Campalyst is a new start-up that developed analytics to measure real return-on-investment from social media campaigns, starting with Facebook. It is a truly Baltic company started in Riga with the team members from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. After less than four months of existence, Campalyst has shown an impressive growth: they went from building a prototype in 48 hours to winning StartupSauna to being among the finalists of Mini Seedcamp New York. We talked with two of the founders, Dalia Lasaite and Jevgenijs Kazanins, to learn the full story of Campalyst and find out how things are going for the company right now.
Campalyst was built through a logical evolution. First they participated in Garage48 this March where they built a prototype of their analytics tool. Dalia and Jevgenijs knew each other from before but met three other team members for the first time during that weekend. Jevgenijs has a background in media agencies, where he often faced the need to measure results of marketing campaigns in Facebook and other social media. The idea to build such a tool resonated with the rest of the team, who started developing the concept and prototype.
For about a month after the hackathon weekend Campalyst team were improving the product during evenings and weekends until they heard about Startup Sauna Warm-Up in Riga. After pitching at the event, the team was advised to apply for the StartupSauna program in Finland and a few weeks later they got in.
'This is when our idea really took off', shares Jevgenijs. 'We started working on Campalyst full-time, received a lot of mentorship, started meeting with potential clients. All the feedback helped us realise that the problem we are solving is big and there is a need for an analytics tool like ours.' Campalyst went on to win the overall program, getting a 5,000€ prize and an office space in the Garage.
Though that office space is bound to remain idle for now - the team is constantly travelling between UK, US and Finland. Having been chosen among the winners of the Mini Seedcamp New York, Campalyst recently joined the Seedcamp family. They also signed up their first big client, Finnish marketing agency Zeeland, and are working hard in London on signing up big media agencies in UK for their service.
Words of wisdom from the Campalyst team? Think big. 'If we focused on our local market in Latvia, the company would have been dead by now', comments Dalia. 'If you stay at home, you won't see the full potential of your business'. Be present in the market you want to sell. 'You can't sit in Riga and sell globally, especially at the early stages. You need to be physically present in those markets to make things go faster', Dalia adds.
'We also advise participating in all entrepreneurship-related programs you can find', Jevgenijs continues. 'You learn from every person you meet there and you get a chance to act on the received feedback, making you advance faster'.
Lastly, Dalia and Jevgenijs in chorus suggest to focus on speed. 'It is extremely powerful when people see you moving fast. When we meet clients they are often amazed at how much we've achieved in 3 months. It builds team-spirit but is a powerful message externally', says Dalia. 'We focus on product and on clients', adds Jevgenijs. 'From the start we never tried looking for investors. It is distracting and takes a lot of time. Plus if we don't have clients, few investors would be interested in us.'
Ambitious and accomplished in just 3 months, Campalyst is one of the most inspiring new examples of start-ups from the Baltics. Their swift development demonstrates that motivated teams can utilize local resources (talent, mentorship, accelerator programs) to work on a global scale.