A few hours before Matevž Petek presented in front of 500 people at the Y Combinator Demo Day in the US, concluding a three-month period spent at the American accelerator programme, inventures.eu caught the founder of Povio for a serving of hot news peppered with exciting insights.
Three months ago, Paul Graham, founder of the Californian accelerator, announced that several startups from CEE countries including Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria were accepted into the 2014 winter batch running from January to March, without disclosing their names. It turned out that among the mysterious companies were BellaBeat (ex –Babywatch) and photo sharing app Povio.
Povio enrolledinto Y Combinator this past January, less than a year after it launched in its home country. As a member of the programme, the startup received 20.000 dollars, three months’ worth of mentoring and acceleration, in return for seven percent equity.
Earlier this week, Povio was among the 68 startups that took the stage for a ten-minute presentation to a crowd including business angels and potential investors, during the 19th edition of Demo Day at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.
Meeting the right people
Petek believes that if it weren’t for Y Combinator, the path to where the startup is now would surely have been longer, with more obstacles. “This is definitely the best experience I’ve had so far,” he said. “Here, we are working with founders of companies like Gmail, AirBnB, Dropbox – those guys really know what they are doing and they are happy to share their knowledge and ideas with us, it’s amazing.”
Besides knowledge, mentorship, and ideas that turn into action, Petek sees the experience as an opportunity to meet the right people. “Being part of Y Combinator also helps to get better publicity, more visibility, as well as an easier access to the press and it boosts your public image a bit,” he said.
So far, Povio has received two rounds of seed funding. The first one was from Y Combinator and the second came from four major investment companies: Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst and Maverick Capital. “They are helping us during our stay at Y Combinator – to cover pretty much everything that has to do with us and Povio,“ said Petek.
Yet another photo app or what?
Unlike the other photo apps abounding on the market that are push-based and often lead users to flooding the world with pics and selfies, Povio is a demand-driven sharing app. Through the sleek designed platform, users can “ping” their friends, asking for their current P.O.V. (point of view). The pinged friends in question will then have three seconds to capture their surroundings, without the possibility to pick a photo from a library or to edit it.
More spontaneous and less narcissistic than Instagram or its other counterparts, the app went viral in Slovenia, and claims to have achieved 35% of the user base that Twitter has in the country within six months. Since then, Povio has been working on its design, taking its user experience to a whole new level. Moving to California, the team started hustling at Santa Clara University four weeks ago and got 1200 sing ups, with 55% of them now pinging daily. “That is a great result – even better than the one we had back home – we are happy with the way things are going right now,” Petek said.
Thanks to Urska Renier for the lead into the story!