Home > Startups > Igloo, the community hub

Igloo is a native mobile app that allows communities to easily connect and engage with their members. As in a real igloo, the app brings people together for a unique experience. Igloo was born in summer 2015 and is the brainchild of Jean-Baptiste Graftieaux, aka JB. The first spark was ignited by his frustration from not having access to local news when a fire started spreading around his holiday home. (Featured image: Vincent Huwer, Igloo’s Marketing and Product Manager pitched during the last Rockstart Answers Luxembourg‘s event © Silicon Luxembourg)

What is the purpose of Igloo?

It has been created in the context of the following observation: businesses and communities are looking for more effective ways to engage with their prospects, customers or members. Most of them, mainly the ones with a local outreach, are using traditional communication means (such as flyers, mailing or SMS…) which are easily dismissed and lack marketing impacts on people. Besides, they can be costly and ultimately generate low ROI. The problem is huge and impacts all kinds of businesses and organisations: established businesses, start-ups, sport clubs, shops, schools, cities… 

In addition, these communication means are not well designed to engage communities whereas it is recognized that building communities is the key to create value for both businesses and customers. We are observing a trend that is gaining momentum where the vast majority of the people expect their communities or businesses to use better ways to engage with them with a focus on Mobile, Utility, Privacy and Local.

The problem will continue to grow unless Businesses and Communities are offered with better ways to engage with people. Igloo has been designed to solve this problem.

Four core values guide all our actions: be easy to use, bring useful features, ensure privacy and promote “Local”.

What products/services do you offer?

Igloo is a native mobile app that allows communities to easily connect and engage with their members. As in a real igloo, we bring people together for a unique experience. 

Moreover, it drives immediate costs’ reduction in communication: It replaces flyers, SMS, leaflets and any other traditional communication tool.

Igloo increases also revenues opportunities by helping to acquire and retain new customers/members. From there, Igloo will offer a new innovative way to sell goods and services through a chat interface.

Today, we provide several functionalities: instant messaging, media sharing, event management and diffusion of alerts. Anyone can build a new or join an existing igloo in a matter of seconds and start conversations. You can completely manage your privacy by setting up the level of intimacy (public, private or secret igloo) and manage different identities according to the community. We also offer the possibility to discover new communities as igloos can be geo-localised or selected by interest. 

Four core values guide all our actions: be easy to use, bring useful features, ensure privacy and promote “Local”.

What is your business model?

Our focus is B2B. Revenues mostly originate from subscriptions paid by businesses and organisations to use a premium offer with added features. Igloo aims at a differentiation strategy driven by innovation. The business model is articulated around the creation of the network effect initiated by captive communities and their members. Igloo is totally free for end users i.e. members of communities.

Who are your customers/clients?

We focus on SMEs and start-ups which own captive communities. Our first customers are from various industries in France and Benelux: retailers, brands, hotels, sport clubs, cities, schools and alumni groups.

Regarding business development, we are planning to accelerate and develop a sales network of business introducers to facilitate our global geo-expansion.

Who are your competitors?

We see three kind of competitors. Non-digital tools such as communication packs sold by agencies or firms: expensive, slow, unidirectional. Social networks: noisy, personal data dependent, little visibility control. And, Instant messaging tools: mainly focused on family and close friends communications and not designed for public communities.

However, the main competition remains habits. Habits took by organizations who didn’t pay attention (or didn’t care) of the efficiency of their actions. But now that reducing cost is becoming crucial and that mobile is everywhere, there’s a huge opportunity.

What are the next steps of your strategy?

We are currently in an open beta phase on iOS. Soon iOS will be available on the Appstore. After the summer time, Android and a web platform will be released. Following that, we will work on several features that include emergency alert system, useful bots and m-commerce. Regarding business development, we are planning to accelerate and develop a sales network of business introducers to facilitate our global geo-expansion.


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