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Onin Secures £2.75M and Launches a Revolutionary Calendar for Every Conversation

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by Startacus Admin

Onin Team (Left to right - David, Ryan, Imi).

Onin secures investment for its innovative solution that removes the fragmentation between calendars and the conversations that drive them.

Onin has announced a £2.75M seed round from Octopus Ventures in its mission to bring calendars into every conversation. The secure calendar app has launched on the App Store today. The seed investment will be used to scale Onin whilst further developing the product and its features.
OBKRtDQy_400x400Onin was founded by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Ryan Brodie, who has over a decade of experience building app-based businesses with three exits. He previously co-founded the Muslim dating app Muzz where he attended Y Combinator in 2017. Alongside Brodie is co-founder David Adler, a former founder and CTO who turned down lead roles from Spotify and Amazon to build Onin. Late last year, Imi Read joined the team as Head of Product Marketing to spearhead the product’s launch and growth. 
To date, Onin has raised £3.5M. The company raised an initial £750K pre-seed round in the summer of 2020 from the idea of fixing event planning by combining calendar and chat in one app. Hambro Perks and angel investors, including Matt Clifford of Entrepreneur First and Ryan Brodie, founder of Onin, participated in the company’s pre-seed. Onin has developed further, launching early access to 1,000 public users earlier this year ahead of its official launch this week. 
Ryan Brodie, Founder and CEO of Onin, said, “Across my career, there’s been one theme - building technology that brings people together. From apps that helped promote events to ones that found you a date, the calendar has always been central but disconnected. Calendars live outside the conversations that drive them and weren’t designed for the social lives we live today. Onin is solving this problem. Our vision is to build a social world without fragmentation.”
According to Onin’s research, when asking 406 early access users, “when planning an event, how do you find a good time for everyone?” 83 percent said they ask. In the same user research, WhatsApp came out top as the tool where most events are discussed (73 percent). 
RyanThis was followed by Email (62 percent), Messenger (36 percent), and Slack (33 percent). Chat apps are 20 percent bigger than social networks and have a faster response time compared to email. But whilst most of us are asking when a good time is, we have to step out of the conversation to organise the time. 
72 percent of adults rely on a calendar, and the four largest calendar app providers - Apple, Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo! Mail - have 3.4B users between them. Each calendar has the same issue; they exist outside of the places where most people plan events. 
Brodie continued, “We're thrilled to launch Onin on the App Store today. Our team has worked tirelessly to create a calendar integration that is intuitive, seamless, and accessible across all your favourite apps. We're excited to share it with the world, and we can't wait to hear feedback as we continue to iterate and improve upon our solution.”
Karan Mehta, Early Stage Investor at Octopus Ventures, added, “Today, services like WhatsApp are used beyond checking in with our family and friends. We use these apps to manage multiple aspects of our personal and professional lives - but the calendar is missing and causing friction. Onin elegantly solves this problem. Ryan is a visionary leader and a magnet for exceptional talent. We’re excited to see what he and the team accomplish together in the coming years.”
Onin seamlessly integrates with every calendar and chat app, so wherever users plan, their calendar is to hand. The team have consciously built a product with zero switching costs, connecting existing tools better. Onin combines familiar calendar features, such as events, scheduling, and notifications, with social features, including chats, groups, usernames, and invitations.
Users can add the Onin keyboard to their phones by downloading the Onin app. They can then access their calendar from their keyboard in any app, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram, Telegram or even AirBnB. Through the integration, they can check their calendar, add events, and share invites without leaving the conversation. In the Onin app, users can see a full view of their calendar and join event chats - every Onin event has a dedicated and secure chat for all participants. 
Onin is a privacy-first company. Each event, message, and user profile is secured with end-to-end encryption. Only the recipient and user can see such details. 
Onin is currently free to use and only available to users on iOS. The company plans to launch Android later this year. The app is patent-pending with 40 claims to invention. The company believes there’s potential to add further services, such as payments and bookings, to create services that could support small businesses.
In addition to further product development and growing its user base, Onin is expanding its three-person London-based team. The company is hiring for positions across engineering, product and marketing.

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Published on: 27th April 2023

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