Context is king
- Emre Sokullu, Founder & CEO

GROU.PS Inc is an innovative social technologies studio based in Istanbul with a proxy office in Palo Alto, CA.

Our flagship product is GROU.PS which is a leading social groupware platform that allows people to come together and form private or public interactive communities around a shared interest, work or affiliation. The functionality of any GROU.PS group is limited only by the members' collective imagination and ambition. The GROU.PS platform is used to create a wide variety of community sites, including online gaming forums, e-learning classrooms, fan clubs, charity fundraising campaigns, college alumni societies, and event planning portals. In short, any organization seeking to aggregate and organize people online can greatly improve its effectiveness, engagement and appeal by migrating to the GROU.PS platform. By giving any user the ability to create an easy-to-use, yet powerful, social network, GROU.PS is propelling online collaboration, communication and content sharing in a new socially aware direction..


Vision

Democratize online community-building and enable everyone to monetize their content and groups.


Management

Emre Sokullu, Founder & CEO

Sean X. Yu, CFO


Financials

GROU.PS Inc. is privately held, with 50% of revenues outside of the US. The company raised venture capital financing from Golden Horn Ventures and TIMAR..


Apps

People, Blogs, Forum, Chat, Photos, Videos, Wiki, Events, Funds, Groups, Files, Links, Music...


Headquarters

Palo Alto, CA and development offices in Istanbul, Turkey

Sample Groups

Available.fm: www.available.fm


Business Model

GROU.PS is free to a large proportion of group founders and affordable for the rest, with subscription revenues strong enough to keep GROU.PS growing rapidly.


Users

9 million registered members registered across the 200,000 groups created since 2006; 20,000 of them are active.


Main Group Themes

Education

Gaming & Fantasy Role Playing

Entertainment

Non-Profits

Professional (Internal Collaboration)


Member Growth

Key Milestones

2005

November

GROU.PS development began in Palo Alto, during Emre's visit to the USA. Emre spent his days at Starbucks coding the early prototype and writing a business plan.

December

Emre returns back to Turkey.

2006

February

GROU.PS launched. Featured on Digg on its first day of launch; 1,200 members signed up in a single day

February

GROU.PS, still a one-man show, flooded by interview requests by US investors.

March

US investors pass (mostly because the project is out of their geographic focus).

June

Emre meets Cem Sertoglu, the first advisor of the company. Cem was a founder of US based corporate alumni social networking service, SelectMinds.

June

With Cem's help, Emre gets a business visa for a trip to the USA to explore investment opportunities and grow the team.

November

GROU.PS reaches 30,000 members.

2007

February

Turned down by investors, Emre gets a part time job in the US for a work visa. Development slows down.

May

GROU.PS gets a new home page and reaches 50,000 members. The company is still ridiculously a 1-man show.

December

Golden Horn Ventures, Turkey's first venture capital company, shows serious interest in GROU.PS. Talks start.

2008

January

Golden Horn Ventures decides to incubate GROU.PS with $30K in initial funding.

February

GROU.PS contracts a designer. Emre is now back full time.

March

Soon-to-become very popular Videos module is born with a YouTube only backend.

March

GROU.PS now has more than 100,000 members. A new completely redesigned home page launches.

June

GROU.PS landed $500K in Seed funding

July

GROU.PS introduces Flash video hosting and conversion a la YouTube (but white label).

October

The new videos module drives meteoric growth. Servers burned! Downtimes.

2009

February

Staff grew to 6. Services back to normal. Site became much more reliable.

April

Product innovations continue. ActivityRank launched.

June

GROU.PS landed $1.5 millions in Series A funding

June

Reached our 1 millionth user

August

Our new Istanbul office is in Mecidiyekoy.

December

In less than 6 months, the site gains another million of members.

2010

March

GROU.PS integrates with Yahoo Groups.

May

Reached the 100k groups mark

October

Launched subscription plans

November

Made our first acquisition: Social Project LLC

2011

November

Signed a termsheet for $3 million in Series B funding from TIMAR Ventures

February

Transfer of TagWorld and Social Project groups initiated

March

Formation of a professional customer support department

May

Moved to our new Istanbul office in the Levent district

July

Official launch of subscription services.

July

Launch of TheBook template

July

Availability for iPhone

July

Launch of mobile app generator for Blackberry and Android devices

2012

February

Gross Profitability

May

Launch of LoveBucks, a new content monetization method for our publishers.

May

GROU.PS reaches 10 million members.

November

Net Profitability

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