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The holiday season is one of the only times a year when we see our far-flung friends and family. MochaMeet is a new mobile app that provides planning tools for group meet-ups, so they can happen more than just once a year.
Founder Anish Godha said the inspiration for MochaMeet arose after his Stanford graduation. It became difficult to stay in touch with people as they moved away or became busy — making plans was no longer as simple as meeting for a coffee on campus.
“I realized that real friendships needed face time” Godha told VentureBeat. “No amount of Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram could substitute [for] a genuine human interaction. So I developed an app that removed all the hassle of scheduling face time with friends, no matter where in the world they were.”
MochaMeet is a planning assistant for making plans. It connects with Facebook and displays on a map where your friends are located around the world. Friends can form and join groups and use the in-app chat to figure out where and when to meet, so messy group emails and text messages aren’t required.
Everyone in a group votes for times and locations, and the “meet” can be set to recur on regular intervals.
Godha said MochaMeet is also useful for travelers — if you are heading to London, it is easier to see and coordinate with all your friends who are living there, or rally college friends together when one comes back to visit San Francisco.
The “make plans with friends” app is hardly a novel concept. Hatch, GiddyUp, Ketchup, ShareWare, Rundavoo, and Sambaa all have tools to make coordinating social calendars easier. Then there are various Facebook services, and “old-fashioned’ methods, like texts.
It can be a pain to try to wrangle friends together, but surely this problem is not so great that these startups need to be addressing it.
Not one of these apps has gained notable traction thus far, and perhaps the reason is that this isn’t a big enough pain point. Downloading and using a dedicated app to make plans doesn’t seem that much easier or better than the various other methods.
Surely there are more pressing, or at least untapped, problems out there to solve for an entrepreneur with an M.S. from Stanford.
MochaMeet is based in Palo Alto and is available on iOS.