My New Venture: Yapster – chat for teams
So it’s been a while since I last blogged and a lot has changed since then. Hopefully this blog will quickly bring things up to speed and set the scene for a series of exciting new posts I have in the pipeline.
After moving to London a couple of years back to join the New Entrepreneurs Foundation programme, I then spent a large part of last year in my first role at a startup company. It was great, it was painful, it was an eye-opener and ultimately it didn’t work out!
We parted ways after some quite frank conversation and a mutual understanding that it wasn’t a good fit. That one gets it’s own blog later!
I then spent some time working on my own projects while searching out my next venture. I re-worked The Startup Story website, and learnt the basics of mobile app development, building my first iOS app in Swift 2.0. That was fun and great self-development but was really more of a nice distraction and a stop-gap before finding my next role. A role which I hoped would make a significant impact upon my ambitions towards building and running my own business in the future.
At the start of 2016 I joined Employee Republic Limited, a brand new startup based in central London, with a mobile app called Yapster, aimed squarely at the enterprise sector. You can read more about Yapster on our website here (https://www.yapsterchat.com).
I’m super excited to have found Yapster and the team behind it. It’s a fantastic product and a real opportunity for me to get involved in an early stage venture and team where I can really take ownership of parts of the business, help build a fantastic product, and be a key part of the story as it unfolds.
Yapster is basically a mobile messaging app, designed to bring workplace benefits to staff on the frontlines, those who don’t have a company desktop, or even a work email address maybe. Some of our early clients have refereed to it as “WhatsApp for business”, which is quite a compliment in many ways and alludes to how well they receive the concept and compare it’s quality to the very familiar WhatsApp. The purpose of Yapster though is not just to help companies maintain and enhance their culture through great comms, but also to deliver better sales and customer experience, through empowering staff to better enjoy their roles and working days, take ownership of their place in the business, and share ideas.
At the time I joined Yapster, I was first employee after the two co-founders. My role is a hybrid mash-up of product owner, business development and project manager, and the breadth of responsibility and exposure to business critical decisions is immense. We now have a team of 6, and a number of founder-clients including the Breakfast Club (chain of café-restaurants in London) and Ryman (the stationary chain).
The decision to join this particular startup and the founding team was a big one for me. Finding the right opportunity and right fit is key to my personal objectives on the road to my own startup success. I’ll be covering my decision to join Yapster, and the two co-founders in particular, in a separate blog post soon after this one.