6ix Degrees, a Kenyan start up, has come up with a mobile phone application that allows for phonebook contact backup. The application also allows users to restore the contacts in case of loss.
Launched in November 2011, the application runs on a range of Internet-enabled mobile phone models and can be accessed from any mobile provider’s network. It provides periodical back up of the contacts in a cloud database allowing users to access their contacts from a computer.
This will enable individuals who have lost their phones along with their contacts to retrieve their contacts, says David Ngugi, a co-founder.
Ngugi told HumanIPO the application is a cloud-based mobile platform that in addition to backing the contacts, adds interaction to the contacts based on relationships of each individual contact.
The interaction is enabled by a Six Degrees of separation principle — which states that everyone on earth is on average approximately six steps away. “These backed up numbers could easily be leveraged to create great wonderful services for the users and that’s what we at 6ix Degrees do,” added Ngugi. He noted that the idea was originally conceived during his third-year computer science project and inspired by an apparent lack of stable service for phonebook back-up.
At present, 6ix Degrees subscriptions stand at 1000 even though the application is still in development stage. The service is still is still in limited edition and experiences constant improvement hence individuals already signed up would only enjoy the service for a period of time. Restoration charges will apply once limited edition comes to a close.
Ngugi noted that the main challenge they faced were technological.
“A lot of what we do is new-age computer science technology that very few people in Kenya, or even around the world, know and interact with. As such, it has been a never ending learning curve acquiring skills for cloud computing, data synchronization, mobile messaging among others,” Ngugi said.
“IPO48 brought a lot of expertise and knowledge about business process and model. Being fresh from school, I would say it was more like baptism by fire,” Ngugi concluded.
6ix Degrees is among the Startups that won 2011 IPO48 competition, and secured an investment capital from 88mph.