Life’s a Challenge as Klash Launches Action App

By David Knight |

It didn’t take long for Klash to make an impact on the Berlin tech scene – a strategically-worn mankini made sure of that – but now the boys behind the app which allows you to challenge friends and family have officially launched in the App Store.

And they have big plans – CEO Alex Napetschnig told Silicon Allee that he sees Klash as the “funnification of life”, and that just as SoundCloud has sounds and Amen has opinions, Klash is the place for actions.

The app, which leverages from the Facebook open graph, enables users to dare others to do something, prove it with pictures and share the experience. To klash someone, you simply pick an FB friend, define the challenge and set a reward. Other friends can then get involved and root for either side.

It’s the psychology within all of us, says Alex, that is at the core of Klash: “Everybody likes to compete. People want to do better than others, and they love to show off their achievements.”

A Nice Morning Swell

The first ever klash involved surfing. Alex and his original co-founders, Alessandro Petrucciani and Baris Tamer, had recently finished a masters degree in Barcelona and were already considering the social media advertisement space for a possible project. They were relaxing on a Port Aventura beach when Alex and Alessandro – who could both already surf – challenged Baris to hit the waves.

“He had never done it so we dared him to go out there because there was a nice morning swell, and he did it; he grabbed a board and went out. It was funny – half an hour later he came back to the beach having almost drowned five times. He really deserved his beer.”

Serious development work began on Klash in February this year, with two programmers – Emiliano Saurin and Roland Heuger – joining the founding team. The first iteration of the iOS app has been released into the App Store today.

Baris said: “The peer pressure that is created from the community is an amazing engine that gets people out of their comfort zones.”

There are already plenty of other ‘challenge’ apps out there, such as AnteUp, so what makes Klash different? “There are some similarities, obviously, but what we are trying to do is emphasize actions,” says Alex. “We want our klashes to involve people having to do something, rather than betting on third party outcomes – like instead of betting on who is going to win the next marathon, we want you to run the marathon yourself.”

Social Media Advertising

As for making money, the founders hope to turn Klash into a social media advertising tool at some future point. “If SoundCloud has music and Amen has opinions, Klash should have actions. We are the ones who can engage people. For brands that is very interesting. We want to give them that chance to engage with our audience.”

In the meantime, the team – which has been bootstrapping up till now – is hoping to close its first investment round in the near future, while the product they have launched today is merely the first step, Alex insists: “We think our product is super cool, but we know that it could be way better… We have a roadmap in our head, and this will be a launch to get more feedback for the iOS version.”

And if anyone saw a hoard of people in animal costumes roaming the streets of Berlin on a Saturday night a few weeks ago, that would have been the outcome of a Klash-rules dinner. Still, beats an intercontinental startup pitch wearing next to nothing broadcast live on the Internet…