Olivia Deramus didn’t plan on changing into an entrepreneur.
She grew up in Washington, D.C., were given a degree in international family members and went the nonprofit route, helming campaigns spherical anti-violence art work. Somewhere along the street, she pondered in regards to the lack of digital safe spaces for women. Tolls, harassment and abuse run rampant on the internet, alongside body, good looks and easily generalized shame in opposition to women.
Deramus had firsthand enjoy with the perils of social media and the frustrations many women have with regard to the lack of digital workforce they seek. Her solution to it all used to be Communia, an web social group for those who identify as women. Deramus urged TechCrunch that people not need to waste time on “bloated, troll-filled platforms which can be further about posturing than connecting.”
“I built Communia spherical a few key questions,” she discussed. “What does precise connection indicate to precise people, and the way in which do you architect that connection in an app and in a new manner?”
Communia beta offered in 2020 and has never taken out of doors funding. This present day, Deramus says Communia has more than 100,000 downloads and is in a position to scale a lot more. “With that, VC funding is the logical variety for us,” she discussed in regards to the next steps.
After attending a TechCrunch happy hour in Los Angeles this year, she decided to observe to our Startup Battlefield Competition, where spherical 200 companies pitch for a likelihood to win a grand prize. Her first time at Disrupt used to be in 2022 and he or she discussed the environment truly inspired her. “I’ve at all times admired TechCrunch,” she discussed. “I know what we’re doing is going to make waves and I imagine TechCrunch is the place to send that message.”
Communia is a hybrid of everyone’s favorite social media companies — allowing consumers to craft private blog-styled mag entries like Tumblr or write public impulsive posts like X. The app moreover has a self-service wellness side to it, offering mood tracking, self-development apparatus and workforce groups to help people connect and have organized, nuanced conversations, she discussed.
“The ones two facets truly create this cohesive social wellness product,” Deramus added. “It serves to create a beneficial cycle of social connection that you can’t to find on another social media platform.”
Technically, cisgender-identifying men are allowed on the platform, despite the fact that frankly, she discussed, they aren’t impressed. “Every other social media platform is built for them,” she persevered. “It’s respectable to have a space particularly for conversations that a lot of the times cis men make difficult. They are the majority perpetrators of harassment and abuse that many women, non-binary people, and trans people come to our platform to avoid.”
Naturally, Deramus takes content material subject material moderation very seriously. “I imagine that’s what other platforms are missing out on,” she discussed. “This emphasis on human moderation.” Communia, due to this reality, has what it calls “workforce care officers”—individuals who reasonable the app alongside an AI verification software. Shoppers undergo an id take a take a look at carried out by means of a human prior to they is also in a position to even stay up a correspondence with others on the platform. It moreover helps Communia understand who is on the platform to “as it should be maintain things like the non-binary enjoy, trans enjoy and being an inclusive space, while being particularly for marginalized genders as smartly.”
Deramus’ boulevard to the Battlefield hasn’t been without hiccups. About two years into her company, she received a forestall and desist from what she referred to as a a lot higher, further rich and further difficult company. “That used to be a difficult time,” she recalled. When Communia first offered, it used to be referred to because the Wired Group, a trademark Deramus had for two years. When a higher company claimed the establish, she discussed she couldn’t have the finances for to combat them and decided to rebrand the company into what it is at the moment.
“I’m truly happy with our new establish,” she discussed, calling the enjoy a finding out lesson. “Communia is further indicative of what we’re doing — we’re a workforce make stronger app and that shows that.”
Next, Deramus is having a glance to connect to buyers and scale the company. Communia comes at most likely a captivating time inside the social group space. Some say that Facebook is lack of lifestyles, Instagram is scattered, X — up to now referred to as Twitter — is crumbling, and TikTok is all of the kids have. Innovators and commonplace spectators have pondered what is going on to get up to exchange the once-golden crowns of social media, and there hasn’t been any clear successor. This means the space is ripe for upheaval and growth — this time, for the simpler, Deramus hopes.
“I hope to raise precise connection, particularly honest and provoking connection, once more to social media consumers, on the other hand in particular to women, 55% of whom say they is also in a position to’t be their authentic selves online,” Deramus discussed. “Communia is in any case having a glance to redefine what it method to be a social group the least bit.”