09 Feb 2017 by Teodor Scorpan in Startups

My name is Teodor and I’m from Republic of Moldova. The whole startup story is very long. I’ll need more than one article to talk about everything we went through and learned in our startup journey. So I’ll start from the moment that gave birth to Baro.io .

About 1.5 years ago, from the time of writing this article, I was developing an email alternative Gest.xyz . It had a web client that could be accessed from your browser, and two mobile apps, one for Android and the other one for iOS. All of them had all basic functionalities of Gmail, the only difference was that instead of email addresses you used cell phone numbers to send emails.

It’s really difficult for such a service (that could be used by everyone) to find your initial target market. We had a few assumptions of initial audiences to test. Since we were mostly focused on coding we needed a tool that could automate the testing of our assumptions. We’ve found a tool Usetoro it was useful for us. It used Facebook Ads to A/B test your assumptions for audiences and your creatives (messages, images). It automatically adjusted budgets and focused it on the best performing target audience. We’ve managed to use it for one month because it was acquired by Google and closed in June 2015.

While working at Gest I met wonderful people, and one of them that I want to give special thanks to is Ion Arventi for his support and help in sales. We both had an awesome sales adventure in Bucharest, Romania.

The story of Gest.xyz was not bright. It eventually failed. There were a lot of factors involved in its fail, but most of them came down to not having cash flow to pay for servers. But when Usetoro was closed we started to remake this tool as a side project because it was a pretty useful tool. This is how the first version of Baro was born. It was a service that could optimize your Facebook Ads for mobile apps.

Here I’d like to mention two of my friends Valerian Nechiforov and Alex Bolbosenco They were the first to believe in me and Baro. Valerian helped me with the initial sales of Baro. We went together to a conference in Odessa, Ukraine to do sales. Alex helped me with the first version of Baro’s frontend. But since building a startup is not an easy task, we could not manage to stay and work together. Valerian is now in US and Alex is in Romania and both of them are having a good life.

Later, Ion Arventi suggested to contact Victor Grosu who turned out to be the best team member and who later became the co-founder of Baro.

The Pros for this type of service concept for a startuper:

  1. It solves a real problem. We faced it on our own
  2. It’s clear to whom you can sell this service
  3. It has the opportunity to bring in money from your first client

The Cons:

  1. This service depends heavily on Facebook
  2. Need to educate people about your service

How to name your startup?

  • Be as short as possible
  • It has to be pronounced and written easily, without any mistakes, in every language
  • Be easy to remember
  • Avoid names that contains a sequence of repeated letters
  • Start with a letter between A and G, to be on top in alphabetically sorted lists

Since we didn’t have a huge budget for a domain name we completely avoided short .com names, since most of them are not available or are premiums. We came up really quickly with the Baro name. It was taken from the word Barometer, Baro meaning pressure from Greek word “baros”. The .io was getting popularity, especially among developers. We used Amazon’s Route 53 service to check domain availability – baro.io was available. Amazon’s Route 53 has the cheapest .io domain names on the market at $39. Recently, we’ve found out that word “Baro” has interesting meanings in other languages, but I’ll leave this one for your own research.

Tags: Advertising Startup