AboutOne is one of 53 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2011 event taking place this week in Palm Desert, Calif. After our selection, the companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.
AboutOne wants to simplify the busy task of managing families with a new Web app it unveiled today at the DEMO conference.
The company offers a secure online “family management system,” a centralized location where families can store appointments, photos snapped from their cell phone, to-do lists and school-related information. Moms and dads can also scan in important documents, copies of their kids artwork, report cards and last year’s photo with Santa Claus.
The goal is to take away time parents spend filing and organizing family-related tasks and mementos, and use the power of the web and cloud computing to do it for them. With AboutOne’s system, a parent could use his smartphone to access copies of documents that might be otherwise stored in a safe, or, come holiday time, easily compile a holiday newsletter with pictures and highlights for friends and family. Likewise, parents can create profiles of their kids with photos celebrating milestones and special directions for babysitters that include insurance information, allergies and medical must-knows.
The company was founded in 2008 by CEO Joanne Lang. As a mom of four young boys and a former SAP executive, Lang wanted use her experience with cloud technology (a fancy term for software that runs over the Internet) to help busy moms manage family life. Lang says she saw at SAP how cloud computing eliminated inefficiencies for businesses, and wanted to extend the same services to busy moms. Cloud computing allows information to be stored offsite and in more efficient ways — think of Web-based banking, email, and shareable documents and calendars.
AboutOne offers 17 free days of service, after which users can opt to pay $5 a month or $30 a year. The company launched a beta version of its product in October and has almost 4,000 users. AboutOne says it is targeting a market of 82.8 million American moms, but initially focused mostly on the Gen Y “Millennial Moms” segment — roughly, mothers in their twenties. It has since expanded to include teenagers going to college, caregivers, military families and corporate customers.
It is based in Bountiful, Utah, and has 11 employees.
AboutOne competes with other on-demand information storage apps like Carebinders and Bento, as well as online organizers like DelphiVIM, Orggit, and InformationSafe. It says its competitive edge is in making information useful with applications like family newsletters, digital scrapbooks, greeting cards and invitations. It also offers shareable templates that allow users to prepare for future life events, like college applications, school forms and tax documents.
The company has partnerships with companies like Zillow and WebMD to help centralize information-gathering. So far, it has raised $400,000 from friends and family.