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Disrupt Startup Malta. Part 3: How to Start up in Malta?

This is third and final part of the series dedicated to Disrupt Startup Malta Conference, organised by MCA in collaboration with StartUp Weekend Malta and TAKEOFF Business Incubator. In this part we’ll look into 6 maltese startups telling their story, how to startup in Malta.

Altaro Story

Altaro Revenue

Altaro Revenue

Altaro is offering a B2B solution for systems backup, mostly focusing on SMEs. Although today Altaro’s revenue shows a “dream curve”, startup went through a long journey of bootstrapping and optimizing.

The company started up with its founders’ own funds of approx. 45 000 €, all purchases were second hand and both company’s and personal expenses minimized.

Here are some lessons learned, shared by founders Steven and David:

  • The most important – focus!   Everything that doesn’t generate revenue or is just “nice to have” must be cancelled or outsourced.
  • Lear how to say NO! NO to products and features, new markets, unrelated requests and unnecessary funds.
  • Resellers are really important – they bring you to customers you won’t be able to reach yourself.

Oulala – fantasy football

Just recently Oulala has launched a monetised version of their fantasy football game. Even though in USA the industry is huge, in Europe it’s just started to emerge. The biggest challenge for the startup was – explaining what their product is about both to investors and customers. Oulala it is “game and big data in sports”.

// Read more about Oulala Fantasy Football and Big Data startup in Malta – about Malta, Investments and Talents //


Trackerbird – is a software analytics tool that helps software companies to know, what happens with the software after people download it. They started back in 2010 and spent 2 years of R&D. By now Trackerbird has processed up to 30 million installations and recently turned profitable.

The company’f founders bootstrapped a lot – working from parents house for 3 years and selling own staff to pay company’s bills.

Advice from Keith (cofounder of Trackerbird):

  • Validate at first as much as you can, use your network to get first clients. The real validation starts with them!

Disrupt Startup Malta Conference

Mighty box – the board game

A startup began as a fun project, but has quickly become a full-time job. Mighty box creates board and digital games and it’s founders lead a faculty of Digital Games in Malta University.

Mighty box was a winner of Takeoff Seed Fund Award in 2014, this funding helped to market their crowd funding campaign for new boar game Posthuman – that brought startup 346 000 € instead of 29 000 € they were hoping for.

Marvin (co-founder) shares his experience:

  • Kickstarter – it s a not free money! It is a lot of work. It took 5 month to prepare and market campaign, establish partnerships with people in the industry.

//Read more about Malta’s Kickstarter Kings //

Hot jar – as hot as it gets

Today Hotjar is preoccupied with A-round investment campaign, but just recently it had a huge problem – problem of scale. However, it’s not what you think it is, in Hotjar world the problem is in the fact that they had too much clients (up to 40 000 as of July 2015) and they couldn’t manage all the requests. The problem is solved and now 129 million requests per day are processed by amazon system.

Hotjar offers website analytics and feedback tool that combines heat maps, visitors recording, conversion funnels and more. Startup was “crowd-funded” by it’s clients, who saw a real need for the product.

David (co-founder) found it hard to gather a top-talent team in Malta – that’s why the whole team is working 100% remote from all over the world.

// Read more: How to get 83 000 users and 1.5 million revenue in 1.5 years – Hotjar recipe of success. //

Discount IF

Discount IF is based on a simple idea “what if you can get your money back on everything you purchase?”. It’s a e-commerce platform, combined with “I bet” experience.

The  biggest problem for the company – was finding investments in Malta. Now startup is preparing for is its crowd funding campaign on Seedrs.

<Download or print this article from Google Drive>

Some more reading:

Coming soon: Jeff Lynn, CEO and co-founder of Seedrs, on how to succeed in a crowd funding campaign.

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