Georgian-based startup Wempler, a platform designed to connect users with skilled service providers for everyday tasks, has successfully closed its pre-seed financing round with a total of $310,000. Aleksandre Tavkhelidze, Wempler's co-founder, announced the news via LinkedIn.
"At inception, it was an uphill battle for us to attract investors. The initial 100,000 GEL we received from Shark Tank was depleted in just three months, and subsequent fundraising efforts were largely unfruitful," said Tavkhelidze. "We pursued a grant from GITA (Georgian Innovation and Technology Agency) but were unable to progress to the final stage on multiple occasions. We even faced investor feedback suggesting that our business idea was antiquated and previously unsuccessful. Despite this, we remained steadfast in our belief that Wempler had potential."
Following nearly 20 failed grant applications, the startup received its first tranche of funding from BTU's student program, marking a turning point for the company. "We were financially strapped and had even taken out a loan to keep operations afloat. But a small win in BTU’s 5,000 GEL student contest opened new doors. This was followed by a triumph in the final stage of the GITA grant and a victory in the 'Media Lab' competition. Consequently, investors began to take notice," Tavkhelidze recounted.
In August, Wempler secured $200,000, successfully closing the pre-seed round with a total of $310,000—exceeding its initial target of $300,000. According to Tavkhelidze, the funds will be primarily used to tap into the latent potential of the Georgian market, starting with Tbilisi. "For the first time, we can focus on growth without the specter of financial strain looming over us," he stated.
Outlining the company’s future strategy, Tavkhelidze added, "If all goes according to plan, we aim to make our foray into Azerbaijan by the end of 2023, laying the groundwork for broader expansion."
Launched in April 2023, Wempler's app facilitates the outsourcing of a wide range of tasks—from cargo hauling and painting jobs to dog walking—by connecting users with qualified individuals. The platform has already amassed 10,000 downloads within its first week on the market.