Why Fugo Joined The Family

Zuka Kakabadze, Camilla Chesham,
Co-Founders, Fugo

Setting the stage

Since launching Fugo around two months ago (where does the time go?!) we have experienced a steady increase in new user registrations. Fugo solves a universal business problem, and our users come from a diverse set of industries from all over the globe: one day we are on a call with a chiropractic clinic from the rural Netherlands, and the next we are demoing our software to a S&P 500 company from New York. It never fails to amaze us to see the creative and varied applications our users achieve with our software.

So, our users really like Fugo. We get it, we do too. But we now have to make a choice, do we want to be just another digital signage CMS that only allows users to display images, videos, and weather apps on their screens? Or do we want to fundamentally change the way businesses use their screens altogether?

The answer is the latter, so with this in mind we started to idealise how we could take Fugo to the next level and help businesses meet the real challenges the modern and new post-covid world brings.

1 in 2 screens sold everyday end up not in people’s living rooms, but in businesses as digital signage. Even though screens are becoming popular communication tools, they are still criminally under-utilized.

We believe that screens will become a key element of the new post-COVID digital world. Whether it’s your local corner shop, or a huge office space, you will start to see more of them populate public spaces. However, businesses do not currently have the right tools to utilise screens to their full potential, and that’s where we come in.

Currently there is little to no middle ground when it comes to digital signage. You either have a crazy overpriced professional set-up with all the bells and whistles, or a sad smart TV plugged with ugly and ineffective USB sticks in a failed attempt to create DIY digital signage.

So before you rush off to login to your Amazon account and start buying shit loads of USB sticks and flatscreens for your company, remember this - you can do so much better, and even become a true media magnet, using Fugo.

1. 🔥USB Stick Hell: Too many businesses still use USB sticks because the alternative solutions out there are just so bad it makes us cringe and so overpriced it makes your nan cry: With Fugo’s ease of use and affordability we will make digital signage accessible to one and all, especially SMBs who are so often lost in the USB Hell. Fugo will show them the path to enlightenment and screen serenity.

2. 🐻🧊Polar Bears: We want to reach out to businesses that still use printed posters and show them that with Fugo they can turn any screen into a digital poster. Not only are printed posters really bad for the environment (think of the polar bears guys!) but they are terribly ineffective. We are tired of reading Christmas offer posters in January and seeing sunny summer drink ads in the autumn rain. We want more; we can do it better!

3. 🌋Stone Age: We know screens are powerful machines, but digital signage is kinda stuck in the last century as they lag behind Web and Mobile technologies. My mobile phone, for example, knows which app I’m going to open before I even pick it up and I can guarantee your browser knew your wife was pregnant before you did. Web technologies are smart and always offer relevant and timely information, unlike digital signage that still runs on Joe's CMS built in 1999. That's why too often they show irrelevant information, or sometimes nothing at all. But with Fugo AI tech we want you to show the right message, at the right time, at the right place to the right audience - without freaking people out.

P.S., it’s ok - the collected data is completely anonymised and here to serve you, my friend!

4. 👑Integration is king: Playing just images and videos on your digital signage is like eating a cereal bar for breakfast for the rest of your life. Sure it is tasty and convenient, but it’s not gonna really fill you up and you’re inevitably going to get bored eventually and want more. As the business software ecosystem evolves and more and more businesses become digitised, data moves from excel sheets to SAAS applications, which creates further digital signage content automation opportunities. Fugo wants to integrate with as many apps as possible, because business software within Fugo enables us to create amazing digital signage experiences for users from any industry.

5. 🎌Hello Mr Yakamoto: But here at Fugo that is not enough, we want to go even further. Imagine you walk into a shop and you’re looking for help to buy a new laptop, but you don’t know which one to choose yet. Now imagine a digital signage welcoming you and helping you to choose the laptop of your dreams by talking to you as if human, answering your questions, and guiding you to purchase. Now let's get real crazy - imagine this technology is available not only to the big boys on the high-street, but for small businesses as well. The advantages of this are endless. First and foremost you would always be able to offer a customised instore service at scale. Secondly you will never have to train another Karen again!

Enter The Family, stage left

When our team (finally) sat down for all of 0 seconds after launching Fugo, we realised something - we still had a lot to build, and we had to build it now.

We also realised that in order to cause a tectonic shift in the industry we needed a partner that not only knows how to build scalable tech businesses, but one that never shies away from what others think is impossible.

That’s when we received an offer from The Family...

Who is The Family?

The Family, contrary to popular rumour and belief, is not associated with the Mafia (or at least we don’t think they are…) The Family is, well, a family - masquerading as an accelerator that prepares start-ups in a very short period of time to achieve their true potential by giving them top notch no-BS guidance and access to awesome networks and investors.

However, unlike other accelerators, The Family is a long-term and strategic partner with a tight knit and super experienced core team that empower entrepreneurs to build repeatable, scalable, and profitable business models.

Not to mention they are pretty darn cool, down to earth, and absolutely bonkers.

We were never a big fan of accelerators that chase (another) Crypto, SaaS, AI blockchain, or a buzzy hip start-up. But in the Family, they value business fundamentals more than the hype, and that got us pretty excited.

What The Family offers

The Family provides fuel and direction by bestowing us with a network of founders, other amazing businesses, and investors. This is however (like all good things) not without its price, and they will become a minority shareholder. So before accepting the offer we thought about it long and hard. By which we mean for all of one cup of tea and a slice of cake.

The program consists of an intensive and varied 6 weeks, where start-ups not only get their shit together, but also prepare for an epic investor demo day. The feast of all feasts.  

The program is currently run remotely (given the pandemic) but on the bright side, this means we get to spend more time working on Fugo alongside the program and that everyone from our disbursed/remote team can participate.

The Family appreciates that our product and our customers are the priorities for us, and does not make any activities mandatory. It’s up to you how much you get from the program.

So far the thing we have really noticed is that they cut through all the crap, and give truly actionable advice. Unlike other accelerators, The Family’s small core team makes you feel valued and feel less transactional, and more like a family!

Being a part of The Family does have its rules. It is based on meritocracy, and once you join The Family, you can never leave it (unless they kick you out.) A bit like the Fugo family really.

Also, we’ve heard some wild rumors that The Family parties are straight up legendary, but we will believe it when we see it.

The Family has a strong reputation among the VC/Angel investor community, and start-ups that complete the program always get attention. Even if you don’t raise funding on the demo day, the program allows you to kick off a series of conversations with the potential investors that can lead you to raising funds at a later stage.

Choosing the right investor is more of an art than a science, and it can make or break a start-up; mastering it comes with practice. That’s why The Family’s strong fundraising track record is absolutely crucial. They will fight for your reputation and make sure, after signing that term sheet, that you don’t become an employee in your own startup :D, true story…

Before The Family we thought that given COVID, no one will be willing to invest in anything or to anyone, we were wrong! The market is oversaturated with investment cash and start-ups are raising funds at higher valuations than ever before.

Raising funding is not for every business, but we at Fugo decided that we want to achieve a lot and quickly, and as a result we are now looking for an adrenaline injection to build products that will quench the thirst of our users.

End scene

Well, not really. We see this collaboration with the Family as a beginning, so stay tuned and watch this space to see how things progress. Exciting times lay ahead.