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Y Combinator school helped grow movie service 20% a week – Vibescout


Attending Y Combinator’s online Startup School has helped South African startup Vibescout to grow its movie aggregator 20% week-on-week, up 8 000 users since it’s launch on the 19th of May.

Jonathan Myburgh, co-founder of the South African events aggregator platform, announced on Monday that the startup had graduated from the 10-week programme, which commenced on 5 April.

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Myburgh was one of 2 820 applicants (of which 16 were from South Africa) who graduated from the programme. Over 13 000 entrepreneurs applied to be part of the programme.

Key at the school are weekly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) meetings. One of the main projects to show a positive KPI growth for the company was its movie aggregator which allows users to see information regarding the latest movies they want to see and the nearest cinema they can view it at. Thanks to its implementation, the company has grown its weekly users by 8 000.

“It took roughly six weeks to get an MVP release and from that, we’ve had amazing user feedback,” said Myburgh.

“This has been growing 20% week-on-week since it’s launch on the 19th of May. We didn’t realise it at the time and it wasn’t even our goal, but we are now officially the largest movie aggregator in South Africa with over 688 screens from 94 Cinemas,” he continued.

He said it was quite stressful for his team was to have weekly KPI’s around boosting growth and added there were times when the startup didn’t meet these and instead received negative results.

“We did well for the majority of the course, some weeks showing up to 69% growth on the previous (week), but we did have negative growth weeks as well. I think the most important part was making sure we had the correct KPI’s and measuring them correctly with actionable insights.”

‘He was great, down-to-earth, charismatic, entertaining mentor, definitely a Seth Rogen doppelganger’

The format of the Startup School involved 20 startups clustering into groups supervised by a mentor. Vibescout’s mentor was Fred Stevens-Smith, the CEO of Rainforest QA, a quality assurance company aiming to help others deploy bug-free websites. Stevens-Smith has himself been through the programme.

“I thought he was great, a down-to-earth, charismatic and entertaining mentor, definitely a Seth Rogen doppelganger. What we really appreciated most, was that he wasn’t a professional or ‘trained’ mentor like I think many programmes have. Fred was in our shoes,” pointed out Myburgh. “He was just on a much larger scale.”

Myburgh said one of the major benefits of having Stevens-Smith as a mentor was that he could identify with many of the pain points the startups were going through.

“Despite that he responded to all our emails in detail with really practical advice,” said Myburgh.

He also touched on the stress of having to run a company and still meet the obligations of the Startup School.

“It wasn’t too intense which was great. I think they definitely understood they were dealing with startups and mentors that had high demands from their businesses.”

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