August 7, 2020
Propel Alumni are pretty amazing. One company, Oliver POS recently announced closing a 3.2M seed round - pretty impressive traction for a company that’s two years old. Propel Startup Coach, Charlotte Murray, caught up with Mathias Neilson of St. John’s based, Oliver POS to chat about how Propel helped him and his company in his startup journey.
Oliver POS began as a result of a problem that Mathias needed solved. When he was building webshops, many of his clients were asking for a POS system that worked with the webshop he was building. “We could never find one that suited, so we decided to build our own”, laughed Mathias. He sent out a survey over Facebook to see if there was any interest in their solution and he got huge feedback. “We just knew we had to try and that’s where we started building Oliver.”
Mathias applied to Propel’s startup program and was accepted into Phase 2 in October 2019. When he started the program, he wanted to really nail down Oliver’s identity and figure out it’s Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). “I remember learning our Ideal Customer Profile and seeing that was big for us”, added Mathias. Throughout Propel accelerator, he used his coach as a sounding board and appreciated the valuable feedback from all of the Propel Coaches.
While the Propel framework is the same for all founders, the experience can be customized for individuals based on what their company needs at the time. When asked how Propel has helped where they’re at now, Mathias answered, “Propel was definitely part of a bigger thing that we've been working on and was key in our ability to express ourselves better.” When Mathias started the company, many of the investors he spoke to didn’t completely understand what Oliver POS did. In Propel’s accelerator, he spent time learning the nuances of identifying his ideal customer and increasing sales, which influenced his storytelling. He learned how to leverage his customer traction and thatskill in pitching which better positioned him raise investment. Since completing Propel’s Accelerator, Oliver POS closed a 3.2M seed round with European Angels which will set him up for continued growth.
Now, after completing Propel Phase 2, Mathias has some valuable insights for anyone applying to or starting Propel,” Be sure to use the mentorship opportunities provided and know what you want to get out of the program.”