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Why we built Ringaly to improve family communication

When our oldest son was in day care I would pick him up on the days Erin (my wife) was working. I used to leave work with JUST enough time to run to the car and race across town and of course I was often late - leaving daycare wondering where “we” were. They would call Erin’s phone, because she usually did the pick ups and that was the number we had given them. But Erin was a busy hairstylist and would often be with clients, unable to pick up the call. Or if she was able to answer she would worry and ring me right away to check I hadn’t forgotten to collect our son! I don’t remember if I ever did forget but it was a regularly stressful experience for both of us. And then there were the times when Nana and Grandpa were picking up the kids and running late. That was even more confusing for day care and stressful for all of us.

Daycares or schools don’t want to keep track of who is picking up which child on what day, they just want to connect with the family. As both our boys grew older we missed lots of important calls. Like a soccer coach calling to say practice had ended early. One of our boys calling from school to tell us last minute he wanted to go for pizza with friends. School or summer camp calling to tell us our youngest was sick and needed to be picked up right away. Back then, all attempts to reach us were a single call to one of us - and with both of us working full-time - many calls were missed. This caused quite a few stressful situations and our child’s needs sometimes going unaddressed.

When I talked to other parents I realized this is a problem for most families. When parents give phone numbers to school, daycare or a doctor, it’s usually just one phone number. Sometimes organizations take two but they really don’t want to waste time calling multiple numbers. In our family, as in many families, we usually gave out Mom’s cell phone number. She got the calls and I was unaware of all sorts of ‘urgencies’ until well after the fact. A generation ago families would give out their home phone number but even back then there wasn’t a guarantee someone would answer. Today nobody’s at home and everyone has cell phones. This actually creates a new problem - there are now lots of numbers to call - but it still doesn’t mean the person on the other end is available to take the call. Giving out one number that forwards calls to multiple cell phones seems like the answer.

At the time I was working as a product manager for a cloud communications company and I wondered how hard it would be to create a new family phone number that when called (by school or daycare) would ring both parents’ cell phones and connect the first to answer. My first attempt was a bit of a hack but it worked and Erin and I found it incredibly useful! This simple but effective idea meant we were both notified of important calls about our kids and one of us was always able to respond.

Introducing Ringaly

After a few years of using this idea for ourselves I decided to build a full fledged service I could offer to other families. I teamed up with a trusted friend and colleague Martin Lambert, who has lots of development experience and had already built one successful software business from the ground up. We worked hard refining the original idea by developing and testing it. And today, we are very proud to publicly launch

The idea remains simple and effective. Go to Ringaly, choose a new phone number and link it to the cell phones of parents, grandparents or other caregivers. When your new family number is called - by daycare, school or the doctor - it simultaneously rings all your linked contact numbers and the first person to answer is connected to the call. So now if Mom is busy at work, Dad or Granny can answer the call. The other contacts are sent a text telling them who called and who answered. Likewise, if the family's Ringaly number is sent a text (by daycare, school or the doctor) that text is forwarded to all the connected contacts. It’s like having a home phone number for the whole family that works everywhere!

Ringaly is built with the latest technology, keeping your privacy and security in mind. There is no need to install an app or buy a new phone. It’s a cloud based number that looks and works just like a normal local phone number. Just go to the website and choose your new family number or add or update contacts, view your call history, monthly allowances and more. Once you’ve set it up, it immediately begins working. We have low-cost monthly subscription plans designed to match your expected call volumes and to be a no-brainer for the peace of mind you get from receiving those important family calls you really don’t want to miss.

There are lots of useful and fun applications for Ringaly. Teach your young child the number so they can always reach you if in need. Or put it on your pet's collar in case they go for unauthorized ‘walkies’. It can be used for elderly parents who want to reach you (and possibly your siblings) with a single call.

Getting your own Ringaly number is easy. Just go to and get started!

Simon Thorpe




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