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WhoAPI creates a white label service to enable hosting companies and domain resellers to check information about domain names in bulk. Today it has announced that it has raised seed investment.
I wrote about WhoAPI earlier in my first post on TechCrunch Europe, when the WhoAPI founders Goran Duskic and Edi Budimlic were fresh from pitching at HackFwd Build 0.7 event in Berlin in September. They were later competing at the mini Seedcamp in Prague. Despite praise from Lars Hinrichs, the parties did not come to an agreement about funding with HackFwd, so a Croatian business angel Mihovil Barancic has put in Euro 40 000 into the company, according to Netokracija.
Barancic is the president of the Croatian business angel network called Crane, an active organization which holds weekly meetings for local tech entrepreneurs. It has also hosted the recent roadshow by Czech Credo Ventures.
So far the founders have been financing Rijeka-based WhoAPI with a cash flow from its hosting business GEM Studio, which they have subsequently sold to concentrate on the new opportunity.
WhoAPI’s example may leave some tech entrepreneurs wondering whether or not they should concentrate on the local business angels who can help take business to the next level instead of travelling to the international accelerator pitches. So I asked Goran Duskic whether or not it was worth the effort to go to Seedcamp and HackFwd events and his answer was an affirmative “yes”.
Duskic also referred to his article he wrote for Croatian Tech blog Netokracija (in Croatian), confirming how priceless it was to talk to people who sold their companies for the millions of dollars. In addition to the mentoring, WhoAPI team managed to get new clients and partners, and saw its website traffic increase every time they participated at an event. According to Duskic, it is also useful to show your local investors that you are resourceful and persistent at the European events. “It makes a lot of difference with the local investors,” he said, “but at some point you have to stop going to the events and concentrate on your product”.
Interestingly, it may be that these 40 000 Euros is all WhoAPI will need as far as external investment is concerned. The money will be spent on product development and operations. The company has two working features and paying customers. The next 50 features will be developed using the funding raised. WHoAPI is hiring.
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