The Postoplan service raised $ 1.5 million from a group of investors led by the TMT Investments fund of Artem Inyutin and German Kaplun, the company said. Other participants in the round are the YellowRockets and Bergtop.vc funds. The founder of Postoplan Alexey Bozhin confirmed to Vedomosti that the round was held. Kaplun and Inyutin are known as the founders of the RBC media holding (1993), but since 2012 they are not related to this company.
The representative of TMT Investments said that the company’s valuation during the round was 20 million euros. He claims that the company’s valuation has grown 12 times over the year due to rapid revenue growth: in 2020 it amounted to about 100,000 euros, in the first half of 2021 – about 500,000 euros, and by the end of the whole year the company expects to increase this indicator. up to 1.5 million euros. At the same time, the representative of TMT Investments did not disclose the conditions of the round.
The investment is in the form of a convertible loan for a period of one year, Bozhin said. After the conversion, investors will receive up to 10% of the startup’s shares. According to Bozhin, the creators of the service retain control over the company. Among the founders of Postoplan, he names Ekaterina Sukhenko (Ukraine) and Dmitry Kaan (Netherlands). Bozhin has Russian citizenship, he was born in Essentuki.
Postoplan was launched in 2020.The company is registered in Tallinn. In 2020 – early 2021, the startup held two seed investment rounds, raising $ 160,000 and $ 550,000. The second round was attended by funds TMT Investments, Insta Ventures, Wise Guys Ventures Fund and top managers of the Estonian taxi service Bolt.
Postoplan startup has developed a platform that allows you to create and publish content on social networks Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, Telegram and WhatsApp messengers. Content placement is possible in a delayed mode. The service can also be synchronized with the corporate Slack messenger and the Google My Business service.
The startup reports that Postoplan algorithms help generate 70% more traffic and subscribers on social networks, while reducing the time spent on sites by 40%. Bozhin adds that the startup uses a freemium model, in which two different versions of the product coexist on equal terms – free and paid. According to him, Postoplan gives away most of the functions for free – over 60%, earning on the rest. “Competitors in the free version usually have 5-10% of the total functionality available,” he says. At the same time, Bozhin confirmed that the free version of the service does not allow working with Instagram, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. Bozhin claims that a free Postoplan account has no limit on the number of users connected and messages sent. In particular, the startup supports the Twitter account of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation free of charge.
Most of the company’s sales – 70% – come from the United States, Great Britain, Latin America and the European Union, TMT Investments said in a statement. Priority markets are the United States and Spanish-speaking Latin America, in particular Mexico. The Investment Fund reported that in 14 months the team attracted more than 100,000 clients worldwide and showed a monthly growth of 15%. According to Bozhin, there are more than 15,000 paid accounts registered with Postoplan around the world today. The monthly subscription fee for a professional account is $ 19 per month, for an agency account – $ 399.
Dmitry Kalayev, partner of FRII invest, calls the market of systems working with content for social networks and instant messengers highly competitive and “quite dense”. According to him, there are about two dozen tools for solving such problems on the market, including the international companies Hootsuite and Buffer. At the same time, some social networks and messengers are already launching their own services that allow deferred publication of content. In particular, Instagram recently launched such a service.
Another area of risk – the solution developed by Postoplan actually “lives in alien ecosystems.” “This business has existed until the messenger or social network has clicked the switch,” says Kalayev. At the same time, a user-friendly interface and a wide variety of functions cannot be attributed to the long-term advantages of the project – “all this is easily copied by competitors,” he notes.
In 2021, convincing investors to give money for the service of publishing content on social networks is a great achievement, says Vasily Krylov, founder of the Russian service SMM-planner. He notes that over the past five years, several notable startups that have relied on copying technologies from other players in this segment have not been able to withstand the competition.
Postoplan has several analogues, but this indicates the high potential of the chosen niche, argues Artem Inyutin, co-founder and managing partner of TMT Investments venture fund. “For a professional investor, a service that has no analogues at all looks suspicious,” he says. In his opinion, the absence of competitors may indicate a lack of financial potential in the segment. “If unicorns have already appeared on some market (companies with revenues of more than $ 1 billion – Vedomosti), this means that they are ready to buy up promising projects and in the future can act as strategic investors,” says Inyutin. “If a company makes a good product, is mobile, is able to capture a layer of customers and show good growth, then it is interesting to everyone – competitors, strategists, and investors.”