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Startups come and go, but some I have known from the beginning of time (when I started blogging that is) are still there, and growing. Antavo is one of them, having grown 1100 percent last year. I caught up with Zsuzsi Szabo, the co-founder and the head of marketing at Antavo to get a brief update on what the Hungarian team (but a UK company) was up to since its foundation in 2011.
I have started blogging about startups in Eastern Europe in July 2011. One month later I went on a tour to Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia to meet representatives from the startup community. This is when I met Zsuzsi Szabo of Antavo, the Hungarian startup that helps run contests and sweepstakes on websites and social media. At the time I did not really understand the business, and I remember a discussion involving Groupon.
As it happens, a year later Antavo joined Seedcamp raising 50,000 Euro, moved to London and finished building the product. When you live in London, 50 grand is not going to last very long, so that same year 2012 the company ran out of funding, but luckily started to generate revenue, after the launch in September 2012.
Szabo tells me that the decision to carry on after Seedcamp funding was used up, was a stepping stone for the team but the decision has been made to carry on, and move back to Hungary to cut cost. Szabo says that to market a B2B startup one can do it from anywhere. Besides, returning back home felt good.
Since the launch the product has become more than a contest platform, adding contest participant analysis, personalized email tools and a Facebook ad kit to optimize and target advertisement campaigns. The team has grown from 6 to 12 employees.
I am always curious about how the accelerators role in startups development and I asked Szabo what was the main benefits of joining Seedcamp. She said that meeting likeminded people with whom they could discuss their issues, find answers and learn from each other was the most valuable part of the experience.
Here is a full update on Antavo’s progress.
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