Antoine Martin is the co-founder and CEO of Zenly – a location sharing app. Martin thought there was a better way to let your friends know where you are, in real-time to allow you to meet up with them. So, along with his team, he launched Zenly in early 2016 after spending five years working on R&D. It raised $22.5 million in its series-F funding round.
Martin had realised that letting people know where you are, where you’re going or how long it’s going to take you to get somewhere is something we are doing all day and that there is a better way to do that than by using text or calls.
In the first stages of Zenly’s development, Martin and his team had to solve the technical problem of being able to share a user’s location for 24 hours without draining the battery life, so he spent between two and three years with ex-Apple and ex-Google engineers to solve the problem. His second obstacle was tackling potential users mindsets on privacy. However, that has changed over the past five years with communication more frequently being made through apps like Instagram and Twitter which have access to your location.
The dominant segment of the Zenly user base is teenagers. Martin puts this down to the current generation not being so scared of surveillance and finding benefits in services which disrupt their culture. He thinks someone those from older generations sees their location dot on a map as a negative thing, like something from a spy movie, whereas younger generations see it as a means of utility — being able to easily connect to people, businesses or transport solutions.