FOUNDED BY FOUR UNIVERSITY students on April 18 last year , makromusic, a social media platform for music lovers, has reached two million downloads in Turkey in less than one year. The platform, where users with the same music taste come together, aims to conquer the European and the U.S. markets in the social media league, according to Ataberk Ozaydinli, co-founder of the company.
Defining makromusic as the social media of music, Ozaydin said the company already became profitable after a very short period. The platform, which is integrated into Spotify, allows users to match with other users who are listening to the same song or podcast. The users can also post about their favorite songs and stay connected with others. Following its launch, the company was established in the U.S. and began offering Premium options. After a short while, the company saw an increase in revenue and finally started making profit.
EYEING THE GLOBAL MARKET
“We began receiving investment offers for makromusic after the first month of the launch,” said Ozaydin, who has been publishing monthly statistics of the platform on his blog. Although the platform was popular among venture capitalists and angel investors, makromusic decided to go with Omer Erkmen, an individual investor. After a month, makromusic received its first investment with a USD 2m valuation. “We needed this investment to hold tests in foreign markets,” said Ozaydin. Now, the company aims to snatch a second investment to reach its goals in the European and U.S. markets.
Although makromusic is very new in the ecosystem, it has ambitious goals. “We want to be one of the leading platforms among global leaders like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram,” Ozaydin said. “We know that we have a long road ahead of us, that’s why we weren’t overcome by languor when we had our first investment because we knew that it was just a stepping stone. We have ten-year plans for this project, like being integrated into other music streaming platforms like Apple Music and Deezer. We want to physically operate in the global market.”
Having multiple project ideas, Ozaydin reached out to his now co-founders Atakan Gulbahar and Aybars Gocerler. Gulbahar and Gocerler, Ozaydinli’s former high school friends, became interested in his ideas. That’s how the story of makromusic began.
Although the makromusic team was no stranger to the startup ecosystem, none of them had any idea about software or coding. All of them are self-taught software developers, while simultaneously marketers and PR representatives. “The main thing was to work on our projects and fund the digital marketing expenditures and the website through the revenue we generate from our projects,” Ozaydin said.
LEARNING FROM FAILURES
The first project was an automation-based system called the Makro Social, which allowed merchants to reach their potential customers. The team developed Makro Social in seven months and had a lot of success at the beginning. “But the platform as making automated transactions for the user, which Instagram doesn’t allow,” Ozaydin said. “But with this failure, we experienced developing a software product. We took off by simply writing code and saw that it wasn’t supposed to be like that. We saw that we needed an architecture and structure in terms of software.” “So, after struggling for seven months, we realized that if we are going to be integrated somewhere, we have to do it legally,” continued Ozaydin. The team moved on to makromusic in December 2019, when Altan Ozlu, the fourth co-founder of the company got involved. Ozlu was experienced in software development but he didn’t know anything about mobile applications. So, the team went through a 2-week Bootcamp where they learned about different software languages. “It was easier this time because we knew what we needed to do, so we diverted our studies in a specific direction,” Ozaydin said.
FOURTH TIME’S A CHARM
makromusic was the fourth startup launched by Ozaydin, who currently studies software engineering at Istinye University. “My time in high school was spent mostly on projects about entrepreneurship,” Ozaydin said. He made his first attempt after he graduated high school. He was the co-founder of a content platform consisting of 60 people. Although the platform failed, Ozaydin reaped some fruits as well. “I experienced not being able to manage a team and understood that it was healthier to have a team structure for the processes to run more smoothly,” he said. Later came his second startup. Being an e-sports player himself, Ozaydin launched a coaching platform for e-sports players. This was the beginning for Ozaydin, as he began learning from his mistakes on the road to run a successful company. “This project taught me that it was too early for such a platform in the already developing sector and in terms of scalability, I saw that I didn’t want to do that,” Ozaydin said, who later realized that he wanted to create a platform that works fully-integrated with software.