You might remember POP: we covered them back in November last year. POP helps designers prototype on paper by converting sketches into workable mockups. Since we spoke to them back in November, the team has made a trip to the pilgrimage mecca of startups: Silicon Valley. Following their trip to Silicon Valley and meeting with entrepreneurs, founders and venture capitalists, POP has been offered to join AVOS, 500 Startups as well as Tandem.
Who is AVOS, 500 Startups and Tandem?
AVOS is an incubator led by YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. Steve is a huge tech celebrity and the Taiwanese have a high regard for his achievements. AVOS recently closed a Series A financing led by New Enterprise Associates and Google Ventures with participation from Madrone Capital and China-based incubator Innovation Works.
500 Startups is a notable accelerator program founded by Dave McClure. Some of the other Taiwanese startups in the 500 Startups family include Pic Collage (26 million downloads) and Cubie Messenger (6.5 million downloads). POP did a 30 second pitch to Dave McClure when they visited 500 Startups at Mountain View last December, and Dave liked it.
Tandem, meanwhile, is a Silicon Valley based accelerator focused on the mobile industry. Tandem typically offers US$200,000 initial investment per company. It’s portfolio companies include ZumoDrive, which was acquired by Motorola in 2010, PagerDuty, which managed to raise US$10.7 million From Andreessen Horowitz, as well as Singapore-based Gimmie.
POP enters into hybrid deal with AVOS and 500 Startups
While POP liked all three offers, POP eventually decided to go with AVOS. While POP had to opt out to join AVOS, Dave still wanted POP to be in 500 Startups’ latest accelerator programme. Following that, 500 Startups offered to enter into a hybrid deal with AVOS, where POP would be part of both 500 Startups as well as AVOS. So how will the hybrid deal work? POP co-founder Ben Lin told e27 that the team will be split into group of two, with each group switching between the two incubators each week.
“We took money from both, and we wanted to learn as much as possible from both AVOS and 500 Startups.” – Ben Lin
The POP team told TechCrunch that Steve Chen and Chad Hurley’s experience in building out YouTube and Delicious will help them learn how to create a proper platform, scale their business, improve their management team, and help them find developers in Silicon Valley. They also hope being in AVOS will give them exposure to top-tier venture capital firms as they seek new funding and work on a revenue model.
With POP joining the 500 Startups family, too, this adds on to the number of Taiwan companies accepted into 500 Startups, including Cubie Messenger, Pic Collage, as well as Waygo Visual Translator. Waygo, a 500 Startups portfolio company, recently won the Most Promising Startup at our Taiwan Satellite.