Aside from the €4,500 given to it by Google as part of going through the French accelerator Le Camping, social planning app WePopp has, until now, been bootstrapped.
Today, however, it’s announcing that it’s raised a small round of funding: €130,000 from a number of France-based angel investors. Money it says will be used to “growth-hack” its way to hundreds of thousands of users, from the very modest 15,000 it claims since first launching on iOS in August, before adding Android support the following month.
The app, which competes with the likes of Kaikso and Rundavoo, aims to do one thing and do it well: Help you plan events with friends in just a few taps with a simple way to poll the group to find a date, time and place that suits everybody.
As the event organiser, you first pick what you want to do from a list of pre-defined categories, such as go for a drink, meal, a party, or take a weekend trip. Next you fill out further details, including — crucially — up to three preferred dates and times. Then you invite your friends to join your “popp,” from which they are asked to vote on the time and place, as well as suggest any other changes to the itinerary via the app’s messaging functionality. Finally, you select the chosen date, time and destination, asking everybody to confirm once and for all if they are in or out.
As well as being inherently social, one clever aspect of WePopp is that it doesn’t require everybody in the group to be a user. If you are sans-WePopp, you can still be included in a “popp” by being notified by SMS and asked to respond/vote via a browser-based version. The final event details are then also sent as an SMS notification.
If that doesn’t represent the core of a viral growth strategy, then I’m not sure what does, although user numbers suggest there is work to be done yet.
To that end, WePopp co-founder and CEO Julien Hobeika, says the new capital will be used to “growth-hack” the French startup’s growth — whatever that really means.
“Our objective is to grow from our current 15k downloads – acquired in 3 months with no marketing – to hundreds [of] thousand[s] in the next 6 months,” he says in a statement.
In an email to TechCrunch, Hobeika elaborated a little more, saying that the modestly-funded company would be employing “lean marketing” by segmenting it users into the smallest communities that can be defined.
“The objective is to penetrate 80% of those small communities. When we find communities when we can penetrate like that it means we can acquire users with very little money and we can rely on the virality of our product to do the rest. In other words, growth hacking means finding the cheapest way to acquire a lot of users by lean testing different communities and different acquisition canals.”
That, it’s hoped, should see WePopp good until mid-2014 when it plans to raise a further round of funding.