Tech Pitch: Hopper hq

Recognising Instagram's value as a marketing device, Hopper hq is the innovative Insta management tool saving brands time, money and hassle

Company name: Hopper hq
Founders: Mike Bandar (27) and James Vardy (30)
Background: Bandar and Vardy are the founding partners of the UK start-up studio Turn Partners. With Bandar’s background in marketing, sales and enterprise and Vardy’s background in product design, development and start-ups, the duo are now leading team at Hopper hq.
Based in: Birmingham and London.
Launched: September 2015

Very simply, what does your tech start-up do?

An Instagram scheduling tool, Hopper hq enables users to create, plan and post content in advance though simple yet powerful web and mobile apps.

Individuals, brands and agencies save time, money and hassle scheduling through Hopper hq, improving their visual communication and audience engagement on Instagram.

Marketeers can manage multiple accounts from one Hopper hq login, upload images and videos either individually or in bulk, schedule captions and first comments or save to drafts to complete later. Instagram feeds can be designed by a range of views including by calendar, grid and queue view.

Once a post as been scheduled the rest is up to Hopper hq. The system will post automatically to Instagram at the specified time.

Tell us why there’s a need – what do you disrupt?

Scheduling for social media is widely used across other platforms however there wasn’t an offering for automated Instagram scheduling. Brands on Instagram cited the lack of scheduling for Instagram as a huge time drain. Others said it as one of the main reasons they had reluctantly avoided the platform despite its growing popularity.

Although other large scheduling tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite now provide scheduling for Instagram, this remains as a ‘reminder service’ where users are sent a notification on their phone for them to post manually. Hopper differs by posting automatically to Instagram.

Hopper hq’s automated system accesses Instagram on your behalf on secured servers just as a social media intern would. As a result Hopper hq remains fully inline with Instagram’s terms of service and doesn’t utilise their private posting API.

Hopper hq’s current exclusive focus on Instagram has enabled us to develop the tool to provide deep and specific value for marketeers on the channel. This enables brands to fully utilise Instagram rather than have it as a bolt-on service where marketeers are encouraged to share similar communication across platforms, despite these being consumed in different ways.

As well as time saving, Hopper hq enables brands to take a more holistic view of their Instagram to ensure content and feeds remain consistent and engaging.

Is Hopper hq funded?

Not conventionally. Hopper hq is part of the UK-based start-up studio Turn Partners, where it was supported and funded internally.

Hopper hq launched in September 2015 and grew to serve thousands of customers across 55 countries within just 12 months. Now profitable and used by some of the world’s largest brands and agencies, Hopper hq remains a bootstrapped business reinvesting for growth.

Hopper hq also received £100,000 from the regional growth fund to support the creation of new jobs and making the business more sustainable to keep them.

What were you doing before you started Hopper hq?

Some of Hopper hq’s core team previously worked on other ventures within Turn Partners.

Turn Partners is a start-up studio focused on the acquisition, turnaround or creation of digital businesses. Founded by Bandar and Vardy, Turn now owns and operates three core businesses including Toyboy Warehouse, the UK’s largest toyboy dating site, which it acquired and turned around in 2013. The studio also invests in other projects and start-ups.

What’s the best thing about being based in London and Birmingham?

The majority of the Hopper team are based in Birmingham, with some in London and others working remotely. Having a dual location enables us to benefit from both of these great cities.

Birmingham has a close-knit and thriving start-up and tech community. The city is extremely accessible, supportive and economical when growing a team (the food scene is also excellent!).

Being in London gives us immediate access to some of the world’s best social media marketeers. With this we’re able to regularly meet and learn from our current and prospective customers to make sure we’re always adding value.

Working in multiple locations means we’ve built up an essential culture of strong communication to ensure everyone is up to date. This continues to play dividends when working both internally and externally.

See Startups’ free guides to learn more about starting up in Birmingham and London

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