As Netokracija published two weeks ago, Slovenian VC fund RSG Capital invested 1 million euros into Croatian iStudio. During the RockPaperStartups conference, Ivan Brezak Brkan sat down with RSG’s Jure Mikuz and iStudio’s Daniel Ackermann to talk more about one of the biggest investments in this region.
As many already know, iStudio started as a social media agency specialized in Facebook. Over the years they’ve expanded their field of expertise by creating their own tools and products. Daniel adds that iStudio is still not a fully digital agency, but this investment should help it become one. He revealed that the business grew rapidly and because of that they have met with several problems – one being that they had to hire a large number of new employees and second being potential problems with a large number of clients.
He also explained how Socialpuzzle was developed. As they were creating apps for different clients, eventually they figured out that several types of apps are constantly being used. Since the cost of developing one is not so low, they’ve decided to make a certain number of generic ones which they can customize per client.
Investing in agency as a whole, not just their products
Socialpuzzle is not the only products that came out of iStudio and when Ivan Brezak Brkan asked Jure what made them invest into iStudio, he replied by saying – iStudio. Investment is therefore intended for the whole agency. Although the initial talks were focused on the startup iStudio is managing, called Mediatoolkit, they weren’t sure whether product development or agency development is the direction where iStudio was heading.
Today, the direction is much more clearer therefore investing in the whole agency was a logical thing to do Jure added. This is RSG’s tenth investment and as Mikuz says, where the good team and talent intertwine, that’s where the magic happens and that is the case with iStudio as well.
Mikuz also mentioned Slovenian Celtra, a company in which RSG Capital also invested, that today has over 75 employees and offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Ljubljana. At this moment, iSudio is not thinking about USA expansion as their main market is still on the “old continent”, therefore they will open three new offices in Europe during the next year.
At this moment, we are not working on new products since we are focused on further developing our existing ones. We will employ 10 to 20 new employees who will work on them. Later on, we will invest into growing our business and market expansion. Products will remain the same but they will be more appealing to new customers and to our existing ones.
After Daniel finished, the audience gave him a standing ovation. Such a big investment rarely comes to this region and iStudio is a perfect example that everything is possible if you put in those late hours at the office. Several job positions will be up soon so keep an eye on iStudio’s jobs section.