founders

Founder's Story

The Family Digital journey began in 2008 with a cross-continental phone call between newlyweds Peter and Laura Kraus. Laura, an international news producer on assignment in Beijing, and Peter, a financial management expert and product owner for a new digital business software service near Washington, D.C., were discussing plans for their future.

The couple shared a passion to help families connect, fostering the sense of belonging and togetherness each had experienced growing up in large families.  At the time, people were flocking to social media networks to communicate with friends and family. But the process of mixing a myriad of new and sometimes confusing platforms was clunky and cumbersome, leaving some families more frustrated and isolated than before. The solution, Laura and Peter decided, was a global digital platform that used the best of technologies to bring families together under a single virtual roof.  But, as the Krauses began a family of their own, their project was pushed to a back burner.

By 2017, Laura was a stay-at-home mother of three, and Peter had pioneered an integrated travel and expense strategy for what is now the SAP Concur enterprise computing platform. On a business trip to London, he spotted a young family walking hand-in-hand through the city’s scenic Hyde Park, and that was a light-bulb moment – a moment that spurred him to turn their vision into reality.

Every family, Peter recognized, is like a small business. Like businesses, families need to exchange information too sensitive to post on public platforms.  So why not, he envisioned, adapt the same digital tools used by businesses to manage complex operations and transform them into a new, streamlined, digital communications platform -- one that empowers families to interact simply, function cohesively, and offer resources to support everything from sharing private messages, photos, and calendars to finding reliable content, goods, and services.

The idea resonated with Laura, who had been an early adopter of social networking with Facebook during her Princeton undergrad studies. Together the couple pooled their technology and communications experience to conceptualize a prototype -- and FamilyApp was born. The Krauses moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, and founded Family Digital, Inc. with Peter as CEO. They expanded the FamilyApp to include an encrypted, real-time messenger tailored specifically for families and family-like groups.

The following year they launched a new content marketing platform that uses AI to offer insightful articles, advice, recipes, games brought by a network of trusted family-based service providers to familyapp.com. Leveraging her Georgetown University post-graduate degree in Communications, Culture, and Technology, Laura stepped in as FamilyApp.com editor and Family Digital Inc.’s head of content development.

The innovative platform envisioned years earlier by newlyweds speaking by telephone from opposite continents was complete. Evolving from a simple message board to a robust messaging marketplace, Family Digital, Inc. is now a digital home. Built by families, for families, and filled with rooms for their closest circles of friends and contacts.

The newest offerings for FamilyApp Providers, powered by Rellify’s content performance technology, have made Family Digital, Inc. the premier good tech company built on a platform of privacy, trust and connectedness that’s more vital than ever in today’s digital world.