Edinburgh social media app start-up eyes £500,000

A social media app outfit has set its sights on raising up to £500,000 to increase its team and fund further development after launching its first product.

Wednesday, 31st May 2017, 12:49 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:28 pm
The BounceIt app lets users see how widely their images have been shared around the world. Picture: Steven Scott Taylor

Edinburgh-based Pogo App is the firm behind BounceIt, which lets people share their photos and videos with friends and uses GPS software to track how far around the world their content will travel. Users can collect the flags of the countries that their images visit and compete in “league tables” of the most widely-shared media.

• READ MORE: Future Scotland

Chief executive Jack Francis said the firm had overhauled the app to make it more user-friendly following feedback gathered from a “soft launch” that saw the furthest-travelled piece of content make its way some 100,000 kilometres around the globe as it was shared among users.

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From left: Pogo App chairman Neil Francis, Northstar director Ian Richards and Pogo App chief Jack Francis. Picture: Contributed

He said: “The app itself is completely free, and there are a few ways in which we’re going to generate money. We’re building some tools right now to allow companies to dig a bit deeper into the data, so they’ll be able to find out who the most influential people are. For example, if they send out a photo with a link in the description, we can track who buys from that link.”

Pogo App, based at the Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator in Edinburgh, is also working on what it describes as a “takeover tool”, which will give companies the opportunity to have their branding replace BounceIt’s on the app in specific locations during events such as festivals.

Francis added: “We’re also starting to embed our code into other businesses, to allow customised image uploading for their apps.”

From left: Pogo App chairman Neil Francis, Northstar director Ian Richards and Pogo App chief Jack Francis. Picture: Contributed

Pogo App, which recently raised £100,000 of investment from venture capital Northstar, currently has a full-time team of five staff and is planning to ramp up its headcount as it eyes further investment to continue developing the app, which is available for Apple and Android devices.

Francis said: “We’re looking to raise about £200,000 with backing from Northstar, but there are very early discussions for a £500,000 investment from another firm.”

The entrepreneur graduated from the University of Glasgow last year with a degree in zoology and said the inspiration for BounceIt came from watching YouTube videos about the “six degrees of separation”, the concept that everyone is just six steps away from each other.

Pogo App is chaired by Francis’ father, Neil, who co-founded software firm Company Net in 1996.

Francis said: “With his help, and because we were able to get investment quite early, I was able to build the team around me to fill in the technical experience I didn’t have.”