Pockee Raises €100k to Bring FMCG Coupons to Your Smartphone

Over the past few years, we have received literally dozens of submissions in the mobile couponing area. For a number of reasons, every single time we passed. That was until we recently met Zissis and the Pockee team.

Zissis Tsairelis, the founder, was pursuing a marketing career at Procter & Gamble. During it, he came to realise first hand the challenges and inefficiencies of FMCG couponing for consumers, retailers and brands alike. To provide some context, the biggest innovation in grocery couponing during the last 125 years has been the shift of printing them online.

Zissis came up with an idea on how to make things work for everyone involved, quit his job, set up a top-notch team and here we go. We were excited to hear at last an idea that makes sense in this industry, and become part of Pockee’s vision.

Pockee brings coupons of popular FMCG brands right to your smartphone. Next time you visit a supermarket you check in, see the list of available offers, pick and scan the products you prefer and get the discount right to your bank account. Yes, an app that really makes you money.

At the same time, Pockee integrates with big supermarket retailers to validate transactions, while offering a platform to brands to facilitate coupon marketing the way it should be.

The app will become available featuring a number of well-known brands in various supermarket retailers across Greece within a few weeks. We really feel enthusiastic about the team’s progress so far and the opportunities lying ahead. Welcome, Pockee!


The spring Call for Proposals is now open – Apply by May 20

After a lot of hard work to make the new rounds for Workable and Locish , as well as a series of new investments, we are now ready to resume our focus on pre-seed applications.

We currently have open two tracks:

  •   –   Pre-seed , where founders may submit their ideas or half-finished products
  •   –   Seed, for founders with completed products and some revenues, seeking to grow their business further

The call will remain open until May 20th, a date after which we will start the intensive processing of this batch’s proposals. Initial feedback can be expected ahead of that.

Necessary ingredients for the pre-seed stage are: entrepreneurial teams based in (or willing to move to) Greece, with innovative ideas for software products that target significant, international markets. As an indication, we offer €50k-€100k, on top of our continued commitment to support.

Entrepreneurs or startup enthusiasts not ready to come up with their idea may consider applying for a job at one of our portfolio companies. CVs received here are visible to all of our Founders.

We look forward to working with you, to help you turn your ideas into successful businesses.

Should you have any further questions before submitting, do not hesitate to contact us .


Locish raises $820k to take its near realtime Q&A app stateside

locish logo

Our first contact with Locish was in a coworking space which its dedicated founders, Alex and Greg almost inhabited while continuously releasing small iterations, testing the assumptions thereof. We saw back then that their methodology and dedication was second to none and soon after we decided to become the first to invest in their vision.

Since then, Locish has launched in San Fransisco, New York, and –yes- Athens, providing travelers with customized tips regarding where they should go for food or a drink when visiting a new city. But beyond that, we quickly found out that even locals wanted to use it to find out about new places in their own city. The experience of users asking questions and receiving customized suggestions is a deeply engaging one.

Apparently Locish works, and they just announced one of the largest uprounds we’ve ever had. In the new round Odyssey Jeremie Venture Partners and Jeremie Openfund II as well as angels including our mentor Thanos Triant participated.

With the funds raised, the startup will relaunch with a completely redesigned application and expand further in the US market. Its renewed focus: finding where you’ll eat or drink next by bringing you answers from people like you.


Tribe raises €100k to build next generation wearables

Tribe, starting out of Komotini, Greece, announces today a €100k pre-seed investment round by Jeremie Openfund II.

Tribe and its founder, Demetres Stordopoulos, are on a mission to build wearable activity trackers that are actually  hidden in the fabric of sports gear. Taking advantage of integrated yet unobtrusive microelectronics, the vision is to provide key information on an athlete’s physical condition in real time.

Essentially bringing the monitoring capacity of a lab at one’s fingertips, Tribe aims to improve performance and lower risk injury at unprecedented levels.

A diverse and ambitious team of 4 is already hard at work to deliver a prototype and perform field experiments within a few months.


Workable raises $1.5m, led by Greylock IL

You may have heard the news already. We are excited to share that Greylock IL has led the latest, $1.5m funding round of Workable, along with Jeremie Openfund II and other private investors also participating.

We first invested in Workable 12 months ago. Since then, Nikos and Spyros have been out on a mission to build a world-class team and a top-notch product out of Athens, Greece. If you have used Workable before, you probably are aware of the results. If you haven’t yet, and you run a business or are about to do some hiring, go give it a try. One thing is for sure; what you think about recruitment will never be the same again.

When you take such a tedious process (think of piles of pdf resumes and excel files as the industry standard) and you improve it to the point that people want to experience it again and again, then you probably are onto something interesting. And, in this context, getting a partner of the caliber of Greylock IL and Laurel Bowden on board comes naturally as the next step.

Make no mistake, this is not the end of the road, or a success per se. As Spyros has put it, nice shoes can only get you so far when you are running a marathon. The most difficult part starts now, and we have plenty of good reasons to strongly believe it will also be the most exciting one. Onwards!


Openfund 2013 — Year in Review

What a year 2013 has been for Openfund!

– First things first, our Openfund I portfolio has progressed nicely: YouScan has matured to a solid SaaS business, we had a small exit with Imagga and Taxibeat just announced its latest $4 million round by Hummingbird.

– We launched Openfund II back in December 2012. Since then, we have made 10 investments: Incrediblue, Workable, Locish, Dopios, Longaccess, Total Eclipse, The Singularity Lab, Discoveroom, plus a couple more pending announcement. 3 of them have already secured a follow up round with other investors; stay tuned for the details.

– In this context, we have already allocated €2.5 million in our first year and we are on track to reach our target of 25-30 investments by the end of 2015.

– We just completed a small capital increase of €1.7 million, by both existing and new investors, to address what we consider to be a growing market opportunity in a rapidly maturing ecosystem.

– We are currently enabling dozens of entrepreneurs and a hundred great employees to build and market unique products that deliver value to thousands of customers; this is what gets us out of bed and drives us to perform better every single day.

– We’ve gone a long way to see our original vision taking shape, yet we’re still at the beginning. The stakes are high now, and we have no option than to move faster, higher, stronger; that’s exactly what we plan to do.

Thank you everyone for your support, onwards to a phenomenal 2014!


Singularity Lab is securing your website

WordPress is a great publishing platform, which is now used to power over 65M blogs and content sites. It’s versatility is extended even more, by its very vibrant ecosystem of theme and plugin makers.

Yet, while WordPress is great on a managed platform, it takes a toll on you when it comes to running it by yourself. Updates (even though an automated update system was introduced in 3.7) suddenly and inexplicably stop working, file permissions become confusing and in some times you might even get a worm if you delay your updates for long.

We get to know the above, right because we as well use WordPress a lot. And we got excited when Paraskevas Smirlakis and Notis Gasparis appeared in front of us with a solution.

The Singularity Lab is developing Ermis.co, a set-and-forget solution for managing your website. It automatically backups and updates your WordPress installation. What’s more, in case it gets infected, it rolls back both files and database to a working copy of a previous date, then it immediately applies security fixes.

Singularity Lab, the company, received a €80,000 investment from Openfund to build Ermis and take the hassle out of content management systems. Ermis for WordPress is already live, so you may sign up for the limited beta, while support for Drupal and Joomla is coming soon.


Welcoming Vanessa Zdravou on board

We are very pleased to announce that the Openfund team is growing. Vanessa Zdravou is joining our ranks as Investment Associate. With her diverse background across law and business, Vanessa will be handling legal and operations. In our quest to become a top-notch VC firm in the region, she will help us become more efficient, and to make a greater impact for our portfolio companies. You can contact her at vcz at theopenfund.com. Welcome Vanessa!


Discoveroom builds a marketplace for Guesthouses & BnBs

Jeremie Openfund II announces its investment #7: Discoveroom, founded by Nikos Anagnostou, received a €110k investment round, led by Openfund.

Discoveroom will create a marketplace for small lodgings, where travellers will be able to search, compare and book nice and affordable accommodation in a variety of geographies.

It aspires to solve both the reservations and bookings management issues for small lodgings’ owners, as well as the travellers’ inconveniences that old-type offline reservations entail.

A key component of the solution is a free mobile app facilitating reservation management for lodgings owners. The company intends to address the largely blurred space in between the offerings of the likes of booking.com and airbnb.

The service is expected to launch in December 2013 in a few local destinations, and then expand its supply and geographical coverage.


Total Eclipse raises €430k led by Jeremie Openfund II

When we first saw Total Eclipse, it was a small games studio in northern Greece comprised of very dedicated founders. We thought it was a hidden gem and that’s why we invited them time and again in various Open Coffee meetings. The Openfund was in fact heavily inspired by the needs of young entrepreneurs that frequented such gatherings, and Open Coffee in particular. 

Today, we are announcing one of our largest investments to date, totalling €430,000 , together with angel investors. We believe that through this investment, Total Eclipse will get the brand recognition it deserves.

The investment will be used towards an ambitious plan: making Total Eclipse a top brand in multiplatform, casual gaming. This involves growing the team, further developing in-house technology and launching a number of games across various platforms and markets.

Total Eclipse has a strong track record of game releases with seven shipped titles in nine years, across different genres, platforms, and markets. Despite their differences, the games are characterised by their attention to detail, focus on fun and high level of polish.
The studio’s most popular titles, the Clockwork Man series (hidden object/adventure for Win/Mac/Linux set in a Victorian steampunk universe), first introduced the concept of immersive scrolling and zoomable scenes to the genre, sold hundreds of thousands of copies, and were amongst the first games to launch on Steam for Linux.

Total Eclipse’s latest release, A Clockwork Brain, is a puzzle game for iOS that blends brain-training with frantic puzzle solving. It has received glowing reviews from thousands of players and has surpassed 750,000 downloads through organic growth.

The team has already moved to new offices and has hired two software engineers and an illustrator who actually moved to Greece. Here is a picture of the team.