Sauna brings success for PromoRepublic
Creating social media posts in bulk is easier than ever before thanks to the Calendar of Content Ideas.
When companies are mapping out their future, the possibility of war is perhaps not something that they typically take into account. Yet, when conflict erupted in Ukraine in 2014, local startup PromoRepublic saw the Russian-speaking customer base for its Internet solution practically evaporate overnight.
“From the very beginning we had created promotions on social media, like contests, sweepstakes and lotteries,” recalls company co-founder Max Pecherskyi. “Suddenly, no-one was advertising on social media networks or doing fun stuff.”
With its users consumed with writing and reporting on the escalating situation, the decision was made to revamp PromoRepublic’s offering, move west and eventually plant roots at Helsinki’s Startup Sauna accelerator.
“Soon I was totally integrated into the startup ecosystem in Finland,” Pecherskyi explains. “Startup Sauna doesn’t take equity, and helps to accelerate traction. We quickly had Finnish angel investors onboard and learned about Tekes. Investors really trust Startup Sauna’s references.”
The six-week intensive programme also saw Pecherskyi taken under the wing of coaches, as he tweaked what would eventually become PromoRepublic’s content marketing software as a service.
“Startup Sauna is an instrument for the best people from the Finnish ecosystem, who have reached everything in their entrepreneurial career, to give back to society,” Pecherskyi recalls. “These really, really cool guys spent lots of time and soul to push us forward. All possible contacts are provided and positioning on the market. It really works.”
A date with destiny
PromoRepublic’s resultant solution is spearheaded by the Calendar of Content Ideas, software as a service that helps to create social media posts based on holidays, trends, events and beyond.
“Your content calendar is never empty, it is filled with ideas based on the context of each day,” Pecherskyi explains. “It could be historical dates, some events happening right now or also trends and topics on social networks. Each of these post ideas is made by several templates, prewritten and predesigned by our team.”
Alongside multi-posting, PromoRepublic’s solution also contains a tool that helps to create the optimal time for posting content.
“It’s kind of a ‘schedule, launch and forget’ solution,” Pecherskyi summarises.
After achieving good traction in Eastern Europe, the company recently announced it had secured half a million euros in funding and is seeking to duplicate its success Stateside.
Keeping its offices in Helsinki (business) and Kiev (R&D) for the time being, the shift in location focus has also resulted in one of strategy, as there are already ample social media marketing platforms existing in the US.
PromoRepublic’s competitive advantage comes from filling a gap in automisation. Thus it has switched from serving small businesses owners to targeting the marketing freelancers and agencies that perform social media marketing services for SMEs.
“We have created integration with Hootsuite and Buffer, two major players,” Pecherskyi explains. “The aim is to build relationships with those guys, so they can help us promote the content creation ad-on to their huge customer base.”
Now, having already accumulated over 100 paying customers in the US, PromoRepublic is seeking to boost its employee base to meet demand. Along with an increase in personnel will come one of funding – the company is looking to raise another round at the end of the year.
“We are on track in the US and are aiming for monthly revenues of 30 000 US dollars and 200-300 paid customers by the end of the year,” Pecherskyi outlines. “We believe having this traction makes us really interesting for investors.”