Rolandes Razma wants people to meet each other in new, interesting ways — and he’s leveraging mobile application technology to make it happen. As CEO of UD7 — the development shop behind dating app LatteDate and messaging app Floonr, among others — he’s one of the top social application innovators for the Apple AppStore. And he’s the winner of this week’s King of Code contest.
Based in Lithuania, Razma has dedicated the last four years of his life to developing mobile applications, supporting his startup with his savings while coding day and night. He’s already made his mark in the Baltic states, where his apps are on all of the top download lists, but he’s looking forward to making the jump to the U.S.
Before starting UD7, Razma worked on mobile billing platforms for Vero and Mokejimai. All told, he’s submitted 18 apps to the AppStore, racking up 1.5 million downloads. He may have cut his teeth on more logistics-focused applications, but with his new startup, he’s going in an entirely different direction: social.
His most prominent app on the market is Floonr, which broke into the top 20 of all applications available in the United States.
“Floonr marries the idea of the ‘message in a bottle’ with Twitter,” Razma told VentureBeat. “You write a message, attach it to a virtual balloon, and launch it.”
These floating messages soar across real maps, and can be caught and commented on by the people they pass. This provides a medium for people to meet and communicate with strangers across the globe in meaningful ways — a sort of animated pen pal game.
“I like Floonr because it helps users express their creativity,” Razma said. “Because balloons move across a real map, it helps users reach new people every day.”
Forging connections between strangers is also the goal of UD7’s other popular app, LatteDate, only in a more romantic sense.
“LatteDate is ‘dating for lazy people’ as we say internally,” Razma said. “You upload a photo, choose the gender you are interested in and start browsing profiles of other members.”
All profiles are sorted according to distance away from the user, so if they see someone they like, there is a good chance that person is close by. With a cute, well-designed interface, LatteDate makes it easy to engage with people who might make a good date. And Razma claims that UD7 has already received letters from members who have found someone special with the app.
The development team has several other products on the market right now, including a maze game called iLabyrinth and iPad apps for several major Lithuanian magazines like Valstybe, Veidas and Stilius.
Still small, the UD7 team currently has five members. Razma is looking forward to them taking on the U.S. market, where they hope to find new investors and users interested in unique modes for making connections.
Every week, with the sponsorship of Windows Phone, VentureBeat is crowning the very best mobile developers as “King of Code.” We’re looking for innovative developers who are really pushing the envelope in the mobile space, regardless of the platforms they’re developing on. Enter here for a chance to win a profile on VentureBeat.com, a $1,000 AMEX Gift Card, an Xbox & Kinect Package, and/or a Windows Phone 7 device.