyheads within one minute. If a Wakie is not available, the app provides an automated robocall.

Wakie CEO explains some of the philosophy behind this interesting initiative:

“Does social media and ubiquitous cell phone use make us less engaged with our fellow humans?” asks Hrachik Adjamian, CEO, Wakie. “Overall, maybe. But not with Wakie. We are taking something — your alarm clock or your phone’s alarm — that serves absolutely no social value and replacing it with a new interpersonal connection as the very first thing to start your day.”

Tackling modern society’s most annoying thing — alarm clocks — the company now wants to expand its English-speaking communities and is currently available to people in the US, UK, Canada, Singapore and Hong Kong. It’s currently available on Android, Windows Phone and iOS to launch soon.

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter


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