Swedish Startup Space

Instagram competitor Socialmist to launch out of Gothenburg

Written by , and on March 25

Socialmist is a new social network that is based on the idea of telling stories through music. The web app and the iPhone-app will launch on April 28 of 2014. I recently spoke to Patrik Sandesjö, Partnership Manager at Socialmist, about their ambitions and their progress from a small business idea to a company with an international audience.

The story of Socialmist goes back to Gothenburg four years ago. Marcus Wiberg is the founder and CEO of Socialmist AB and Socialmist Sp. Z o.o. He describes himself with these words:

“At the age of 12 I began building computers, hacking operating systems and literally do anything to understand the complex tasks of computers and technology. I have always been excited by the idea of creating things because I have always been crazy enough to believe that I could change the world. Failing to me is just another great opportunity to proceed again but this time more intelligently. Our team is building something extraordinary for the world which allows people to capture beautiful stories and express themselves with the power of music”

Socialmist has been in development since 2010 and about two and a half years ago they released their first beta version, but unfortunately that version wasn’t adequate enough for the guys so they scrapped their plans and remodeled it completely. They are now planning to launch Socialmist on April 28th with a new look and a different vision. Patrik explains their thoughts about the beta version:

“We had a limit on 2800 users, reached 900 users the first hour of the release, when the limit was met we decided to reinvent the product based on the feedback and the vision of Socialmist”.

Socialmist is a social network where you can record videos or take photos and add music. You can then share your creations with your friends. Socialmist is integrated with SoundCloud, which means you have full access to SoundCloud’s music library. Therefore it will be easy to cut and paste music into your own videos and pictures. This will work on both their web app and the iPhone app.

Patrik explains that the unique thing about Socialmist is the storytelling feature:

“Socialmist is an extraordinary tool as it allows people to share stories with music. With Socialmist we have changed the way you can express yourself in front of your audience.”

When I asked Patrik about other companies on the market he said that Instagram, Vine and Videofy Me are their main competitors, but he also pointed out that they are building SocialMist according to their own vision and they do not want to be compared to other services.

As mentioned in the beginning of the article, Socialmist was founded in Gothenburg four years ago. I asked what it was like to start a brand new business in Gothenburg and this is what Patrik had to say:

“People barely knew what a startup was. Therefore, we would say that Gothenburg as a startup city has a lot to learn, which is really a shame because we feel that there is much potential, especially in the younger generation who do not get the conditions they need”.

Patrik further elaborates his thoughts and says that Gothenburg has a lot to learn from the United States, in particular, where contacts with investors and venture capitalists have been smoother than in Sweden. Despite this, Socialmist has managed to get funding from Swedish companies and individuals who truly believed in their mission. Recently they’ve also initiated discussions with investors in England, Hungary and the United States.

In December 2013, Socialmist moved their headquarters from Gothenburg to Krakow, Poland. The reason behind this is that they had previously engaged consultants from all over the world. Now their aim is to gather all expertise in one place. That led them to Krakow where they found several competent persons. Patrik also mentioned that there are a lot of highly qualified students with technological skills in Krakow:

“Many IT companies have established themselves here lately”

When the team launches Socialmist in the end of April they will have at least 12 employees at their office in Krakow and three employees in other countries. In the beginning of 2015, their aim is to open up a new office in the United States. According to Patrik, the ambitions of Socialmist are high:

“We have set a personal goal that we should have ten million users in 2015. We are building Socialmist to change the way people express themselves with the power of music. We are here to stay – just getting started!”.

 

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