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29/01/2013 by

Mobile Social Network Avocado: A Start-up To Follow?

Social network Avocado, launched by ex-Googlers, is looking to give couples their own space online. A start-up to follow or to forget?

Mobile Social Network Avocado: A Start-up To Follow?

Although social content curator BuzzFeed recently revealed 23 Reasons Why Facebook Couples Are The Worst Avocado is trying to establish a social network for couples.

So if you can’t stand those slimy and soggy “pumpkin” messages on Facebook, you’d probably want to stay away from Avocado’s Mobile App for couples.

What Is Avocado?
Avocado is a so called mobile social network.

It is available on the iPhone and Android mobile phones for $1.99. The App was created was by ex-Google employees Chris Wetherell and Jenna Bilotta.

Basically the App allows couples to create to-do lists and cross items off, upload pictures to share with one another, and send private messages to each other.

The App is named as such because avocados also grow in pairs.

In 2012 Pair was launched. A free mobile social network allowing couples to create shared experiences through Apple and Android devices. The free App got quite some starting buzz and did 50.000 (free) downloads. Not it’s pretty quiet around Pair.

Korean start-up VCNC is showing that some people are ready for “private” social networks for couples.

The company’s App Between hit 1 million downloads since launching in private beta in November 2011. It appears to be the first of the dedicated couple Apps to hit that milestone.

Mobile Social Network Avocado: A Start-up To Follow?

My Opinion?
I’m not very sure that Avocado is a disruptive innovation that will change the rules in the marketplace.

Or to be clearer about my opinion: I think it is a nice try, but a waste of accelerator or venture incubator money.

So I must admit, that I was really surprised to see that Avocado closed a $1.3 million round of seed funding one year ago.

Even more surprised to see that this included participation from Baseline Ventures, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Ventures, FeedBurner founder Steve Olechowski, and TV director Greg Yaitanes.

Couples Retreat? Social Networks for couples profit or persih?

I hope you have seen the movie Couples Retreat? A comedy about couples working on their marriage. It got a 5.4 star rating on IMDB.

That’s my estimate for Avocado bringing its investors a good ROI eventually: A 5.4 chance.

Why am I so skeptic about Avocado (and similar couple’s networks) from an investor’s point of view? Because I don’t see the true added value compared to services like WhatsApp?

Same goes for their business models. Will Apps for couples make a load of advertising of “subscription fee” revenues? And if they do, how much media budget is needed for B2C start-ups like this? Will it be profit, or perish?

I would have believed in the ROI of an App like Coupons for Couples. With special deals and discounts for couples. Open to any kind of couple, straight or gay.

But, I could be wrong though.

If you know how many couples get divorced due to Facebook, some couples might indeed need a social network to retreat.

What About You?
Why would you use Avocado or Between? Would you consider putting your money in start-ups like this? I would love to read your opinion in the comments below.

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is ‘freejack’ consultant and a sought after keynote speaker.

Source: Gigaom.


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