“In their own words” is a series of interviews with some of our alumni about the stage they were when they joined our programme and where they are now.
Today, we are joined by Petr Boros the CEO of Retino, a platform for e-shop owner to manage returns effectively.
At what stage were you when you applied for StartupYard?
We already had a very early product that was used by a few early pilot customers. We had no revenue. We had processed a couple of returns. We had some general idea about what we will do, but no clear strategy.
At what stage are you now?
We have 100+ merchants using our system, in 4 countries. We have revenue. We have processed tens of thousands of returns. About 1% of Czech eCommerce flows through Retino!
How much money have you raised since leaving StartupYard?
We have raised a seed round with angel investors Martin Rozhon and Jiri Hlavenka, who are legends of Czech eCommerce and local top tier business angels. StartupYard also joined the round and increased its stake in Retino.
How many jobs have you created so far? What kind of jobs?
Retino consists mainly of a development and business team. So, developers, sales reps, marketers and customer support. Our team is <10 people and we fit nicely in a beautiful office in the Prague’s best district (pay us a visit!).
What has been the most challenging experience when growing the company?
You see, with software development, everything is under your control. With business/sales, it is less so, but still, you manage to get some expected results from appropriate work done. With fundraising, at times, I thought this was completely out of my control. That was challenging for me. I guess you just have to persevere, do your best and keep your team in good spirits.
What are you the most proud of so far?
1. Our team, which is composed of highly competent people, who are also good friends.
2. Managing to partner with the largest local eCommerce platform quickly, which substantially boosted our business.
3. Getting two legends of Czech eCommerce on board as investors.
How did StartupYard help you?
First of all, there was the program itself. I think that the biggest benefit of the program is the networking part. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – for a startup, there is no faster way of meeting 100+ important business people in this region.
This alone would be enough.
But then, some year later, we started fundraising and StartupYard has come to help again. Nikola (StartupYard COO) was super-helpful with navigating our deal. He went well beyond what we could reasonably expect, and we would not be able to raise as fast and as good on our own.
So, thank you, StartupYard.
What would you say to someone who hesitates to apply for our next program?
Stop hesitating now, so you have more time to work hard and earn your spot with StartupYard. They usually take less than 10 startups in a batch. I promise you, you will not regret it – we surely don’t.