The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a lot of changes to people’s lifestyles and whether they are working, studying, celebrating or just talking one of the biggest changes for everyone has been the increase in virtual gatherings via video conferencing services in place of holding in-person meet-ups.
Particularly for matters related to work or business the number of group chats everyone is involved with has proliferated to an extraordinary degree out of simple necessity whenever multiple people are collaborating on a project together.
To add to the confusion, several different video conferencing and work-collaboration tools currently have significant market-share and this sometimes leads to disorganised group efforts and added difficulties in completing essential work.
Enter local software development firm Bloo with their online project management system designed to make teamwork simple, efficient and enjoyable. It had the lucky timing to launch in 2019 – just one year prior to the onset of the pandemic.
Bloo is now working on a social project called Bloo4Good that will provide 5,000 free software licences with an annual value of $2.5 million to various NGOs, non-profits, charities, schools and open-source software projects.
“Part of our vision is to ‘make the world better together’ so Bloo4Good was founded with a mission to help organisations that do good things for society. We’ve included open-source software projects as part of that because we leveraged open-source software to build Bloo,” Bloo marketing representative Serahphin Chan told The Post.
Chan says the company is keen on supporting organisations and individuals that make the world a better place with the hope that the free licences to use Bloo’s services will help them work together more effectively and achieve even greater positive gains.
“The idea behind this project is to give back to the community and to organisations that are helping the less fortunate. For example, teachers or professors can benefit from Bloo by doing things like delegating tasks, setting their schedules and storing shared resources,” Chan says.
Bloo was founded in 2018 by Italian-British software developer Emanuele “Manny” Faja who also currently serves as a managing partner at the design agency Mad. Dong Truong – the former chief technology officer for Vietnamese steel company Ton Nam Kim – joined Bloo early on and became an owner/investor.
“Bloo was born on a trip to the US that our founder, Manny, took in July 2017 and partly in response to the challenges he faced while running [his design agency]. He had tried many different project management tools at that point and he found that most of them were difficult to use and also super-expensive – especially if you were using multiple tools – and not only was it a monetary cost but also a cost to productivity. So he pitched his idea for a better solution while on that trip and got his first investor,” Chan says.
In just a few short years Bloo’s suite of services has met with considerable success by providing project management tools to create a faster and more efficient workflow for over 1,500 organisations located across over 120 countries.
Bloo is available in multiple languages including English, Khmer, Vietnamese, French, Spanish, Korean, Italian, German and Indonesian. Additional language options are already in the works.
Chan says that the pandemic no doubt provided some boost to Bloo’s start as a business, but she feels that the project’s real strength is its flexibility, which allows it to facilitate communication and collaboration to boost remote-work productivity in every industry or organisation imaginable.
Bloo is a fully-featured service with calendar and schedule management, activity feeds, notifications and the ability to automate just about anything. Users create their projects and then add their team members and everything is ready to go, Chan says.
“The main difference between Bloo and other similar apps is that Bloo is much easier to use. We’ve put a huge amount of focus on creating a pain-free user experience from day one so that anyone can use Bloo without having any special training or even running a tutorial video,” she says.
Chan also notes that Bloo’s low price point, which compares favourably to that of similar services such as Trello, Basecamp, Asana and Click-up – is due partly because Bloo only charges per company or organisation rather than per user.
Currently, Bloo charges regular customers $50 per month or $500 per year for complete access to their services with an unlimited number of users, separate projects and file storage.
Chan says that if you’re an organisation or business that is doing something interesting and innovative that you think Bloo might appreciate – even if it’s for-profit – you can email them and request a discount on the licence fee with a pretty solid chance of getting a deal.
“We don’t believe that software should be hugely expensive for small companies. Bloo replaces a lot of other tools that together can add up to costs of $500+ per month for a team of 15 or 20 people to use. We think that’s crazy money to spend each month so we work hard to stay efficient and keep our running costs low so we can ensure the best price for you,” she says.
All it takes to get started using Bloo is an email address and you’ll be up and running with their 14-day free trial in no time flat. The trial provides full access to all of Bloo’s services so customers can make an informed decision after the two weeks are up as Chan says that the team at Bloo are confident they’ll convert those free trials to paid subscribers more often than not just by showing them what Bloo can do.
Since the company announced their Bloo4Good initiative, applications have come in from all over the world.
One user offered up high-praise for the effort, calling the programme a “noble achievement” and offering his commendations. Many more have left positive comments and feedback through Bloo’s website in testimony to the big boost at work Bloo is giving them.
“Bloo exceeds our expectations to the point where our organisation migrated from Click-up fully over to Bloo after doing the free trial and it’s the best decision we’ve ever made,” enthused one user, while another wrote “I tried so many different apps and Bloo is the only one that can do everything I need without confusing the heck out of my clients.”
Bloo4Good is currently accepting applications for free lifetime licences but they can only afford to give these first 5,000 away for now until they grow further as a company, so Chan encourages any interested organisation to apply right away.
“If you are an NGO, non-profit, charity or educational institution and you are looking to get the free licence for Bloo, there are only a couple of steps to get started. First, create an account on Bloo.io and then submit your application online. The Bloo team will review it and within 24-48 hours – pending any necessary clarifications or detail confirmation – you will then receive a 100 per cent free lifetime licence from us,” Chan concludes.
For more information and to apply for a free licence or sign-up for their free trial go to: https://www.bloo.io.