How to build an app that reaches 1 million users in less than two months and gets acquired (for more than 100 million dollars) by Facebook just 4 months after it’s creation? This is the story of the fun face filter app MSQRD that got started in Garage48 GameHack in Minsk, back in November 2015.
By using face recognition technology, the MSQRD allows applying various filters to your selfies or real-time videos and sharing them on social networks. MSQRD also has a filter store where any designer can have its artwork ready to be tried out on people’s faces.
Sergey Gonchar, Eugene Zatepyakin and Eugene Nevgen created the app in 48 hours during Garage48 Minsk Hackathon, which took place in November 2015, and the iOS version was already released in December. During the first month after the release, the app got more than 1 million downloads, and the user base grew as a snowball to 10 million in the following month. Now it is in the top free iPhone app in the USA, and the TOP-1 app in more than 50 countries. The developers got a lot of visibility in Eastern Europe when popular artists and comedians used the app to create fun viral videos, and the promotion abroad follows a similar strategy.
Shipitwise is a platform for travellers to book shipping for their sports equipment and other belongings around the world. The founders attended Garage48 Tourism Pärnu 2015 hackathon and started to build something with the draft idea they had. During the hackathon, the team already found their very first customer - a guy who needed to transport his bike from Germany to Estonia. That was all the validation and motivation they needed to continue working on their idea!
From there, they applied to Startup Wise Guys accelerator and got accepted. After that, they got a €7,000 grant from Prototron — a fund that gives out equity free cash - and started their first crowdfunding campaign on Funderbeam. They visited many tech conferences in five different countries and helped to initiate the motorbike season in Estonia. They raised their first investment worth of €176,200 in a very short but effective time period.
The Story behind GoWorkaBit is that everyone should have freedom to choose when, where and how long they work. The biggest achievement for them is that they have been able to create revenue from the start and stay alive through difficult times. Their revenue in 2014 was 430K and 1M a year later.
VitalFields (previously known as WeatherMe), founded at and awarded with “Best Innovator“ prize at Garage48 Tartu hackathon in August 2011; which is also known as a proud alumni event for the tech accelerator Startup Wise Guys.
VitalFields helps you to manage your fields at ease with a modern simplified tracking and reporting tool. The company is based in Estonia with clients from the Baltics, UK, USA, Poland and Ukraine and with plans to rapidly expand its operations to Germany, Hungary and Denmark.
In 2016 the company was acquired by Monsanto, which merged with Bayer in 2018.
Fractory is an on-demand manufacturing platform that streamlines outsourcing between engineers and suppliers. The founders built the idea during Garage48 Student Startup Camp in Tartu back in 2017 and developed it further ever since.
During their 1st year they acquired 80% Q2Q growth by moving from 1K to 100K monthly revenue. They have reached 10 countries and already established a significant market share in Nordics and Baltics. In 2019, they will be opening a new office in the UK, aiming to expand even further. In a very short period of time, they have collected recognition from industry leaders through well-established awards, including the Best Startup award at EuroBlech 2018 which hosted 65,000 attendees.
Timbeter is a digital timber measurement solution that uses machine learning technology and artificial intelligence for accurate log detection. Anna-Greta Tsahkna, the founder, met her team Timbeter (previously TimberDiameter) at the first ever Garage48 Women Special Event in Pärnu in 2013. Following the hackathon, the startup has turned out to be incredibly successful with many prizes and titles under their belt: the winner of Garage48 Women Special 2013, Winner of Ajujaht 2014, Kuldmuna 2015 for Timbeter mobile app.
A forest tech company with locations worldwide, Timbeter’s aim is to eradicate illegal logging and improve timber supply for both log buyers and sellers using a pioneering algorithm. Today, Timbeter serves clients in 61 countries around the world, is available in 11 languages and has over 10,000 users, measuring more than 10 million cbm.
CareMate is an Estonian organisation that helps you find a professional caregiver to provide the necessary home care and personal care services in an independent home environment. The platform simply matches care seekers with professional caregivers through web based video courses.
Footty uses image recognition AI technology to create high-quality foot scans and make an accurate shoe fit prediction based only on feet photos and sales data. This ensures people have the correct shoe fit. It can be used by offline and online retailers, without any application or hardware required.
Footty co-founders Vladyslav Ursul witandh Andrew Zhuravchak were in the winning team of Empowering Women Hackathon organised by Garage48 in Lviv, Ukraine in March 2018. Team “Footty” completed that hackathon with great success and recognition; and 8 months later they have been selected by Rockstart to participate in their AI accelerator program located in Den Bosch, the Netherlands.
There will be only 9 startups taking part in Rockstart’s AI 2018 program, where talented women and men from different countries will spend the next 180 days building and refining their products, talking to mentors, and connecting to potential investors and customers. Their first AI program is already showing how successful it was, with three alumni raising a total of €1.2 million within the first 6 months after the program ended and a vast range of technology collaborations between startups and corporates kicked-off.
We expect the best from team Footty and wish them great success.
Aeropoll helps cities reduce traffic congestion and air pollution using AI-powered congestion charge solution. The app shows air quality in different areas in your city with up to 96% accuracy. They already have an investor on board from Business Angel Norway, and their primary markets are Germany, UK and France.
SecureBadger performs credibility checks to help landlords select tenants, assessing behavioural and financial risks. The organisation aims to build trust between landlords & tenants through seamless yet secure renting process. They are currently testing their product with the biggest real estate agencies in Estonia- Scandium and Uusmaa.They are recognised in Ajujaht TOP 30 and attracting investors from US and Europe to change the dynamics in real estate market.
SpaceTree is a forest evaluation and monitoring platform, developed in Garage48 SpaceTech Hackathon in May 2018 and launched shortly after. Founders have met at the hackathon for the first time and developed SpaceTree, which eventually changed their lives. The name of the brand was formerly Forest Numb, but the winning team members, aka today’s founders, have updated it before the launch.
Their idea is to provide an alternative to manual forest monitoring using ML system to recognise tree species, height, age and so on. Today they can monitor forests from space in real time.
Justice is not a privilege. Hugo is an artificial intelligence who can help with common questions and legal documents. With harder enquiries, Hugo matches the right work, to the right talent, at the right time, in your jurisdiction and at the right cost. A Uber of legal services, so to call.
Hugo, formerly named as Eesti Õigusbüroo OÜ, was already a prototype-ready startup when the founders participated to our Base Camp in September 2018. The team have won the hackathon and awarded with an exclusive access to Super Angel Alpine House Programme - 12-month altitude training for startups. After this intense training program, Hugo has become a profitable and successful business, generated 1M+ total sales. Today the brand accommodates 15,000+ clients, 12 team members, 37 lawyers on their platform, and aiming to expand more.
Within one year they became the largest legal platform in Estonia. About 92% of their clients.
MusicSpider is an alternative way to listen to music while working in the browser, built during Garage48 Tashkent Hackathon in November 2018. The team launched their platform after winning the hackathon and today they offer 1 million songs for their subscribers.
The idea was to develop spiders which constantly crawl songs from different resources. It can be used as a chrome extension and you would never have to switch tabs/applications ever again while listening to music.
Parked is a an app which is connected to the network of parking lots for trucks across Europe. It offers real-time information about parking spots availability with an option to book a spot on the go.
Wishme is built as a social network to share wish lists with your family and friends, with the aim of bringing a more inspirational touch to Ukraine culture. In the app, you can book your friends can book ideas and create gifts out of them. They laid the foundations of their organisation in our Empowering Women Hackathon Kharkiv 2018 and have been growing ever since.
During our hackathon, team members said with a little wordplay: “The greatest ideas were invented in garages. Thanks for helping us start ours.” Well, thank you guys for becoming our joy and pride!