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Growth strategy: Pocketbook raises $500,000 and shares expansion plans

Thursday, 14 November 2013 | By Rose Powell

Budgeting app Pocketbook has this week announced they’re closing their $500,000 seed funding round after signing investments deals with Tank Stream Ventures, Sunrise host David Koch and other private equity investors.


Co-founder Bosco Tan told StartupSmart the funds will be used to grow the business by hiring marketing staff and investing in growth strategies.


“We’re at a crossroad trying to decide what the next new growth method that we’ll pursue will be,” Tan says.


“Now we have money we’ll look at spending a bit on marketing and advertising. We’ll be exploring what kind of ad space will work. My intuition says we’re a good fit for search, and maybe investing in SEO (search engine optimisation).”


Tan says not only are they now financially ready to invest in marketing, they’re also more confident they can craft strong campaigns after being in the market dealing with customers for the last few months.


“Being able to understand our customers more, as well as why and where they’re engaging with our offering and each other creates more opportunities,” Tan says.


The Pocketbook team are in partnership discussions with a range of financial service providers and publications.


They’re also looking to hire a product manager and a marketer. Tan says he and co-founder Alvin Singh are excited about making their first hire, but want to make sure they get it right.


“The first couple of people shape the culture, so it’s important to get your first hires right,” Tan says. “One of the tell-tale signs of whether someone fits in a start-up comes from catching up for a cup of coffee or a beer, so that’s where we’ll be doing our first interviews.”


Tan says they will be looking for people who share their key values.


“They need to get what’s consumer focused and what isn’t. We’re a consumer product and we need to never forget that. We need to understand exactly how to keep making the app more usable, and be able to accurately describe all the moving parts clearly,” Tan says.