Saturday 14 December 2019

Web Summit: Fake social media start-up VelloBook attracts investor interest

Clare Cullen

Social media start-up ‘VelloBook’ has received some interest from investors at this year’s Web Summit in Dublin – despite being fake.

The joke firm is run by the women from San Francisco-based Creative Digital agency Eleven Inc, and is an ad-based social network with the social component happening offline.

Ki Rubin, Eleven Inc’s Social Media Strategist told Independent.ie “We saw the way Facebook was going, so we said we’d go there first”.

Maura Touhy, the company’s Social Media Director added “Startups can sometimes take themselves a little bit seriously. We thought it would be fun to bring a bit of levity to the Web Summit”.

The fake platform has received some very real interest, and the lduo have had to explain that VelloBook is a parody of Vello and Facebook.

“Some people have been requesting meetings with us, they’re interested and we’ve had to tell them we’re fake... we’ve even had to add #FakeStartUp to our tweets”.

Some have taken the news well, with one investor even offering to fund them with “fabillions”. “We arranged to meet him with a suitcase of cash – that’s been the best reaction so far”.

On the future of VelloBook, the ladies are excited at the prospects. “The social element of VelloBook is talking to other people about VelloBook in real life... We’re taking FaceTime offline – literal face-time. That’s the best way to spread the word because if you go on VelloBook it’s just ads!”

You can follow ‘VelloBook’ updates on Twitter by following the ladies here (@mtuohy) and here (kibird).

“We thought it would be funny to launch on dead platforms like MySpace and Friendster... we’ve decided to focus on one-to-one interactions because most social networks are based on many-to-many – too many!”

“The ultimate goal is aquisiton by Facebook... of course”.

“Worst case scenario, it’ll be a good line at the bar later.... hopefully it will get us into all the VIP parties!” 

 

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