Hookle, a social media marketing start-up that launched operations in the autumn of 2017, is looking for seed funding to scale its activities. Operating in a competitive international market, the company has been building conditions for growth on a long-term basis with Kolster’s support.
“Social media is the most important channel for start-ups, SMEs and solo entrepreneurs to find new customers. Entrepreneurs are fighting to master the basic social media channels”, Hookle CEO Tero Seppälä says.
Hookle’s service allows companies to start social media communication even if their resources are small. Hookle®App is an easy-to-use mobile application developed specifically for social media marketing by small businesses, enabling effective social media communication across various channels.
Hookle differs from the other social media channel management services in the market in a crucial way: other current solutions are designed for use by social media marketing professionals and are too onerous and complex for small businesses or solo entrepreneurs.
“Our job is to allow entrepreneurs and SMEs to focus on their core business. Hookle’s guiding principle is to keep the service simple, and that makes our application unique. Making it simple is not easy”, Seppälä says.
Funding round underway
Hookle’s idea was born just over three years ago. The company is in the product market fit phase, meaning that the service has been found to be functional and in demand, and the size of the market is significant.
Hookle is currently being funded by 15 angel investors. The company is now preparing a seed round.
“We have been in close contact with venture capital investors since the demo version of Hookle®App was introduced at Slush in Helsinki in late 2017. We are now looking for an international investor with whom we can scale our activities. After the investor round, we will focus on further development of the features of the service based on user feedback”, Seppälä says.
“The results of the investor round will affect the future milestones of the business. The round will show how much muscle we have to expand. We have already managed to increase our revenue at a comfortable pace, and next year and the year after that, the goal is to increase growth fivefold compared to the previous year.”
The reputation of the IPR partner is important in building credibility in the eyes of investors.
“Kolster is a well-respected IPR house. The partnership with Kolster has brought credibility to Hookle as well. We have built our IP strategy with Kolster and discussed the impact of business priorities on it. It was also crucial for the launch of the Google collaboration that we had done the background work properly and that our IP matters were in order”, Seppälä says.
Hookle’s mobile application has been made for Google’s new technology, and Hookle was one of its first users. The choice of technology was also a marketing strategy decision, Seppälä says. The Google collaboration gives the application credibility and promotes user acquisition.
The US is a demanding but promising market
Hookle already has customers in over 25 countries and users in more than 60 countries. However, more than half of the revenue comes from the United States.
“The US is a particularly significant market for Hookle because the country has a large number of potential customers with the ability to pay. In the US, even small-scale entrepreneurs understand the important role of social media in growing their business, and people are ready to try out new tools there”, Seppälä says.
The US is also a unique market from the point of view of intangible assets and cooperation agreements. There, it is particularly important to cover your back in terms of intellectual property rights.
“Through a preliminary search, we wanted to ensure that there are no similar names in use and that our logo is distinctive enough not to infringe on anyone’s rights. Our cooperation with Kolster is working excellently. We have trademarks and patents in our portfolio, the updating of which is handled by Kolster. In addition, we have regular discussions to review the business situation and future plans, and Kolster employees make sure that the measures taken and our IPR strategy are up-to-date.”
Hookle to help with the e-commerce revolution resulting from the coronavirus pandemic
Hookle®App is currently available in Finnish and English, and can be offered as is in 150 countries.
With the coronavirus pandemic, the turnover of online shops has exploded, which has also further increased the pressure on SMEs to bring their services to the attention of customers. Social media plays an important role in this. Hookle wants to help entrepreneurs, offering the opportunity to start using its service/Hookle®App free of charge through its partners.
“Finnish entrepreneurs now have all the prerequisites to be pioneers in taking over social media. The pandemic period has been difficult, but upheaval is always an opportunity to redistribute market shares as well. Challengers now also have the opportunity to improve their position through digital marketing, and we want to help SMEs in this work”, Tero Seppälä says.
Get started with Hookle®App free of charge
Want to easily manage your company’s social media accounts on mobile? The basic version of Hookle is free, and as Kolster’s customer, you get the first three months of Hookle Premium free of charge in connection with an annual subscription. Send a message to Hookle’s customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know that you are a Kolster customer. The customer service will provide you with a discount code and link that you can redeem and have all the Premium functions available to you right away!
More information: www.hookle.net
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