The news of the recent acqui-hire of most of the Watch Over Me App team by Carousell made waves in the startup world.
Watch Over Me was a personal safety app for both Apple and Android devices, and has finally shut down its services on August 31, 2016.
However, fans of the app need not despair as co-founder Xin-Ci Chin and her team have decided to open source the service and make it available on their Github repo.
(Editor’s Note: The full code is not uploaded yet, but it will be soon.)
According to Xin-Ci, the team is still committed to their vision and mission of helping people all over the world feel safer, but, as she said, “One of the key learnings was that perhaps commercial business is not the best way to fulfill our mission.”
When asked if this had always been the plan, Xin-Ci was candid and admitted, “There was always an idea that we had that we would potentially outsource parts of the app, but before this, we hadn’t thought of open-sourcing everything.” As she said, in many cases of such acqui-hiring, the product ends up getting shut down and put back on a shelf, but the open-sourcing allows their app to have continued longevity and to evolve.
However, she did add that since announcing the open sourcing of the software, she’s already been contacted by development groups who are interested in taking on the project and continuing the maintenance and growth of Watch Over Me. There’s been nothing confirmed yet, but Xin-Ci said that she’s very excited to be working with such non-profit groups if things fall into place. “I want to offer help in what capacity I can, in terms of helping Watch Over Me be a base for safety related apps and products,” she said.
Speaking of the acqui-hiring by Carousell, Xin-Ci said, “We met Carousell, and the fit seemed to be right, and the team culture was good. Both our teams are very excited about it.” Of course, since the Carousell team is based in Singapore, not the whole team chose to relocate there and have left the company.
For herself, she’s currently a part-time consultant with Carousell but she’s also hoping to pursue some other projects, particularly related to the role women play in technology in South East Asia.
As a closing, she said, “Watch Over Me in the form that we know of has come to an end, and that’s a little bit sad, but I’m excited about what can come out of it. This is hard to predict, but hopefully it helps other developers kickstart their projects.”
Feature Image Credit: Image compiled by survivingucd.tumblr.com