Limerick Company in national finals of Start-up Awards encourages users to send 'huggs' to friends and loved ones this Christmas

  • Huggnote

Local music hugging app Huggnote has been shortlisted as a national finalist in Ireland’s prestigious National Start-Up Awards.

Founded by Limerick sisters Jacqui and Perry Meskell, Huggnote turns your favourite songs into virtual Christmas huggs for you to send to anyone, anywhere! It’s FREE to use and takes less than a minute to hugg everyone you love.

"We’re beyond thrilled to be shortlisted as national finalists, especially in this category" says founder Jacqui adding that they are proud to be social and sustainable. "Music IS emotion and a powerful rekindle of memories. And the right song at the right time releases the same happy hormones as a physical hug, something in short supply sadly in 2020” she says. “Even before Covid-19 we were twice as lonely as in the 1980s and we know that social isolation has a knock-on effect on our health on a par with smoking and obesity. And so, knowing that our app is helping people to emotionally connect with loved ones at this difficult time means so much to us. Especially when they write to tell us they were moved to tears by their hugg", she says.

And a key focus of the team has been to ensure Huggnote is easy to use by anyone, of any age of technical literacy. “We built Huggnote from the outside in – with the user firmly in focus” says co-founder Perry. “It’s so simple to use it takes mere seconds to send any number of huggs. And we wanted to ensure that you could hugg your Granny and she’d be able to open it without having to download anything. That accessibility is extremely important to us” she says noting that unfortunately most tech companies do not consider older users in the UX design. “We remember how important music was to our Granny and want to be sure that elderly people are able to experience the Huggnote effect” she says.

The team launch their 12 Huggs campaign for Alone this week – whereby they’re encouraging users to send 12 huggs to friends/loved ones – and donate the price of a greeting card to Irish charity Alone.

“Greeting cards are wonderful but they’re not great for the planet. Every Hugg sent instead of a card saves 140g of CO2e – so not only are you donating to a worthy cause but helping save the planet in the process" says Jacqui.

Award-winning Huggnote is one of Ireland’s fastest growing apps with hundreds of thousands of users in 204 countries. “It’s all about the ‘experience - what we call the Huggnote effect!"

Huggnote is a web based app which means there’s nothing to download, you just login through the website (www.huggnote.com) select your Christmas Theme – from Missing You this Christmas to Mistletoe Kisses, add your personal message and send for FREE via text or messenger app. There are happy songs, sad songs, romantic songs, flirty songs – so there’s literally a Hugg for everyone - from your best friend from primary school to the one that got away!

This year especially, Huggnote seems to have struck a chord, with monthly active users (MAUs) up 1400% in 204 countries. “We’re delighted to see Huggnote scale so fast internationally – it just goes to show how important it is that we feel connected and supported” says Jacqui. "It might not be the same as a big group hug in a cosy pub – but everyone will certainly feel the love!" Cheers to that.

To send 12 Huggs (or as many as you like!) to friends/ family for FREE go to www.huggnote.com and donate here.

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