The HBO series Silicon Valley has charmed us with its spot-on satire depicting the humorous everyday lives of developers trying to make it big in the heart of techland. The show’s first episode starts out with Richard Hendrix struggling to get his startup Pied Piper off the ground, and in the meantime discovering that he’s created a compression algorithm stunning enough to seduce the valley’s bigwigs.
Fans of the hit series may be surprised to hear that Pied Piper is not just a fantasy. There’s an actual honest to goodness real life company (no seriously!) that’s been working on a compression that’s going to change the game of mobile apps everywhere. In the Silicon Valley series, their name is Pied Piper. In real life? They go by the name Be-Bound (yup, that’s us, nice to meet you!).
Let me introduce you to the Robin Hood of the Digital Divide!
Who is Be-Bound?
Be-Bound’s entrance into the world of compression started when Albert Szulman founded the company in 2011. Be-Bound created a technology that was capable of compressing internet data onto the 2G network, and the next step was getting the word out to the world that this actually existed. The tech won 2nd prize at Le Web Summit in 2012, and the Palo Alto Research Center subsequently invited Be-Bound to be the first non-American startup to collaborate with PARC to further develop the technology (no biggie, just where the computer mouse was invented). The tech is now patented, and Be-Bound is prepared to make its technology available to Android developers worldwide to bridge the digital divide. Compression is a solution to the 4 Billion people living without connectivity.
Why do they call themselves the Robin Hood of the Digital Divide?
Be-Bound wants to create opportunities through connectivity. There is a bastion of untapped talent in developing countries, simply going ignored due to connectivity issues. Not only are people not getting the educations they deserve, but job searches, health outcomes, and social networking will be totally transformed. Digital can be a tool for social, economic, and environmental transformation. We just have to open the doors, and that’s exactly where Be-Bound comes in.
When App Annie did an analysis of top countries for app downloads and top countries for app revenue, look what happened:
This is a metaphor for global development in general. Developing countries are ready to take part in the international ecosystem, but so far, developing countries are the ones profiting most. Be-Bound calls itself the Robin Hood of the Digital Divide because not only does the company plan to bring connectivity to the next 4 Billion, but the company has devised a way to keep revenues largely within the countries where the apps are being developed, bringing a whole new meaning to local and relevant content.