It was a cold Thursday night, but no one could stop our guests from coming to our weekly meetup. They did come from Canada, so snow was not an issue. And neither was talking about their experience building HootSuite. Alongside their stories, Vladimir Oane from uberVU also shared his background and key lessons, demystifying the movie-like scenarios of his company being bought. "It's really not what you see in the movies", he said.
We'll share with you some key numbers and quotes, but you can see the entire talk on SmartBiz.ro, where the event was broadcasted, thanks to video by FlexiLIVE and streaming provided by Hostway Romania.
UberVU was founded in Bucharest in 2008, and it started out as a marketing agency. Since the team was ambitious and spotted early on the dimension that social media would have, they started working on their own product and then attended Seedcamp 2008 as a result. Since then, they've raised a little under $3 million and now employ over 40 people, 30 of which work in their Bucharest office.
The growth of the company was projected, and Vladimir is not modest. They've done a good job, so it makes perfect sense. Their conjunction with HootSuite was not sought after, but, as Vladimir said: "when opportunities come, you have to look at them." For uberVU, HootSuite was the best company in this space and their product was complementary to the ones that the Canadian startup was offering. Hoostuite was also the most disruptive force in the industry, so it made sense to join forces.
The uberVU identity will continue for the time being. The current clients will still have access to the same product as before, and if uberVU and HootSuite will be integrated, that transition will be made in the best possible terms for the existing and future user base.
Behind the curtains
Vladimir told us that no employee from uberVU has left the company since the announcement and that they actually want to increase the size of their team quite rapidly. And not to overromanticize things, the acquisition was nothing like you'd imagine after seeing The Social Network. Ryan Holmes, the HootSuite CEO, got introduced to Vladimir by a common friend, they kept in touch. It didn't happen out of the blue and no one was drinking champagne in the day of the announcement. Instead, everyone was making sure that the blog would hold up the traffic spike that was about to happen. And apparently Ryan was playing Starcraft on the acquisition day with some Russians and got his ass kicked. :)
All across the world, in Vancouver, HootSuite was founded at about the same time as uberVU. They managed to raise $165 million in 2013 alone and they now have a team of 500 people spread across the world, in their offices located in London, Vancouver, San Francisco, and now Bucharest.
Their 8 million users make them the biggest player in the market and their team is always growing. Now they're working on figuring out the strategy to make the best of this acquisition and they have a knack for that: HootSuite has bought other companies, such as Seesmic, Geotoko, What the Trend or Swift App.
With this acquisition, the Canadian company wants to gain better understanding of the analytics part of their business and consolidate their expertise and leadership in this area. And something tells us that they most likely will.
As a key though from last night's talks, we'd like to quote something that Vladimir said: "Don�t wait for someone to tell you to do your job." Hopefully, that'll work for you too.