Edinburgh, Scotland (PRESS RELEASE – January 5, 2010) – KILTR announced the public beta launch of its international online platform for business professionals of Scottish descent. KILTR brings together 40 million Scots worldwide to network online and tap into the vast knowledge, experience and opportunity offered by the Scottish community, which is renowned as canny and entrepreneurial in business. The company has recently closed a Series A round of financing with Par Equity of Edinburgh as the lead investor.
Unlike other social networks, where people may find themselves connected to strangers with no common interests, KILTR uses a built-in search and recommendation engine that pushes relevant opportunities to the users. The site is focused on delivering valuable business and networking opportunities to members. Professionals, entrepreneurs, companies, organizations, clubs and societies can immediately get started networking with others who have a known shared connection or affinity for Scotland.
KILTR CEO and co-founder Brian Hughes Halferty hatched the idea for the network during a trip United States. As soon as he began speaking with his Scottish lilt, he noticed how many people claimed a connection with Scotland, whether through direct heritage or simply love of the culture. That connection gave them an immediate bond.
“Diaspora networks groups of expatriates devoted to their culture and heritage are incredibly powerful for fostering business growth across global communities as well as back in the home country,” Hughes Halferty says. “With KILTR, we can provide a one-stop resource for the tens of millions of people of Scottish descent around the world,” Halferty said. “KILTR gives Scots the basis to form connections and business relationships across borders.”
One of KILTR’s advantages is its clean, uncluttered interface. “We use a ‘concertina’ navigational device across the site, which allows pages with large quantities of content to be organized into bite-sized chunks of information,” says Hughes Halferty. “Users only see what they need to see, in context of the function they’re performing, reducing a lot of the noise common with social media sites.”
The interface also supports complex functions such as contextual posts, attachments in conversation replies, embedded multimedia and links, and tagging of post types for a specific user, group or organization.
“There are roughly seven times as many people of Scottish descent living outside of Scotland as there are living in Scotland,” remarked Stewart Fraser, co-founder and CTO. “There are even more people who share an affection for or connection to Scotland. We have created a platform that allows everybody, from tech-savvy professionals to novices, to immediately jump in and begin opening doors to business opportunities.”
KILTR is a Scottish start-up, financed by the Scottish Seed Fund and private venture capital, and run by two entrepreneurs whose friendship goes back to student days. They’re supported by a group of can-do partners, sponsors and associates – businesses and individuals with the vision and contacts to help KILTR reach out to the Scottish diaspora and beyond.