Cloapp founders buys out external investor backed by IMOG Holding

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Cloapp co-founder and CEO Alex Lewerentz, together with shareholders Arnosa Trade & Invest and IMOG Holding has today announced the buy-out of investors Benitez Holding. 

Benitez Holding was the first external investor in Cloapp in April 2015 and previous to this date they controlled 27,4% of the company shares. According to Lewerentz it's generally hard for startups to secure smart money in the first round, and that could potentially have been a problem in future money rounds which he feels they now have solved for Cloapp going forward.

"We are really grateful for them [Benitez Holding] believing in us at such an early stage, and we thank them for helping us kick-start our plans with Closr. We now had the opportunity to offer them a very good exit and we all agreed it was the right time to do this before our next round later this year"

Alex Lewerentz, CEO

The Swedish company just had a successful launch of their app Closr in Germany where they occupied the App Store Productivity chart for some time, peaking at number four. The plan now is to multiply that formula and go for the US market.

"Germany was a good test-market. We already have a solid group of ambassadeurs and early adopters in the US, as well as some familiar faces that will definitely help us grow. It will be interesting to see what impact we can make on people's lives when it comes to improving their relations and networking"

Alex Lewerentz, CEO

"The goal last year for Closr was to get people to use the app to improve their existing relations. This year it's all about giving these people powerful networking tools to connect and interact with new people they meet"

Alex Lewerentz, CEO

The networking part of the app is also a completely new revenue stream that the company is currently working on.

With the ability to sell networking locations all over the world where people can meet and interact with other users, chat, exchange business cards, set up meetings, make introductions and find opportunities, Cloapp CMO Peter Eriksson aims to start making money already this year.

"The US market is definitely the key for us to hit our aggressive goals. We were at the Northside Festival on the east coast last year and at SxSW earlier this year. We just did the first virtual networking tests at Collision last week, and are going to TechCrunch NY next week. At big festival events like these, Closr is the perfect app! We just need to help people understand that"

Peter Eriksson, CMO

Q&A with Cloapp CEO Alex Lewerentz

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When Cloapp launched their Personal Relationship Management app Closr, it helped transform the way people look at CRM-tools today.

As most of the traditional CRM-tools centers around the need to get an overview of the sales force and visualizing sales pipelines, Closr brings something new to the table. It’s a CRM-tool created for the end users, based on the users’ already existing personal networks. And it’s app only. That’s why they are calling it a PRM-tool. They want their users to focus on constantly improving the relations with the people they meet, and by doing that - close more deals. Closr taps in to the phone’s contacts, calendar, calling and e-mail so you really don’t have to add anything yourself, except your own personal notes. Whether it’s text, voice, photos or locations, Closr got it covered and then reminds you about it in a new and innovative way exactly when you need it the most.

With the likes of Salesforce, LinkedIn and Facebook all moving towards this space but from different angles, Cloapp CEO Alex Lewerentz is preparing for war in 2016 with a brand new version of Closr (3.0) just about to launch next month. Here’s a short Q&A we did about growth, new features and how the transformation of CRM as we know it will continue. We also asked the question about who he thinks is the world’s biggest closer.

Mobile CRM really started to take off in 2015, and now we see the big companies like LinkedIn and also Facebook making a bigger push into the space. How is Closr going to differentiate itself?

The CRM-landscape is dramatically changing, I think we all can agree on that. But we try not to get distracted by the other companies already in, or entering this space because we know that it’s inevitable. The best and only thing we can do is to stay true to our own vision about focusing on always improving people’s relations. And by doing that we think we are innovating and moving the space forward in our own direction.

How has the first six months been, and how is your current growth for Closr?

Before Closr was released we had a very successful Early Access Program fueled by the massive press we got during last summer. Which meant we really hit the ground running from day one. But since the public launch in September we haven’t really told that many people that we exist. We’ve just been focusing on the product, building a tool people want to use and listening very careful to the existing user base. It is that core of early adopters that actually came up with the networking feature MINGL that is now fully integrated in the latest version.

What are your growth expectations for Closr in 2016?

Growth is our theme for 2016. But like I said, we're still at a point where we mainly focus on building an app that people love to use. What new features do we think would create a great user experience? How do users want to take notes? How and when would they like to get reminded about important information? We think that as long as we do that good, the product will grow by itself. Because people in sales, marketing and networking generally wants to get closer to the people they meet, and need help remembering the most important things about them. Something as simple as remembering where you last met and who else was there could actually help close a deal.

What's new in Closr 3.0? What other new features can we expect in 2016?

First of all it's a brand new UI based on our new, green graphical identity. We completely re-designed the user experience in the app to center around one contact list that now also includes MINGL and new connections. It was actually Nami from Truecaller that put us on the right track there. We have also added a lot of automation which means the app does a lot of work for you in the background pulling information from calendar, contacts and interactions. For example automatically putting people you meet on top of your list for easy finding and adding of information and also the use of location based triggers. And that's just the start of it. Last but not least, the profile is completely redesigned and it now contains a timeline and a few key metrics to follow up on. Later in 2016 we are planning to launch the Android version and then we will focus on the release of Closr for Business.

What can you tell us about Closr for Business?

Closr for Business will be the world’s first true relationship management tool for mobile teams. Basically we’re building a seamless collaboration and sharing functionality around contacts, information and locations. Since Closr is app only compared to many other traditional tools, we are really focusing on the benefits of geo location and to build smart reminders. We are also working really hard on predictiveness and machine learning. This tool is something the employees will love to use, and it comes with built-in addiction to get to know your contacts better. Just face it, CRM tools are obsolete. The best tool for handling relations with the people you meet is the one that the members of your team are already using. Remember that I said that. 

Finally, who is the world’s biggest closer, and does he/she use the app?

Fredrik Eklund, the New York-based Swedish real estate broker in the TV show ”Million Dollar Listing New York” is definitely the world’s biggest closer! If he is using our app? Probably!

Cloapp launch Closr 2.0 with built-in networking feature MINGL at Roy Awards in Stockholm

The Uppsala-based startup wants to improve the way people connect at events, conferences and other meet-ups.

Closr 2.0 with MINGL - Find interesting people near by, send out your business card and expand your network with ease at the next event #MINGL #PRM #CRM #networking

MINGL is a GPS-based feature within the Closr app for networkers or anyone that craves a fast and easy way of connecting with the new people that they meet - and to exchange contact details with people near by using just a few swipes and clicks. Even on your Watch.

Notifications is also a new feature in Closr that aggregates reminders and calendar events in your iPhone and connects the people associated with them to help users quickly freshen up on their notes before they walk in to a meeting.

“Closr is not only about managing your existing relations with the people in your contact list. It's also about finding new, interesting people to connect with. That gives this productivity app a completely different edge, and also opens up a new market for us„Alex Lewerentz, CEO at Cloapp

And launching Closr 2.0 at a traditional media industry event like the Roy Awards is the perfect fit according to Peter Eriksson, CMO at Cloapp.

“It's the perfect mix of people working within pr and marketing, as well as their customers and general networkers. All of which are in our main target group for the Closr app„Peter Eriksson, CMO at Cloapp

About Roy Awards (Roygalan)

Roygalan is initiated by Swedish Film & TV Producers’ Association to promote Sweden´s best commercials and the people behind them. The awarded categories are: Best Commercial, Best Commercial Director, Best Commercial Photographer, Best Animation, Best Interactive Commercial, Best Visual Effect, Best Commercial Editor (New), Best Music in a Commercial (New), ”Folkets Pris” and Royalty.

2015 years Roygala will be held Oktober 21 at Berns/Chinateatern.

Cloapp/Closr is also the category sponsor for "Best Interactive Commercial" at the awards.

More info here: www.roygalan.se

Download Closr v2.0 on the App Store