Montreal’s ooomf Launches, Raises $500,000 in Seed Funding

September 5, 2012

9:00 am

Today, Montreal startup ooomf is launching in public beta and announcing $500,000 in seed funding, led by Real Ventures.

Ooomf gives app developers that extra push to get over a few major hurdles:

Creation. Developers can solicit feedback on key features, like app icons, design, or slogans. In the future, ooomf plans to let developers offer incentives for users to participate, like testing the app before it hits the app store or getting credits for in-app purchases.

Founder Mikael Cho was struck by the significance of user feedback when he entered Montreal’s FounderFuel accelerator (for a different idea). One week into the program, after talking to existing customers, mentors, and another startup in their industry, the team realized their idea had no legs. If developers use ooomf for early feedback, he thinks, they could avoid making the same mistake.

Marketing. Even if you don’t want user feedback on ooomf, you can still list your app as “Coming Soon” – kind of like a movie trailer. Cho also negotiated a partnership with Startup Weekend to encourage participants in the US and Canada to sign up for ooomf.

Cho himself went through Startup Weekend Montreal in February. He was disappointed to see a bunch of cool apps that never materialized afterward, like Hummit: you hum into your iPhone, and it plays the song back to you. Again, ooomf tries to help these developers follow through and get past the initial prototype.

Discovery“The biggest day for an app is launch day,” explains Cho. An app’s performance following launch not only affects rankings, but team morale. But too often, apps completely fall off the radar. “On average, they’re making 50 cents an hour because nobody sees that app,” he adds. To solve this, ooomf offers users a chance to discover apps based on their persona, like “hustling innovator” or “traveling nomad.”

This problem is also being tackled by Chomp, an app search engine acquired by Apple in February, and AppTap, an advertising network. There’s obviously a lot of competition, but ooomf knows a thing or two about standing out from the crowd.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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