HackFwd invests $250k USD in Filmaster


The Filmaster team spent the last weekend on Mallorca. No, we did not get much sun-burn, as we were not on vacation. We went there to finalize the deal that was just announced by our investor, German company HackFwd, which put 191.000 EUR (about 250.000 USD) into the service, with a valuation of 636.000 EUR (around 1 mln USD).

HackFwd logo

What is HackFwd?

As we can read on company’s site:

We’re experienced tech entrepreneurs looking to support and invest in Europe’s most passionate geeks. We’re a pre-seed investment company designed to enable great people to launch great ideas. Our start-up and support process accelerates the route to beta, profitability, and success.

HackFwd is often being compared to the US programme YCombinator, but frankly it has little to do with it. It’s a unique approach to investing, merging the benefits of a seed accelerator (mentoring) and a traditional Venture Capital.

What is Filmaster?

Filmaster is a movie discovery service helping you to find new interesting films that match your taste. The mobile app suggests movies shown in local theaters and helps to interact with movie lovers in your area. The website adds an option to run a movie blog with reviews, following other users and engage in discussions about cinema.

How did it happen?

Lars has a quite unusual approach to investing. He seems to believe that at the beginning of a startup life, the team and the innovative ideas have a greater value than a well-defined business model. A good technical team (verified by a Codility test) and a prototype of an app or service, is what’s crucial at the beginning to grab HackFwd’s attention.

Borys Musielak describes the process of getting funded in these words:

When describing Filmaster for HackFwd, we focused on the interesting ideas that we can implement based on our recommendation algorithm and the exciting new services we can offer knowing the movie tastes of our users. This, in addition to the great score in Codility test and a good presentation of the team was probably crucial for the success.

Signing the deal, from the left Borys Musielak, Jakub Tlałka and Paweł Czerski. Lars Hinrichs on the right.

David Bizer, Talent Geek from HackFwd, explains why HackFwd invested in Filmaster:

HackFwd invests first and foremost in people. Borys and his co-founders, Pawel and Jakub, at Filmaster are a dream team. Bringing together a strong product vision, exemplary technical skills and a lot of passion, this team is poised for success.

Lars Hinrchs, the HackFwd founder, adds:

Great engineering talent with a very well prepared prototype in a growing market.

Plans for the future

Our priority for now is the new version of the website (the preview is available now at filmaster.com) and an update to the Filmaster iPhone app with the TV recommendations feature. Android app is coming soon as well.

But this is just the beginning. In a long term, we’re planning to create a few independent apps based on the Filmaster API, but targeted at different user groups. One of the most ambitious concepts is a movie discovery game in a SecondLife style designed for iPad. We’re looking for ideas that are innovative and disruptive, with potential to become a world hit just like Zynga games, Foursquare or GetGlue.

You can read about our current plans on this blog, or by following Filmaster on Facebook and Twitter.