Onin, a UK-based startup that is bringing closer connections to calendars and chat apps, has just secured over €3.1 million (£2.75 million) to launch its product. The company was founded by Ryan Brodie, the entrepreneur behind the dating app, Muzz.
How often do you have a conversation, or plan an event or meeting but then forget to add it to your calendar? Jumping from chat apps to calendar apps isn’t a completely seamless thing to do, and as a result, we aren’t making full use of the humble calendar.
Aiming to change this, by bringing calendars into everyday conversations, the Onin app helps streamline organisation and planning. The UK-based startup has just secured €3.1 million to launch.
Ryan Brodie, Founder and CEO of Onin: “Across my career, there’s been one theme – building technology that brings people together. From apps that helped promote events to ones that found you a date, the calendar has always been central but disconnected. Calendars live outside the conversations that drive them and weren’t designed for the social lives we live today. Onin is solving this problem. Our vision is to build a social world without fragmentation.”
Octopus led the round. Hambro Perks and angel investors, including Matt Clifford of Entrepreneur First and Ryan Brodie, founder of Onin, participated in the company’s pre-seed.
The London-based app integrates with digital calendars and chat apps (including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Telegram and even AirBnB). This gives users a full view of their calendar and the ability to join event chats.
Founded by Ryan Brodie and David Adler, Onin’s vision is to remove fragmentation between calendars and the conversations that drive them, designing and building simple technology for people, not enterprises.
According to Onin’s research, when asking 406 early access users, “when planning an event, how do you find a good time for everyone?” 83% said they ask. In the same user research, WhatsApp came out top as the tool where most events are discussed (73%).
Chat apps are 20% bigger than social networks and have a faster response time compared to email. But whilst most of us are asking when a good time is, we have to step out of the conversation to organise the time. Each calendar has the same issue; they exist outside of the places where most people plan events.
The app combines familiar calendar features, such as events, scheduling, and notifications, with social features, including chats, groups, usernames, and invitations. Users can add the Onin keyboard to their phones by downloading the app. They can then Through the integration, they can check their calendar, add events, and share invites without leaving the conversation. The company states that it also operates with a privacy-first focus. Each event, message, and user profile is secured with end-to-end encryption. Only the recipient and user can see such details.
Ryan Brodie: “We’re thrilled to launch Onin on the App Store today. Our team has worked tirelessly to create a calendar integration that is intuitive, seamless, and accessible across all your favourite apps. We’re excited to share it with the world, and we can’t wait to hear feedback as we continue to iterate and improve upon our solution.”
With this new funding, the company plans to expand the product. There is the possibility of adding further services, such as payments and bookings, to create services that could support small businesses.
Karan Mehta, Early Stage Investor at Octopus Ventures: “Today, services like WhatsApp are used beyond checking in with our family and friends. We use these apps to manage multiple aspects of our personal and professional lives – but the calendar is missing and causing friction. Onin elegantly solves this problem. Ryan is a visionary leader and a magnet for exceptional talent. We’re excited to see what he and the team accomplish together in the coming years.”