Guild is a private messaging app for professionals, devised by me and my Econsultancy co-founder Matthew O'Riordan.
Why are we building the app?
We believe professional networking has been done poorly online: there is too much noise, too little quality, and not enough privacy.
We also believe that the mobile experience can - and should - be much better. We've made mobile a core focus throughout the design process.
So, in short, Guild is aiming to reinvent professional networking for the mobile age. We hope you'll join us for the ride.
Here's what to expect from Guild:
- It is as easy to use as WhatsApp but built just for professionals.
- It provides a high-quality environment that enhances your reputation and protects your privacy.
- It is GDPR compliant, unlike most messaging apps.
- Each guild (group) is moderated by a host. Hosts invite - and pay for - members.
- Guild gives you control over whose company you keep.
- Guild will never, ever show you any advertising.
Privacy is paramount
Guild is completely, utterly private - members have total control of their own data: if they choose to leave they can delete everything.
Moreover, you cannot be found on Guild: there is no member directory to search. There are no public profiles at all. And there are no listings of 'guilds' (the professional groups).
In fact, there's no way to apply to join a group. You can only be a member of Guild if a host invites you into his/her group (or, if you become a host yourself).
We don’t believe in advertising. Ad-supported business models have a tendency to slowly pollute the user experience. So we're definitely not doing that.
With no advertising we can focus on quality not quantity, and on value rather than volume.
Guild aims to be a product that businesses are happy to pay a fair price for. They will use Guild to create and host invitation-only private groups, that are branded to their organisation.
There will also be a free tier for smaller groups, for a limited time (sign up below to get an invite).
Competition is fierce
It goes without saying that it's going to be really tough to compete against the big US social networks and messaging apps, but we're up for the challenge.
We are a British brand with big global aspirations and are aiming for the moon. In fact, our long term goal is to reach 10 million members in 10 years.
Oh, one other thing: we intend to pay our taxes.
About the team
Founders Ashley Friedlein and Matthew O'Riordan previously sold Econsultancy to Centaur Media plc for £24m.
Professor Robin Dunbar, of ‘Dunbar’s Number’ fame, sits on Guild’s advisory board. He has received many such invitations; ours was the first one he accepted.
We're based in London and work out of Balderton Capital’s 'Launch' community, near Kings Cross. If you're ever in the area and would like to discuss Guild over coffee then just say the word.
Our core team includes two former Econsultancy colleagues - Chris Lake and Andrew Warren-Payne - and we've hired a few bright young graduates to help make things happen.
On the financing front we've completed a seed round, raising £880k from 28 private investors, which will give us plenty of runway as we roll things out.
Stay tuned and get early access (for free)
I'd love you to sign up to the Guild mailing list to be kept informed of progress.
We will provide you with free and exclusive access to the product when it launches publicly in Autumn. What's not to like?
If you have any questions or suggestions then do say hello. I'm Ashley at Guild.co.