Bhavin Turakhia founded Directi, a prominent domain registrar that was acquired by Endurance International earlier this year for a hefty sum. Branching out from that business, one of the things Bhavin focuses on now is Riva- an organization based in the communications space that has today announced the launch of Flock, a free chat service for work and business environments (they also run Ringo). Flock enables quick communication across platforms without IT admin support. Flock is free for unlimited users and usage and is available for iOS, Android, Windows PC, Mac and Linux.
The app is launching globally today but the main focus is going to be on India. “We are passionate about increasing productivity through efficient workplace communications, and are building a set of tools that enable rapid interaction and decision making,” says Bhavin Turakhia, CEO of Riva. Flock sits at the intersection of increasing usage of messaging services and the growing trend of usage of such services for business purposes. Talking of India, more and more people are having a separate WhatsApp group for official purposes but this blurs the line between personal and professional. The team at flock felt that it is necessary to have a bifurcation and thus have launched this messaging app which is dedicated for official purposes.
A user can register via his or her official id and then invite others in the organization to o the same. "Everyone in an organization need not use the app. It is meant for a few progressive groups from where the penetration would start," says Bhavin. Some of the feature Flock boasts of are:
- Mobile and Desktop applications
- File and image sharing within the application
- Group chats: create temporary or permanent groups for teams or projects
- Secure encrypted messaging
- Ability to bring clients into your conversations
- Auto updated company directory
- Synced conversations across multiple devices
- Read and delivery receipts
- Unlimited chat history
- Admin interface to manage employee exits
The app is launching today across platforms. Talking about it, Product Manager Ninad Rawal says, “Flock gives employees the opportunity to chat in real time in a single place without mixing their personal and work messages. Public instant messengers were never meant for workplace communication. Flock eliminates any chance of accidentally mixing your work or personal messages, or sending your personal ID to clients.”
Globally, there are players like Hipchat and Campfire which play in a similar domain but Bhavin believes that all of them have their own niche- someone is oriented towards technology folks while someone is inclined towards product managers. Flock wants to be a simple and easy-to-use app that any office goer would find value in. Messaging as a sector has seen a lot of innovation after the rise of Whatsapp and Indian companies like Haptik (a messaging app that allows users to talk with businesses) are covering significant ground. Flock has just launched and with the value proposition and clout it comes in, it surely is one of the startups to look out for.
Download links: Flock