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I started a company around internal tools, did YC and raised $4.5m. AMA!

Hi Indie Hackers 👋

I’m Stef (@stefaniabje on Twitter), CEO and Co-Founder of Avo. I’m a mathematician and philosopher from Iceland, turned genetics researcher, turned founding analyst and growth lead of QuizUp (mobile game with 100m users, backed by Tencent and Sequoia), turned cofounder of a gamified microlearning company for employees, turned cofounder of Avo – via a pivot.

🤔 What is Avo?
Avo is the analytics planning and governance platform that teams like Patreon, Rappi, Fender and Culture Amp use to ship product updates fast without compromising data quality. What used to take Patreon 4 days for every feature release, takes 30 minutes with Avo.

Avo audits your tracking plan, audits and monitors your tracking implementation, and provides type safe code and unit tests. With all this, Avo streamlines the analytics release workflow between PMs, analytics managers and developers so they can plan, implement and verify their product analytics faster and better.

💪 Why did we start Avo?
We built internal tools at QuizUp to solve exactly these problems. When I started a company after QuizUp, it only took 5 months to ship a product update based on incorrect data. It was a punch in my gut, and devastating realization that implementing reliable analytics would always be a problem as long as I worked on digital products.

I then started talking to colleagues to hear how people solved this. Learned that Spotify, Airbnb, Twitch and many more had all built this as well – and furthermore that we had been ahead of the curve at QuizUp. I knew we were on to something – so we started Avo to solve this problem permanently.

We’ve raised around $4.5m. We did a pre-seed from local angels a VC before we pivoted to Avo. After we pivoted to Avo we did YC and then raised a Seed round from GGV Capital (Hashicorp, Slack, Zendesk, Opendoor, etc), Heavybit (investors in developer tools like Stripe, Circle CI and PagerDuty), YC and angels in the data and developer space like the founder of Optimizely.

Ask me anything! :)

  1. 2

    How did you raise $4.5M? Seems like a huge number. What's your current MRR?

  2. 2

    Hey Stefania,

    • Whats the yearly ARR of Avo and has it steadily grown over time? -
    • what were your motivations for getting VC funding?
    • Was bootstrapping it out of the question? Totally understand that funding is an option people get alot out of, but just curious if it would have been possible to get the company going without it :)
  3. 2

    How long did it take to build your MVP?

    1. 2

      Great question. First of all, we didn't build anything until we had talked to a looot of people - even if we had experienced the problem ourselves. During that period we also kicked off a few consulting gigs, both paid ones as well as a few with friends and colleagues.

      After a couple of months of user and market research, we started prototyping and developing an MVP. And because of what we did before that period, we had people wanted to try it out immediately.

      Overall, it was probably only a week from the moment we started designing and prototyping until we had someone using the earliest earliest MVP. 😅

  4. 1

    Would you mind to share the tech stack?

  5. 1

    What are your marketing channels? Which ones are working best for you?

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