The founder of Cypriot cash-saving app ApoPou talks about Greece’s Dragons’ Den investment

"Our goal is to have all consumers use our platform since they can save money," Vias Stratis, the Cypriot founder of cash-saving app ApoPou says, explaining the reasons why he recently dared to venture into Greece's Dragons' Den to seek support from the show's millionaire investors.

Stratis recently spoke to CBN about his experience on the hit television show, which saw him leave with an offer from entrepreneur Demetrios Mallios, the half-Cypriot founder of Aeon Group, Inc. a portfolio of companies that includes a family of technology-oriented funds, and related enterprises.

The ApoPou founder had proposed, in return for a €30,000 investment, a 6% share of the company and 10% of the royalties on each sale until the €30,000 was recovered.

The final agreement saw Stratis accept giving up a further 1.5% of the company in return for a €30,000 investment, so a 7.5% share of the company and 10% of the royalties on each sale until the €30,000 was recovered.

He had also received an offer from another 'Dragon,' Tassos Economou, the founder and Managing Director of iGroup, an investment holding company with offices in Monaco, London and Athens. Stratis chose to choose Mallios' offer instead.

Can you tell us more about your decision to present ApoPou to Greece's Dragons' Den?

Our goal is to have all consumers use our platform since they can save money. In order to do that we needed to have a huge marketing budget. And since we didn’t have that budget, the idea came to pitch our startup to Dragons' Den.

In order to do that, we needed to have a solid product so we developed a mobile app and a browser extension.

The browser extension is a big part of our business since it reminds the user that there is cashback available to our members.

You can find ApoPou Reminder in the Chrome store.

Can you tell us more about the experience of being on the show, where you ultimately received funding from well-known entrepreneur Demetrios Mallios?

Although I cannot reveal a lot of details about the show, I can tell you that it was the experience of a lifetime.

From the first interview to the casting and finally the live event, it was an amazing experience.

If you are not prepared to answer a million questions, it will not be possible to get an offer. The Dragons are pitched to daily by hundreds of businesses and they know immediately if you have a winner.

Another thing is you need to be relaxed since you are in a stressful environment with all the cameras facing you.

After my pitch, there was a guy pitching who was so stressed that he left and did not proceed with his pitch.


Demetrios Mallios

Further to the above, how do you anticipate your participation in the show will impact ApoPou’s progress?

Because I knew that this would be a huge moment for ApoPou, we recorded real-time analytics from our Google Analytics account and will post a video in the near future.

Just to give you some numbers, we had 4,500 registrations from Greece and 1,600 from Cyprus the night the show aired.

Can you tell us more about ApoPou, how it works and how the idea came to you?

ApoPou is a platform that helps consumers to save money on their online shopping and, in the near future, from brick-and-mortar stores.

Currently, we offer our members two ways of saving money- from voucher codes and from cashback.

Voucher codes are very straightforward. You type the code at the cart before paying and the discount is automatically applied to the cart.

Cashback is a bit more of a complex process but is very easy when you understand the procedure.

It is a three-step process. First, you have to log in to your ApoPou account, which is free to create. You find the store you want to shop from and you redirect from ApoPou to the store. Once there, you shop as usual.

Our software will track the transaction and the store will pay us a commission because we generate a sale for them. Part of that commission will be deposited to your ApoPou account. Then you can withdraw the money to your bank or PayPal account.

The idea was not mine since there are similar websites that operate in other countries. I was a consultant to one of those websites which was based in Brazil and I decided to try this project in Cyprus.

After market research we conducted, we found out that the Cyprus market was not ready for this project so we decided to start the project in Greece with the website

After a successful start, we joined the IDEA Innovation Center, the incubator programme of the Bank of Cyprus, so we created the Cyprus website as well

Is there anything else you would like to add about ApoPou or your other professional plans?

We are focusing now on the seed round of fundraising and we are working to structure an offer which will be as good as the one we are offering Demetrios Mallios.

You can see ApoPou's founder's appearance on Greece's Dragons' Den below (in Greek):

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