Sacred start-up

Retail is not the only sector that is facing substitution from digital business models. It might however be perceived as a high-water mark of the digital revolution that Pope Francis has this week announced the launch of a new ‘Click-to-Pray’ digital platform. With no physical product, and formed around a community of users, religion is an area of life that plays well to a digital business model. This latest self-disruption comes in the form of a global online community that is able to pray together on common issues, live-streamed by the Pontiff. Having already established his user profile (listing his location as ‘Vatican’), started a colourful blog, and having a 5* rated app on the App Store, the Bishop of Rome is well on his way to a successful start-up operation. However, this revelation may prompt concerns of a ‘Church Armageddon’. As online penetration of those praying becomes set to soar, a corresponding exodus from the aisles is only to be expected. Growth plans en route to becoming ‘the Uber for Religion’ are rumoured to include: finding an angel investor, moving to a subscription collection model and expanding into confessions.