Merely half a year old, the October 2013-launched startup zoomsquare has managed to persuade the three Austrian managers Wolfgang Bretschko (Styria, willhaben), Robert Lenzhofer (bwin, Crowdpark) and Marinos Yannikos (geizhals) that it will be having a bright future. In exchange for some 20 percent of the Viennese venture, the trio has invested a “middle-six-digit” amount in zoomsquare, which has already won the title of “startup of the year” with the futurezone award last November.
“These things sometimes just happen,” said Bernhard Holzer, Head of PR and Marketing at zoomsquare after being asked how a startup that is only four months old can close such a deal that quickly. “One very big aspect is definitely presence in the media. This was one thing that helped us a lot on our way as did, for example, our success in the futurezone award last year or our presenceat business angel days. The other was that we worked over a year on building an impressive technology stack.” Yet, a lot was certainly due to positive word-of-mouth marketing, he added.
It’s about chemistry, stupid
Over the last several months, the zoomsquare team has talked to over 100 people, one fifth of who were “cooperation material”, according to Holzer. “We could have certainly come into business with at least 20 of the people we talked with. But in the end, money is not of utmost importance; guidance, experience and a good chemistry with the team is.” Guidance and experience is what the three business angels will support the team alongside the two founders Andreas Langegger and Christoph Richter. It is therefore also about fitting in.
As Holzer puts it, it is like with a relationship: “You meet, you talk, you set up appointments for meetings and eventually you click. With some more, with some less.” At the end, the team of zoomsquare, that by now employs seven people and will soon grow to eight, attracted so many potential investors that they could almost freely choose among them: “It was a very tough time with a lot of meetings and eventually, we were completely overbooked and a lot of people wanted to join in on us!”
By the way: the assumed volume of the trio’s investment would put zoomsquare’s worth up to 2,5 million euros. Not a bad accomplishment for a venture that, if it were a toddler, could not even crawl by now. We will see what zoomsquare’s value will be when it reaches the age we usually take our first steps.