Posted on March 3, 2017 by staff

Teen tycoon says Heelo can be bigger than WhatsApp


A 16-year-old A-Level student believes his new social platform can become bigger than WhatsApp.

Khurram Asif studies at Walthamstow Academy but today unveils his new creation Heelo, which is focused on video calling, VoIP calling and messaging.

The teenager, whose father is a self-employed taxi driver and his mother a housewife, says Heelo will be free to download on iOS from today then free on Android in September.

The entrepreneur says because of his age he’s sometimes spoken to in “a simple way” at meetings but insists his achievements speak for themselves.

He also says he’s secured a contract for Qatar Airways to develop an app reflecting their status as an executive airline.

Due to his age, the money owed for these projects is being held in trust for Asif until he comes of age and will be paid upon release of the relevant apps.

“My ambition is to make Heelo successful and bigger than WhatsApp,” he told BusinessCloud. “I aim to go to university to get a degree and masters in computer sciences.

“I wanted to create a messaging platform that was simple. Apps and technology have developed so quickly that some consumers are left behind.

“Heelo is designed to make technology and communication easy for everyone.”

The talented teenage entrepreneur began developing the social network in 2014 and juggled the planning and development of Heelo around his GCSE studies.

With a passion for tech from a young age, he taught himself HTML, CSS and Java before beginning to build professional websites and developing apps, founding his own company TechSimulater at the age of 11.

Despite his success, Asif said it’s too early to be compared with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. “This is something I cannot say because obviously Mark Zuckerberg is very successful and is massive role model to me,” he said modestly.

“But I guess as an inspiration he is someone I would like to be, yes.”

Asked how he planned to commercialise it, he said: “Through radio, social media, newspapers and even TV.

“And I am looking for an investor (so) I can get marketing funding in order to finance bus stops and bus advertising and maybe even billboards.”

Away from his business, Asif likes to play cricket and go swimming.