Open source chat platform launched its beta in September 2013
Aims to bring sense of online community from the early days to Web 3.0 era
SINGAPORE- and Bangalore-based Askabt said it has closed a S$500,000 (US$400,000) seed funding round led by Jungle Ventures for its Scrollback chat platform.
The round was supported by Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) under the Technology Incubation Scheme, Crystal Horse Investments, Singapore Angel Network, Roland Turner and other angel investors from Singapore, the company said in a statement.
Cofounded by Aravind Ravi-Sulekha (pic, left) and Gaurav Srivastava (pic, right) in June 2013 at the JFDI.Asia accelerator programme, Askabt said Scrollback combines the ease and engagement of chat with the content organisation of forums.
Through its apps on web and Android, users can create chatrooms on their topics of interest and have conversations with like-minded people.
“Most online platforms today are about connecting you with friends and family in new ways,” said Aravind.
“Online platforms from a decade ago, like web forums and IRC (Internet relay chat) chatrooms, focussed on forming communities by connecting you with strangers who share your interests.
“Scrollback aims to bring that sense of community to the modern era. We aim to become the discussion platform of choice for every online community,” he added.
Scrollback is open source and launched its beta in September 2013. Several regional communities of Mozilla, cryptocurrency communities like dogecoin, activist groups, comic blogs, online games and even municipalities have now adopted it as their preferred platform for open discussions, according to the startup.
It is also being used by conferences and events as a back-channel where attendees can network, share anecdotes and engage with speakers. In the past one year, Scrollback has grown to over 700 active communities across South-East Asia, America and Europe, it claimed.
“IRC is central to Mozilla communities’ communication process, which has usually meant a steep learning curve for new or potential contributors,” said Larissa Shapiro, head of contributor development at Mozilla Corp.
“Scrollback has eliminated that barrier for many of our communities by bringing their IRC channels to their websites with a beautiful, modern and intuitive user experience,” she said in the statement issued by Scrollback.
Scrollback rooms can be embedded in community websites and apps, and connected to IRC and Twitter to enable conversations that span multiple platforms. They can also be shared and promoted both online and offline.
Scrollback’s ‘threaded chat’ makes busy rooms less chaotic, creates meaningfully organised archives, and boosts search engine optimisation, it claimed.
“We are quite excited about the disruptive potential about Scrollback,” said Jungle Ventures managing partner Amit Anand.
“Forums are probably the last frontier to get a Web 3.0 makeover and Scrollback has the right design and social elements to be a winner in this space,” he added.
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