Bundy man takes on world
A BUNDABERG man is one of two brains behind a multimillion-dollar social networking website that combines the features of Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Mark Cracknell, 21, who attended Bundaberg Christian Collage and St Luke's Anglican School, and Nathan Hoad, 25, of Hervey Bay, have founded Kondoot - a social video network that also allows its users to broadcast to a global audience free of charge while also offering a means to connect with family and friends.
The two have recently unveiled an ambitious plan to raise $10 million through an initial public offering, after raising $3.2 million in a funding round led by US investors.
Mr Cracknell said he was by no means certain his company would have the same global success as Facebook, but believed it was filling a gap in the social media market.
The background to how the website got started has similar undertones to Facebook's success story.
Mr Cracknell and Mr Hoad met while studying IT at the University of Queensland and, along with some of their friends, they started talking about creating a social media website.
They believed that while there were several different websites catering to different social media needs, there was no one site that could service all of them.
"There was no combined platform, or one place to do things," Mr Cracknell said.
Hence the creation of Kondoot, which allows users to upload video, live broadcast, search, like, connect, follow and instant message.
The founders are also hoping users will use the platform to do live broadcasts of events, both large and small, which is where the company aims to makes its money.
Kondoot's business model doesn't rely on advertising, so the person streaming the live event would sell tickets, with Kondoot taking 20% of the revenue from the sales.
The website now has members in 190 countries, boasting strong numbers in the US and South-East Asia.
Mr Cracknell would not reveal how many users in total they had, but said they had "tripled their user base".
He said the pair had launched the company, headquartered in Brisbane, with the aim not just of growing numbers in Australia but going global and competing with social media giants.
"We've always dreamed big," he said.
Mr Cracknell said while many social media networks were focused on the tech side of things, his company, which now employs 20 people, was focused on making the site user friendly.
"We just wanted to simplify everything," he said.
Mr Cracknell said while there were always creases to iron out and days off were almost non-existent, it was all worth it.
He and Mr Hoad are also uncomfortable with the suggestion they could be innovators in their field.
"We just solve a problem when we see it," he said.