Experq started as a project during last year's Summer of Startups program organized by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society. It's main goal was to improve customer relations through feedback with the help of easy mass text messages. After the program ended, the start-up continued with focus on R&D and go-to-market activities. Experq have recently closed their first commercial partner (a significant player in travel industry). We just learned that Experq's team sold their company to another team who will continue working on Experq. No details of the deal were disclosed but this makes Experq the first exit from a Summer of Startup's program! To find out reasons for exit and details of the new project, we talked with Jens Sørensen, CEO, and Lauri Hynynen, COO.
'We did not jump ship. Experq has a lot of potential and we still want to see it succeed. Our new start-up idea is more risky but it has a much bigger market with a lot more potential', comments Jens. 'This level of ambition is something we got from being part of AaltoES.'
It took only two months to jumpstart their new project Tuubio. As Jens says: 'We pitched the idea to Veturi Venture Accelerator in March and got the initial funding agreement. We did all the bureaucracy to register the company in April and got an office in May.' The team closed a sufficient funding round and has been building the product in full speed since then.
Tuubio is operating in stealth mode but they are working on disrupting the radio industry. Jens describes his vision as following: 'We want to completely redefine how people consume news and daily go after stuff they need to know. With Tuubio everyone on this planet can have their own personalized radio channel. We would bring you news on topics that you want to follow and the music you like. Even the ads would be on stuff that you are interested in'.
The claim is definitely very ambitious. Radio has a huge global market yet the medium has remained unchanged for more than a hundred years. Scholars used to predict that radio would become digital before television yet it still is not. Mainly because digital radio adds extra costs per each new listener in bandwidth and has trouble generating revenue.
But Tuubio team is not discouraged. 'Video files are much heavier yet YouTube happened. If YouTube works then audio can too', Jens retorts. 'Earlier we did not have end devices like smartphones that would enable easy consumption of internet-based radio. Now they are so common, there is definitely market for this. We want to specifically focus on simplicity and ease of radio experience.'
While the vision is very bold, Tuubio's team is secretive about the details. Having moved from idea to actual company so fast, Tuubio already plans to launch their product in London later this year, other major cities soon to follow. 'Stay tuned', quips Jens.
It's hard to judge yet how much merit Tuubio's vision has but whatever the end-result is, their team is definitely not lacking ambition. Having gone through a disruptive school of learning at AaltoES, they also acquired valuable networks that helped them launch fast. These connections would probably assist the team all the way to London and further if all goes well. If it does not, it is still refreshing to see a young courageous team spring up from Finnish start-up eco-system.