A Melburnian’s new startup is making waves globally, so much so that it’s already been displayed on a Times Square billboard.

The promising startup, Favs, is the creation of Melbourne-raised, Pakistan-born Saba Karim. Favs, which is being hailed as an “app for your close friends,” aims to bring the essence of social networks back, moving away from the recent development of social becoming all about media. “I want more connections and less recommendations,” as Karim says.

TechCrunch broke the news about Karim’s new startup in September, but he’s been working on Favs behind the scenes all year with a team featuring people from Meta, Google, Cameo, and Adobe.

And Favs already has attracted some notable investors from across the globe, which must have seemed a distant possibility when Karim was stacking shelves at Coles many years ago.

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After graduating from Deakin University, Karim started his postgraduate career at Telstra, which led to him travelling around Australia taking photos and making videos for their Telstra Exchange blog.

“It was a dream job, flying around with David (Telstra’s CEO) and telling the story of connection,” Karim notes. “Not much has changed, I guess. I’m doing the same thing, instead to a bigger audience.”

Karim has high hopes for his app: he aims to have Favs one billion daily active users by 2026. But what exactly does it do? “It’s an app for humans – no ads, no influencers, no brands,” he explains.

But that hasn’t stopped influencers from enjoying Favs, with Karim claiming that several influencers have been early beta testers. “There’s just no other way to stay in touch with friends closely,” he says.

What next for Favs? It’s up to Karim to get his app to become a blockbuster success like Canva or Afterpay. “The world needs given the contentious state of social media,” he says.

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