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March 3, 2021updated 02 Mar 2021 6:45pm

What would you pay for private family networks? $3.2m for now, say investors

By Robert Scammell

Social media startup Kin has raised $3.2m in a pre-launch funding round for its private networking app aimed at families.

Kin intends to offer a “closed” environment for families to keep in touch and share images. Instead of relying on the data-slurping advertising model adopted by the likes of Facebook, Kin plans to make its money from user subscriptions.

The company says its design, which shuns the traditional newsfeed, will also offer freedom from influencers. Features will include ‘Future Messages’ for leaving posts that can be unlocked by a family member at a specified future date, and ‘Memorial Accounts’ for when family members pass away.

Kin said it is entering the market with a $25m valuation and aims to have 100 million users by August 2022.

The startup said it will not sell user data to third parties and will attempt to combat the problem of so-called ‘sharenting’, in which a parent makes pictures of their child publicly available on social media and puts them at future risk of identity fraud.

“The public nature of traditional social platforms comes with risks and downsides, including having your data owned and sold to third parties,” said Micheal Collett, co-founder and CEO of Kin.

“Consumers are now starting to wise up to this and take action – Whatsapp’s loss of millions of users following its privacy policy update in January perfectly encapsulates this change in consumer attitude.

“However, people still want and crave an online space for family and friends to remain connected and create a space of intimacy, especially in the current times when many of us are unable to physically be with the ones we love, they just want their data to be protected and respected. Kin is meeting this new demand – we are entering a new age of private media space.”

The invite-only app launched in beta mode in February 2021.

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