Talkbits previews new walkie talkie app, confirms $2m from Russia’s Runa Capital

Talkbits @ Dublin Web Summit 2012
Talkbits @ Dublin Web Summit 2012

Talkbits @ Dublin Web Summit 2012Talkbits co-founder and CEO Olga Steidl pictured at the Dublin Web Summit – 

Today, new voice messaging startup Talkbits is previewing its app at the Dublin Web Summit – and confirming $2m of funding from Moscow-based VC firm Runa Capital. The app’s public launch is scheduled for later this year.

Talkbits – for iPhone and Android – works like a walkie talkie. Users press a button to talk, which is fed out to users around them in a live stream. As well as tuning into that stream, voice messages can be sent privately to friends. There’s also the ability to create public or private discussion groups around particular topics.



Friend-to-friend walkie talkie app Voxer is doing something similar – Talkbits’ social discovery aspect is what sets it apart. “The app makes it simple for people to jump in on conversations going on around them,” CEO Olga Steidl said in a statement.

The company wants the app to be useful for anything from “In a traffic jam on my way to Oxford Circus – any way out?” to “Going jogging at Central Park, want to join?” to help finding great restaurants or looking for stolen bicycles in a neighbourhood.

Sound – it’s the new text

It’s a pretty intriguing idea – and fits nicely with the mission to “unmute the web” pioneered by Berlin’s SoundCloud. As Talkbits’ company info states: “Voice is more intimate, quicker and easier to consume in an ambient way.”

Our guest blogger Yakov Sadchikov (founder and CEO of Quintura) previously mentioned Runa’s interest in Talkbits, as part of our “Top 10 VCs investing in Russia” piece – the news today refers to the same round of funding, now officially confirmed.

Talkbits, founded in March 2012, has a team of 11 based across Russia, Germany and Switzerland, with the development HQ in Moscow.


“The future is f!@*ing bright! Time to buy sunglasses!” Dave McClure on what makes Russia so sexy to Silicon Valley
Tasting the Eastern promise: Top 10 VC companies investing in Russia
The Top 10 Russian internet entrepreneurs you need to know about