On March 26th, Rio de Janeiro accelerator Papaya Ventures hosted a launch event to introduce its first class of startups to the local ecosystem. Dubbed Angel Day, the organization planned the event with a very specific goal in mind – raising money.
Papaya set out to raise US$25,000 (R$50,000) for each of its four startups to aid in the task of user acquisition. Over 50 investors attended the event, rendering the task plausible but by no means easy.
This week, Papaya announced success. Not only did it meet its goal of US$100,000 (R$200,000), but it actually surpassed it significantly. The organization managed to raise US$155,000 (R$310,000) in investments as a result of Angel Day.
“This is much more than we expected and makes us very happy. It is a market stamp of approval that we are creating quality startups,” said Daniel Pereira, co-founder and COO of Papaya.
With these funds in hand, Papaya and its startups will move forward to the next step of the acceleration process. Pereira explained, “Angel Day marks the beginning of the second part of the program, where startups come out of the qualitative learning phase and start the quantitative learning phase, using user masses to learn through analytics and A/B tests.”
All of the four startups currently undergoing Papaya’s first acceleration program have launched and are gaining traction. Entertainment recommendations app Boosk and fashionista startup Dujour have been featured in the App Store for several weeks. Public transport app Buus and table seating system u.sit have signed their first contracts and are generating new leads.
We’ll see the final results of their work at Papaya’s first Demo Day in June. In the meantime, the accelerator will continue work with its first batch of startups while at the same time seeking out new companies for its second program, themed Mobile B2B, for which it is accepting applications now.