Six degrees of Separation or 6degrees of Connection? The new App in town

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6 Degrees

Have you ever wondered how to keep your address book updated where friends and family are constantly changing numbers or jobs or mail IDs? More importantly, have you ever wished that you could ensure that your contact details always remained updated in your friends’ phones? It is especially important these days because all incoming opportunities in life necessitate that everyone has their contact books constantly updated.

Arun Samudrala faced the exact problem when he moved to India from abroad and had no way to update his nearly 4000 contacts. Arun and Niranjan Rao co-founded Abhriya Pte Ltd incorporated in Singapore with a development office in Bangalore. Arun has extensive technology experience including 8 years in the Silicon Valley, while Niranjan is an Engineer-MBA with technology and investment banking experience. The idea of “6degrees” is based on the eponymous theory proposed by the Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy that any person in the world is only six chain links away from anyone else. The same idea has been extended by various social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn which use ‘friends of friends’ as a key metric in determining the visibility of data to different people. There are many apps such as TrueCaller, InTouch and PhoneWarrior that are working on various aspects of the address book problem – how to have a clean, updated, spam free address book on the go, in different ways.

How does 6degrees work?

6 Degrees
6degrees has a comprehensive suite of features that take care of all contact book needs:
  • When you change your contact details in your phone, the same is updated in the address books of all friends who also use 6degrees
  • Integrates all contacts from various social media profiles such as Facebook, Google+
  • Merge or delete duplicate contacts from the phone
  • Search and share contacts with friends easily
  • Users can also see all the contact names (names only) in a friend’s contact list if it shared using the privacy controls
  • Search for nearby places of interest and shops
  • Its available in 6 languages other than English – Korean, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Spanish and Chinese

The app is available on Android and iOS. The Windows version and web version are expected in the near future.

Global Dreams

After the initial wave of successful Indian entrepreneurs in the last decade, Indian entrepreneurs are harboring global ambitions now. The first generation of such entrepreneurs solved India-specific problem statements. Can the next generation succeed and build a world-class product with global users? Can they truly go global? 6degrees is a rare company with Indian roots but with a technology-driven geography-agnostic vision. Arun says “We’re available in 7 languages, and have users from 95+ countries. I know we’re very young but our dream is to replace the phone book in everyone’s palm”.

6 Degrees
Niranjan adds, “While it's true that India has the potential to produce globally-relevant technology businesses, it wouldn't have been possible for us to even think about it without the previous generation of successful entrepreneurs - stalwarts like Sanjeev Bikhchandani and Deep Kalra had India-centric businesses, but they took the whole ecosystem forward - they made people proud - from IIM-A to all over India”

Next Steps

In the past, Indian VCs have been faulted with not showing enough vision and risk appetite and not backing potentially global businesses from India. However, things have been changing with Zomato’s global ambitions being fueled by Sequoia and many such examples in the recent past.

However, since the company behind 6degrees is incorporated in Singapore and the local investor ecosystem is hungry for success stories from there, the company might just be of interest to the overall ecosystem.

The company has been bootstrapped by the founders and has also received a $40,000 innovation award from the Singapore government.

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Authors
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda
Chaitanya Ramalingegowda is an entrepreneur and investor, and a Co-founder of Wakefit, a sleep solutions company. He writes about marketing, branding, and fundraising for startups. Chaitanya is also a mentor at Neotec Hub, the startup accelerator by the Ambuja Neotia group. He has consulted with Fortune 100 companies in the US, Canada, and Europe, and is an MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

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