AVATAO.COM

Avatao.com (https://avatao.com) is a spinoff of the Budapest University of Technology’s IT security competence center, Crysys Lab (https://www.crysys.hu/). The Lab’s !SpamAndHax hacker team has been at the forefront of IT security contests for years (e.g. three-times participant in the DefCon Finals tournament which is a kind of hacker world championship) and they won “The most dynamically growing scaleup” award of Regional Startup Innovation Day in 2018.

Avatao.com is an IT security online e-learning platform offering practical training opportunities based on the individual needs of software development teams within a company or for individual developers with the aim of teaching them how to develop more secure software.

The beginnings – business modelling, strategy building, raising seed capital

When they approached Absolvo, they had 16 different business model ideas and the team needed support in establishing focus areas and priorities.

The primary goal was to create the first business plan and strategy based on which we can raise the first round of seed capital. After long workshops, client meetings, smaller campaigns, tests and validation rounds, benchmarking and lots of technical improvements the first business plan was born. Thanks to the lean and agile business strategy creation and implementation during which already potential clients were also contacted, the first revenues arrived, as well.

In the meantime Avatao won awards at several domestic and international startup tournaments like QuBit, Security Rockstars, Startup Sauna, Pioneers!

Several investor groups showed their interest by giving a term sheet. The team wanted the best possible conditions and only “A category” investors so after a long series of negotiations the first round of seed money arrived in 2017. We continue to support the company in strategy implementation, in further validation and scaling as well as in raising capital in a next round.

After the successful deal closing – strategy execution, sales taskforce, agile business development

As in case of most startups, during the implementation of the strategy the greatest challenge has been sales and marketing. A “task force” consisting of senior experts is supporting the team like to drastically shorten the otherwise 2-3 year long process of finding answers and solutions for sales and marketing issues, thus realizing quick growth and a kind-of acceleration.

Absolvo’s marketing expert supported the implementation of the strategy in the following fields:

  • Customer segmentation
  • Messaging matrix: creation of messages for all segments, stakeholders and decision makers
  • Development of the content marketing strategy
  • Customer journey mapping

The sales team works with a kind of learning-by-doing methodology, combining strategy creation with agile implementation: we are already selling to real customers while we are still fine-tuning the standards and the sales process. Absolvo’s team provided professional support in the following critical early phase sales tasks:

  • Validation of the target group and messages
  • Domestic and international lead generation
  • Development of a robust sales process
  • Standardization of sales materials, emails and offers

The next step is to fine-tune the sales process, the target group and marketing messages. Afterwards it is time to hire junior team members who can realize the growth plans under the direction of Absolvo’s experienced team.

Next round –  late seed fundraising with international investors

The next round of capital raise was realized again with the support of Absolvo’s team in the autumn of 2018 with the goal to step into the next phase of growth strategy, strengthening sales & marketing and preparing for global scaling.

Our team advised the overall transaction process and contributed in:

  • adapting business and financial plan
  • contacting potential local and international investors, supporting negotiations
  • evaluating investment offers,
  • negotiating deal terms,
  • supporting due diligence,
  • preparing investment agreements (SPA, SHA),
  • and coordinating other tasks and managing transaction closing.

The 2nd round of fundraising, with the participation of seed round investors, has been realized in a form of co-investment with such high prestigious international investors with direct access to the Silicon Valley on board, like Speedinvest – one of the most active technology focused VC in Europe -, and the California-based global early stage VC, investing into a Hungarian startup team for the very first time, 500 Startups.