tChat turns train travelling into a social experience
Ritah Ayebare Nyakato / Stefan Kyora08.02.2016 10:15
tChat Sagl, a Ticino-based startup, announced the release of a social networking app, tChat, which enables passengers to build new and meaningful bonds with other passengers seated in the same train. The app was launched early last week in Ticino.
tChat is a new smartphone app that enables people in a train travelling the same direction to chat with each other even after the train arrives at its destination. The project has received only a beta release in Ticino in order to gain further insights before officially launching the product all over Switzerland by the end of March. Also planned is an expansion in France, Germany and Italy by the end of 2016.
The app was developed following recent successful models of instant messaging and dating apps such as Tinder and Happn, both from the point of view of the concept and the graphic. In this sense, tChat Sagl further developed an already established concept, applying it to a very specific context, train trips.
How it works
tChat is easy and quick to use – after logging in and filling in the required information, users are able to see other tChat users online with whom they may instantly exchange messages. After the connection has been made, users are free to communicate as much as they desire even after they part ways.
Additionally users may also have the possibility to create and join groups with other users any limitations. This function enables passengers to seek and offer assistance/support to others if they have any problems or have the solution during the trip. According to Mehran, CEO of tChat, “If my laptop runs out of battery during the trip, I might find it embarrassing to actually get up from my seat and go around looking for a charger. With tChat the same exact problem can be solved very easily: it will be enough to write a message in the group chat and I'll surely find at least one other passenger able and willing to help me without humiliating myself.”
“The Swiss railway network is one of the best in the world” explains Abdul Wahed Mehran. However, despite the fact that the trains are comfortable, reliable and punctual, even Swiss passengers suffer from boredom when they are traveling alone on a train. What's even more frustrating is that we have probably interests or even friends in common with the other passengers, but we find it so difficult to break the ice. tChat solves all these problems, first by showing us if we have any friends or interests in common with the other passengers and then putting us in contact only with people who want to chat with us and that we're interested in chatting with. This is extremely helpful in reducing the risk of ending up in an embarrassing situation”.
Currently, the app is being improved basing on the daily user feedback the startup is receiving. After all improvements have been implemented in Tecino, tChat will be officially launched in other parts of Switzerland. To generate more feedback from the App users, the team is focusing on marketing and promotion activities in the Ticino; however, it works and can be used in all trains in Switzerland. Indeed, the team is thrilled about the positive results they received in the past days. These results enabled to better define their target market and they can actually claim that the app especially fits the needs of the very young (16-25).
tChat is currently available in both the AppStore and Google Play
tChat is an ambitious project, which has received the support of CP startup and of two influential entrepreneurs from Ticino such as Giuseppe Casalotto (Finser Packaging SA) and Alberto De Lorenzi (De Lorenzi & Partners).
About tChat Sagl
tChat Sagl is a young startup based in Bioggio (Ticino). tChat is committed to bring your travel experience to the next level. The team is also determined to improve the life of commuters and travellers through the use of technology. Trains and local transport are a large part of everyday life for millions of people and they think that it is crucial that each trip should be as pleasurable as possible for every passenger.