If Vamos ever makes it big, the founding team will look back to their hackathon in February as a pivotal moment. Not only did the event – which saw 40 friends and family travel to Berlin for a weekend of hacking a product together – help convince them that the concept would work, but it also gave CTO Jens Dressler a chance to prove himself as a member of the team.
And the event discovery platform is still reaping the benefits, after announcing an undisclosed six-digit friends and family seed funding round – the majority of which is from people present at the hackday.
Vamos pulls together events from Facebook and enables users to see what’s going on around them and was released into the App Store in August. Since then, the service has gone live in 65 countries and has attracted ten million ‘unique brand impressions’.
The founding team, which is made up of Luis-Daniel Alegria, David Prentell and Erik Collinder as well as Jens, named their company – Vamos & Friends – to show how much they appreciated the support they received. And that support is still coming, with Henric Suuronen, founder of NonStop Games and former head of studio at Wooga, Daily Deal founding brothers Fabian and Ferry Heilemann and other friends contributing to the round.
The money will give the team – which has also taken on three freelancer developers – time to improve key metrics such as high retention and high organic user growth. David Prentell said: “When we started making Vamos, we wanted to solve the universal problem; what do you do in a city rich for its culture and nightlife? This is not only for people traveling, but also for people in their home towns looking for inspiration and interesting things to do.”
As for the hackathon, Luis told Silicon Allee earlier this year: “They all stayed in my apartment, which was a total mess but it was extremely funny. But just seeing their dedication to helping out, when people believe in something so much that they are prepared to fly to another city at their own cost; I think that for me was the first time that I saw the real potential in this.”
There is still an awful lot of work ahead for Vamos to realise that potential, with a big PR push in South America, an updated iOS version and a launch on Android all promise by the end of the year. But it’s so far so good, especially in terms of exposure – November will see five more episodes of the Deutsche Welle TV show following the company’s quest for success.