Everyone is talking [about] Voxer
One of the most downloaded free social apps in the U.S. has a Swedish Veep of Growth.
In the spring of 2011, Voxer was launched on App Store for iPhones. By November, the time had come for Android smartphones to download the walkie-talkie app. It immediately became the most downloaded free social app in the U.S.
Upon learning these facts, the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce became intrigued and instantly booked a lunch with Voxer's Swedish vice president of growth, Gustaf Alströmer, who had started working at Voxer in the spring of 2010 after finishing his education at Hyper Island in Sweden and a few years of internships in New York.

Sweden vs. America
During the lunch we talked about the differences between Swedish and American start-ups, the working climates in San Francisco and New York, and Alströmer's thoughts on Voxer and its future.
Alströmer believes Swedish start-ups should follow American examples and have a wider perspective of the market. Swedish companies are, in general, mainly focused on the Swedish market, which is small. American start-ups have a bigger target market to begin with but also a different, more daring attitude toward the market.
After his first American years in New York, Alströmer experienced a more entrepreneurial, open-minded spirit in San Francisco within the IT-business. In a west coast start-up company the hierarchy isn’t as present as he experienced it to be on the east coast. He also mentioned the San Francisco lifestyle is very health-oriented, open and career-focused. He clearly prefers working in the city of San Francisco over the IT mecca Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley has a closed, cubical working environment compared to the open workplace of the one Voxer has on 2nd Street in San Francisco.
How does Alströmer see the Voxer of the future? It’s the fastest reply I’ve ever gotten to a question: “The greatest voice app in the world.” He can imagine businesses for which Voxer would be a helpful tool, such as taxi companies, emergency and delivery services—businesses which need to communicate one-to-one or with multiple people and need to organize and coordinate.


1,300,000 active users
Worldwide, Voxer has 1,300,000 active users, according to Facebook; it is the fastest growing individual app in the country.
They tested the product on the Swedish market from March to May 2011, and now there are approximately 100,000 Swedes using Voxer daily.
So what makes this app so popular? What needs does it meet? And how did the founder come up with the idea of a walkie-talkie/sms/mms app?
The founder of Voxer, Tom Katis, served the U.S. Army during the 90s and again after 9/11. He noticed communication technology was exactly the same during his second service as it had been the first time. Nothing had developed in a decade.
Together with Matt Ranney, Katis started Voxer in 2007. It was really a few years before its time—the smartphone and apps hadn’t entered the market yet. But in 2009 that changed, and today people download 100 times more apps than they did just three years ago.
Voxer’s mission is to create an easier way for people to communicate. No interruptions, saved conversations, the ability to both text and speak and the option to speak with one or multiple people.
Like many other start-ups within the app market, Voxer follows the future revenue model. The first purpose is not to earn money. It’s to make Voxer a natural tool in people's daily communication behavior.
It’s with great excitement and curiosity that SACC-San Francisco/Silicon Valley will follow the next steps of the fastest growing app in America, Voxer.

Emma Lööf Björnram
For more info on the San Francisco Swedish Chamber of Commerce, see SACC San Francisco/Silicon Valley