12:34 | 03.03.15 | Articles | exclusive 15718

Wakie: wake a stranger up in just a minute

What to do when the alarm clock no longer helps but you need to wake up? Wakie mobile app developed by Armenian programmers offers an alternative to waking up in time.

Imagine, for example, Ricardo from Guatemala, calling you at the preliminarily set time in the morning and wakes you up by talking to you for as long as a minute. After a minute the system ends the call – Ricardo and you will not meet ever after but you will at least not be late for work today. And you don’t necessarily need to have friends in Guatemala, U.S. or Honduras. For already four years, two million people in the world have been waking up via Wakie.

It is available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone -based mobile devices.

The app was developed by two guys living in Moscow – brothers Hrachik and Tatul Adjamians.

100 000 -150 000 “alarm clocks” work in Wakie system on daily basis. Russia, where the app has been available for already three years, is the first in download number. In the U.S, the app was made available three months ago and it already has 400 000 users.

“I wake up with an effort and eight years ago I noticed that when someone calls me in the morning, especially if that someone is a stranger, I wake up easier. They ask you questions and you are forced to make your brain work to answer those questions. It occurred to me that I would by all means wake up easier if I had not been woken up by the alarm clock but by a stranger’s call”, Wakie Co-Founder Hrachik Adjamian told Itel.am.

Hrachik Adjamian

In 2011, he decided to turn the idea into reality.

“I already had a team, as since 16 I have been managing a website developing company. I came to the team and said “guys, let’s start our own project”. Everybody liked the idea and we decided to try it”, he said. Wakie was officially unveiled in Moscow on April 23, 2011.

Presently, residents of Russia, U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong can get calls via this app. And they can be woken up from anywhere. Wakie functions are now available in Armenia, but not fully. You can wake up someone, but you cannot be woken up. The app team has already found a solution to this.

“Why six countries? Simply because we pay for people to be able to make free calls. If we take into account that it refers to millions of calls, then obviously the sum paid is huge. Of course, there are cheaper and more expensive countries. For example, it’s 20 times more expensive to call Armenia than the U.S. Nevertheless, we have presently developed a technology which will make the app available in all countries, when the device is connected to Internet. We are now testing it in India among 500 locals. So I believe a few months down the road we will be able to grant Armenia and the rest of the countries to get a call via Wakie”, he said.

Wakie is eager to cooperate with Armenians

Wakie’s team of 15 members includes three Armenians.

“We are already considering opening an office in Armenia as we believe there are many good specialists there. I will be very happy if good developers from Armenia as well as other specialists thinking they can join our team contact me. I would like to get to know such Armenians and together develop something new in the future”, he noted.

Hrachik Adjamian said they have already invested USD 4 million in the project. “Venture investors and business angels from the U.S., Russia and Switzerland support us. We will try to be more self-dependent in the near future. I believe if you can make money by yourself, you should not take it from the outside. If the money constantly flows from there, then it’s not a healthy business. Thus, you should try to strike a balance – to make the business profitable and at the same time useful for people”, he summed.

Narine Daneghyan