Collider alumni Avocarrot sold to Glispa for $20 million

Avocarrot Team Members "Mobile ad exchanger and Collider alumni, Avocarrot, has been sold to Glispa Global Group for $20 million dollars."

That was the news this September, and one that just shows the impact of the Collider accelerator programme. Congratulations to the team!

Avocarrot joined Collider's first ever accelerator programme in 2013 when we had just six brands and nine start ups, all operating from a back alley off Leicester Square. But it didn't take them long before they headed off to San Francisco to continue their journey in the tech space.

The team accelerated at an incredible pace, and in under four years sold to a fantastic collaborator for the future.

This news shows that we're beginning to see the results of our efforts to create a successful, thriving and in demand MadTech community, all stemming from London.

We can't wait to see what happens next.


Collider12 Alumnus Avocarrot raises $2M

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We’ve got big news from the US – Collider12 alumnus Avocarrot have just closed a $2M seed round! We’re so happy for the guys, who moved to San Francisco after participating in the first Collider programme in London. Their round is made up of investors Giorgos Zacharia, Darling Ventures, Odyssey Ventures L.P. After an exclusive VentureBeat article provided some insights into the native mobile ad space, we had the chance to get down to the details with Co-Founder Conno Christou. Read on for some insights into working across the pond, raising funding, and the challenges of running a multi-national company from Conno.


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•         What were some of the struggles and opportunities you faced when moving to SF?

The biggest struggle is to find a way to network and get out the word for the company to a totally new audience in a new environment with brutal competition and noise. There’s not a standard recipe to succeed on this, however the 3 tips from me would be to try and keep your confidence levels high at all costs, to listen carefully even if you don’t necessarily agree and to be as specific as possible when asking for favours.

If you re a first timer and you'll learn by doing, then by definition you'll make a lot of mistakes that will seem silly to you after a while. The large abundance of potential clients, partners and investors in Silicon Valley will help you accelerate this learning process to nail your pitch and understand better the mechanics of the game. Remember to listen carefully to what everybody has to say.

•         This is a big seed round of funding. How will you manage the money and how far are you expecting it to take you?

In Europe this might be one of the biggest seed rounds so far, however in Silicon Valley it is rather the norm. A general rule of thumb is that you get the money for 12-18 months runway. In our case, we'll mostly invest in expanding the team with exceptional people both in SF and Europe, while at the same time market the ad exchange to both app developers and demand sources.

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•         How did you choose your investors for this round and how long did it take? Was it what you anticipated?

It was much worse than we thought - both in terms of time and resources but also in terms of energy consumption and expectations. The VC game in SV is extremely different compared to Europe and the time to adapt to the new rules might be underestimated. A VC once told me that bad fundraising looks like a 100 no’s and a successful one like 99 no’s. As you see, continuous rejections are part of the process, which at some point makes you question your own credibility and value, resulting to low confidence. Remember that if you lose your confidence then you lose the game.

•         You have some of your team based in Greece and others in SF with visits back and forth to London. What are some of the highlights and pitfalls of running an international company?

You get to see lots of different people and replicate processes to create a quick buzz in new territories, given that you know what you re doing. The challenge is that you have to be disciplined and systematic on how to maintain excellent communication bridges between the distributed teams. A catalyst here is to create strong, well-defined processes and find ways to enforce them so that the team embraces them and doesn't reject them.

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•         What advice would you give to entrepreneurs in the MadTech space who are looking to raise a similar round to you?

The mobile adtech space is a huge space that is kind of doomed and blessed at the same time. Doomed because there s a lot of noise and few successes; blessed because unlike the web adtech landscape, there are no dominant players in the mobile space yet, so there s a huge opportunity to be amongst the first ones.

If you re looking to get money, then start meeting with VCs at least a month earlier to start getting to know them under no time pressure. If you have a rockstar team and a strong vision then you have pretty good chances to secure a seed round. If you manage to report steep hockey sticks in your KPI graphs then you have great chances for a big seed. Don’t give up and stay confident. 99 no’s is the norm..


Avocarrot's Acceleration to Silicon Valley


Avocarrot,  a platform which provides real rewards on mobile apps, has been picked out as one of the best startups in the world by accelerator BlackBox in Silicon Valley, who are partnered with Google Entrepreneurs. The team of four join seven other global startups who will all live in the BlackBox Mansion for the entire process, which runs from 15-26th July. The unique programme boasts a range of beneficial activities, networking events, and guest lectures, all aimed at helping the startups grow in an American environment.

“We're excited to have the chance to spend 2 weeks with the like-minded young entrepreneurs from all over the world,” says Conno Christou, one of Avocarrot’s co-founders. “It's also a great opportunity to tap into a large network of prestigious VCs and see how things are different in the US compared to the UK ecosystem.”

As BlackBox is focused on truly immersing the startups into the heart of this startup mecca, Conno realises the potential this trip could have for himself and his team. “We want to meet as many people as possible,” he explains, “to share ideas and get new insights in our sector. Making friends is in our nature, and all the other startups seem to be innovative companies. I’ll admit, the swimming pool in the villa was also an extra bonus!”

They applied only a month ago, and had to complete various forms, videos, and interviews via Google Hangout. But now they are through, Conno says that the four friends who all met at Imperial College are feeling "excited, honoured, and lucky." It's not all luck though, as the guys have been working tirelessly since 2012 to bring their technology to life, and been getting interest from investors and brands throughout the Collider12 process.

Stay tuned to the blog to see what they get up to later in July.

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Sales Hackathon with Avocarrot

Avocarrot are pioneering a new technique called a Sales Hackathon. The objective is simple; to make personal contact with relevant people in order to secure meetings. In this internet world, people are getting weary and bored of countless emails, and a phone call can make all the difference in standing out from the masses.


For startups, the Sales Hack is an ideal opportunity to refine and develop your elevator pitch to strangers. Also, as I tweeted earlier this week, a secret to startup success is telling every single person you meet about your idea.

For it to work most effectively (and to be fun), this is a great time to gather the team in one place to pool your resources and skills. The team environment creates a collaborative atmosphere and limits the chance of being distracted. Also, one person can research the company and the employees, another can focus on the social media and contact numbers, while another can make the phone call. By having an assembly-line approach, you can be sure you are approaching the right person with the right technology, eliminating time wasting on both ends.

For Avocarrot, this process is used to engage directly with developers of apps who could greatly benefit from their monetising platform.  This method delivers results quickly and drives them toward their commercial goals.

If you want to talk to Avocarrot, pick up the phone and call Conno on 07527870598.

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