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Khloé Kardashian's New App, Begroupd, Has A Westchester Connection

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At this point in time, we’re all likely familiar with the annoyance that is the overcrowded group chat. While originally designed as a place where friends can organize get-togethers, the group chat has grown into a counter-productive monster, thanks to an oft-overwhelming number of side chats cluttering up the conversation. Enter Begroupd, a new app from Harrison native and Hackley School alum Lindsey Cummins, who is trying to fix this problem and restore group chats to their intended purpose.

Her companion on this mission is none other than reality TV star Khloé Kardashian, whom Cummins says, “has been involved from the start.” Cummins declined, however, to provide further details on their partnership or how the two know each other. But Kardashian’s star power and formidable social media presence are sure to pay off for Cummins: an Instagram post Kardashian shared in April—”Can’t wait to share the app that I’ve been working on for the past couple of months… stay tuned!!!!”—garnered more than 700,000 likes and 5,000 comments.

A screen shot from the app.

The Begroupd app, which launched this summer and is available on iOS for iPhone users, makes group messaging more interactive and is the only the group messaging app that incorporates decision making tools directly into the chat stream. It lets users send, receive, and respond to polls, yes/no’s, RSVPs, and ratings on a 5-star scale—all within the conversation. These features are designed to make it easier to organize and approve real world plans for the group. According to Cummins, “Group messaging is where you make plans and decisions but there is nothing out there that helps you organize those parts of the conversation, and that is where Begroupd comes in.”

Cummins, a 24-year-old Cornell grad, says the idea for Begroupd came to her after college, because of bad experiences that she personally had in group chats. “I came up with the idea for Begroupd after experiencing my own frustrations while trying to make plans with friends,” she says. “I realized how long it constantly took to search for the answers I was looking for amongst hundreds of other random messages in a chat…I knew that there was a problem that needed to be solved in group chats.”

According to the app’s launch press release, Kardashian was initially attracted to Begroupd for very relatable reasons. “Everyone knows that feeling of being in a group chat with multiple conversations that are all over the place,” says Kardashian. “What I loved about Begroupd is that it sorts through the chaos and saves time by streamlining the decisions process.”

For Cummins, developing the app has been an outcome of entrepreneurial instincts that began early. “For as long as I can remember I wanted to have my own business,” she says. “My dad and uncle are both entrepreneurs, so it’s definitely in my blood. Until I came up with Begroupd in 2013, I thought my career would be in the restaurant industry. After I realized the need for an app like Begroupd, I immediately started researching ways I could make this a product that would be fun for people to use but also solve a real problem. I had to figure out what functionality it would have and spoke to people in the tech industry to get their feedback on the process.” 

Today, Begroupd has a team of about 15 employees in a New York City office. Since its launch, Begroupd has been a trending item on Twitter, and one point it reached number six in the iTunes App Store. Cummings is understandably ecstatic about the future of the company. “This is only the beginning,” she says. “Exciting things to come!”

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