by Laura Chesters, Saturday 04 February 2012
Alexandra Chong, 30, the daughter of a Chinese-Jamaican father and a Canadian mother, came to London in 2003 to study law at the London School of Economics. She planned to hotfoot it back to sunny Jamaica as a lawyer after her studies but the exciting world of London start-ups was too hard to leave.
She joined music licensing company Ricall, and then moved to Upstream.
In 2009, after a particularly successful Valentine’s Day date, Chong came up with an idea that became Luluvise.com.
She wanted to update her friends on all the gossip, but they were spread across the world. Facebook wasn’t personal enough. Three telephone calls, a slew of BBM, texts and Skype calls later, she thought to herself: “Why can’t I tell this story to all of my friends at once?” And Luluvise was born.
Chong resigned from her job in April 2010, and Alexios Vratskides, the CEO of Upstream, became the company’s first angel investor. The business raised $1m and is targeting both the UK and US. The network, just two months old, has 12 staff based in a start-up hub in White Bear Yard in east London.