When we visited Barcelona during MWC we met a very energetic team of programmers who created an app called dondeEsta, a “live indicator” that tells you exactly where your kids are based on the location of their cellphones. Created by Pol Gerbeau, the app runs in the background and keeps track of your wee bairns via GPS. The original version used SMS messages to check in with kids but with a recent update it is far more user friendly and nicely designed.
Unlike Find My Friends on iOS, the app is dedicated to helping you spot only close family and offers a number of features designed to help you see where the little ones are. Services like arrival notifications, up-to-date location information, and maps allow parents to see what is happening at all times and a panic button lets kids tell you they need to be picked up or need help.
“There are two ways we explain dondeEsta Family. It depends on who are we talking with. Talking to parents, dondeEsta Family is a safety solution that brings them peace of mind. It helps them know where their kids are when they don’t answer the phone for example. When kids start going by themselves to school, the app notifies parents when their kids arrive to school and this is a relief for them. The best sentence that we use to describe dondeEsta Family is: because your family is the most important thing to you, we help you know where they are,” said Gerbeau.
“Talking to kids, we describe dondeEsta Family in a different way. The reason why we do this is because they have different interests in an a family locator app. They are not worried about their safety as their parents are. They remember what danger means when they are in danger. This is why their first feature in the app is a panic button. However, what kids want is more autonomy. dondeEsta Family offers them more independence, because they don’t need to be notifying their parents every time they move,” he said.
The app is free but you can unlock some features with a paid subscription. They have 50,000 active users/monthly and 3% have paid 99 cents on Android for premium features and 5% have paid for premium features on iOS.
Gerbeau closed a bridge round of $200,000 with Semyon Dukach, Michael Dornbrook, Stage 1 Ventures and Jean-Marc Van Laethem and is looking for $1 million in funding to add new features and bring the app to the US.
“We want to bring peace of mind to parents, and we want to make it as simple as possible (and as cheap as possible),” said Gerbeau. “Parents don’t even need to see a map to know whether their kids are at home or at school. The app has a real time indicator, ‘at home’ and ‘at school.’ If kids are not in any of those places, parents can check the private map to see where they are. Most family locator apps are based in a map, we are not.”
As a parent of three youngsters I don’t quite need this – yet. However I could see a time when finding out if they are at school or on their way home would be pretty darn important, if only so I can hide all the Halloween candy I stole from their pumpkins.