Demo Day Asia is hosted by Google for Startups, where some of the region’s most outstanding startup founders gather to pitch to top regional and global investors on stage. Each year, Google brings together a group of compelling investable companies from around the Asia Pacific to highlight innovative technology and drive investment.
This year top-notch startups from all over the region applied to be a part of the second Google Demo Day Asia and TelloTalk was one of the 11 startups selected from the Asia Pacific from amongst thousands of applicants including: India (Matelabs), Vietnam (Kyna), Indonesia (Wahyoo), South Korea (Yolk), Japan (LilyMed), Australia (Talkiplay), Hong Kong (Soundbrenner), China (Modoo), Thailand (Glazziq), and Singapore (Anywhr).
TelloTalk is an all-in-one chat application which is a Dynamic, Secure, Local and Integrated platform that includes everything from messaging, localized stickers, customizable emoticons, regional Pakistani language keyboards, music and news absolutely free. Incubated in the 7th cohort of The Nest I/O, TelloTalk raised USD 400,000 in seed funding and generated revenue of USD 320,000 in 2018.
“When you have worked with a startup and seen them mature and grow, it is extremely fulfilling to watch them pitch in the international arena and get serious attention from international investors. Shahbaz did just that. So proud to see Tello Talk well on its way” – commented Jehan Ara, President P@SHA and Founder The Nest I/O.
The finalists of Demo Day Asia 2019 travelled to Bangkok where they took part in Google for Startups Demo Day at the Techsauce Global Summit. They received three days of mentorship, programming and networking to help them grow their businesses, culminating in a much anticipated pitch, where the finalists had a chance to share their business propositions with distinguished judges, including Jeffrey Paine from Golden Gate Ventures, Justin Nguyen from Monk’s Hill Ventures, and Shannon Kalayanamitr from GOBI Partners.
TelloTalk may not have brought home an award but they came back with many useful insights not just for entrepreneurs but the entire startup ecosystem.
Selling Pakistan is Just as Important as Selling Your Startup
According to Shahbaz, he had to spend more time “selling Pakistan” than any other participant due to lack of information in the audience and in doing so, it distracted from the product itself.
“We also observed that even after displaying the sheer size of the opportunity in Pakistan, people were apprehensive and a bit cynical of any digital success over here (in Pakistan). This holds true not just for investors but partners as well” – Shahbaz Jamote, Co-Founder & CEO TelloTalk.
According to Shahbaz, startups that are focused on hyper-localization are of lesser interest to the international audience than startups that have a product that can go global from the very first day.
Shahbaz believes that Pakistan has a great chance of winning next year, especially startups that are focusing on EdTech/MedTech. However, they must add the globalization opportunity and get process or device patents.
“Being part of Google Demo Day Asia was one of the highlights of our company’s brief history. It truly allowed us to calibrate our performance according to international standards, and allowed us to view our growth from a global lens. Google provided a fantastic mentoring and coaching support system that helped us polish our pitch with a razor-sharp focus and communicate with a confident and clear stage presence. We are eternally grateful to the Google for Startups Team, and above all, to The Nest I/O for aiding young startups with the opportunity to cross the learning gap and eventually become the best possible versions of ourselves” – Shahbaz Jamote, Co-Founder & CEO TelloTalk.
About The Nest I/O
A project of P@SHA, The Nest I/O was set up in partnership with global partners Google for Startups and Samsung, and with a supporting grant from the US State Department. The Nest I/O has also partnered with Ilm Ideas 2 and UK Aid to support incubation of startups working in the education-technology space.
For a complete list of The Nest I/O startups and what they do, click here.