Juan Medina (Juan Medina) first considered the idea of starting a new company in 2003 after his father passed away, when his wife asked him to tell a story about his father, and Medina realized that he Don’t know him that much. Medina said that stories, jokes, recipes, etc. were either lost or scattered among various friends and family.
This idea has resurfaced in the past few years, because Medina’s 9-year-old daughter said that she had never actually met her grandparents.Medina decided to start his startup Lalo -Also his father’s nickname-its mission is to provide people with a private digital space to connect, share stories and retain precious memories.
Lalo is currently running as a small private beta, an application that facilitates the collection of digital content such as images, videos, voice, and text. Stay away from the noise and common pitfalls of traditional social media platforms, and deliberately keep the group in a small area to increase trust and privacy. Imagine that family members gather in a space to collect the best recipes or share images that may have been lost to an invisible album.
“This is a space to capture those more important family memories. On Sunday, from the phone calls from grandchildren to grandparents, they can say,’Grandpa, tell me a time…,’ said Medina.
Lalo plans to make money by subscribing to an ad-free application to charge $25 a year, and multiple people can access a space at this price. Medina said the idea is optimized for small groups of 10 to 15 people and is overly biased towards privacy.
“You won’t be called by your middle school friends, like,’Hey, join my account,'” he said.
Medina is also committed to protecting the permanence of data and may use blockchain solutions or other methods to archive materials digitally for a long time.He sees competitors as traditional social media, such as Facebook, where people now trade images and stories, or more story-focused products, such as Story group On NPR, or Value for money.
This idea is in conflict with the wave of innovation that falls into the category of “death technology”, and startups are reimagining everything that revolves around traditional end-of-life and funeral industry practices, including ideas such as body composting, cremation services, and coffin purchases.
Lalo users don’t have to pay attention to the recent or imminent loss of a loved one, but Medina does believe that the app can be a useful tool in the grief process.
Before trying to start his own business, Medina worked at Amazon for a little over eight years, researching various technologies, building things from scratch and understanding how to build things quickly. Lalo’s decision to leave and start brought some concerns.
“I am married, I have a daughter, and we have a mortgage. It is terrible to leave the stable income I have in my whole life,” Medina said. “But it’s great. I like it. It’s great to do what I like to do, what I love.”
Interest from various angel investors and funding from Lalo’s first institutional investor alleviated some concerns about the long-term viability of the idea. Overlooked Ventures, a venture capital firm headquartered in Columbus, Ohio Announced earlier this month Lalo is its first investment. Founding partner Janine Sickmeyer wrote about the startup: “No amount of technology can alleviate the pain of losing a loved one, but there are better ways to grieve. People should respond and keep in touch, and mourn the lost together.”
Medina did not share how much money Lalo raised in the pre-seed financing. The company was incorporated at the end of 2020 and relocated in March after leaving Amazon in Medina.
Lalo currently has 8 employees and is one of 30 startups selected by the Washington Technology Industry Association’s 6th Founders Queue Program. Announced in AugustThe program will end testing in early 2022.