Berlin startup StoYo

Patrick Bales (Co-Founder, CEO) and Markus Mohr (Co-Founder, VP Operations) © Jasper Kettner

StoYo

Branded Social Videos

Media
Founded in 2015
50 employees
Funding €3M / 2 Rounds

StoYo creates highly engaging social videos for brands and publishers. The Berlin-based company is well-respected around the globe for its unique data-driven approach, which has lead to more than ten billion organic video views on Facebook in less than two years. In times of banner blindness, pre-roll skip buttons and a decline in TV consumption, they give brands a tool to reach audiences organically in the newsfeed and are the only company in the world able to guarantee one million organic views. Website

Interview with StoYo

What inspired you to found your startup?

When we started, all German publishers together had 20M views/month on Facebook while a single US publisher could have 300M views/month. A significant and obvious gap we wanted to close which was the motivation to get things started.

How do you define success for yourself and your company?

For me personally, I think you sometimes have this moment when you know you’ve made it and you have pulled off some cool thing. This can be a cool video but also a successful sales pitch at a big brand and these are probably the moments you work for. For the company, I would have a rather rational perspective. Success means repeat business by key clients. If these guys come back again and again I think you know you’ve made it.

Is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?

Probably trusting myself even more, change and take hard decisions faster.

What problem does your product solve?

Brands are increasingly having a hard time reaching their (potential) customers via traditional advertising. TV consumption is decreasing, banner ads are routinely ignored and honestly who doesn’t skip a pre-roll ad? This is where StoYo comes in: We help brands reach their target group organically via their Facebook newsfeeds. With our data driven approach we find out which stories your target audience will love, craft a suitable storyline and integrate your brand in a non-intrusive way.

Where do you see your company in 1/5/10 years?

Next year, our US office will be all set up, in five years StoYo will work across different social platforms and other media including TV using AR, VR and other new forms of visual storytelling and in ten years we will do all this plus all other cool things which will come up to help us tell the most engaging stories.

How are you different?

We’re the only company able to guarantee one million organic video views on any Facebook page.

How often does your product/service show up in a user’s day or week?

With our top clients we work on one campaign per month.

Impact: how are you doing good and building a better future?

In our editorial unit, we cover lots of stories which really make a difference. Recently, we launched a video about a young girl that escaped the military regime in North Korea. That video went on to reach close to 100 million views. Our small contribution helped more people become familiar with the dire political situation.

How has the startup scene in Berlin changed?

One big change which comes to my mind is that there has been a shift away from the startup incubator model. 4-5 years ago, there was Rocket, Project A, Team Europe and many others who tried to become company builders. Now, I see far more startups being founded by real founders who start first and then just look for the right investors. I also think that’s the better approach.

What are the pros and cons of launching your startup from Berlin?

Berlin is great for hiring since there’s lots of international young professionals in town, certainly most German startup investors are here and you just have a huge network of fellow startups and entrepreneurs. I think the scene is also quite close. For our business, however, it’s a downside that there’s not so many big brands (our clients) in Berlin which is why we have to travel a lot.

StoYo was featured in “The Hundert Vol. 10 – Startups of Berlin“, October 2017.

The picture above was taken at:

Café Chagall

The menu of the discerning Café Chagall features a wide range of international dishes such as pasta, chili-con-carne, and Russian blinis. They also offer a Monday cocktail special.

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