It’s a story we’ve all heard time & time again: European founders launch ambitious consumer-facing product. They get great early traction by Silicon Valley standards, but can’t get European investors to play ball. They board a plane with their dreams stored in the overhead compartment, land in San Francisco, and the cash comes pouring in.
This isn’t everyone’s story, but it certainly was Mindie’s, which, nearly two years ago raised $1.2 Million just 3 months after pivoting from their original app, Ever. All-star investors, all-star traction, and the Silicon Valley got on board. They planned for 1 Million users by the end of 2014, but you’ll be hard pressed to find Mindie on the app store today: it’s been pulled down. The twitter account went silent after tweeting out the ominous “We are experiencing issues we will be back very soon, sorry for the inconvenience.” back in August.
Today, 3 of the 4 founders are working on a new app, one.cash, which they’ve begun testing out on Twitter this week – the app is set to launch later this month; however, from what we can glean, the app allows users to send $1 tips to anyone – they’ve started pinging VCs and even got Yahoo! Tech Editor in Chief Dan Tyman to ping Obama and offer him $1.
Hey @BarackObama, I just sent you $1 with @onecashapp! Get it now on https://t.co/SIfqMX1QbA, it will expire after 7 days ?
— Dan "National Emergency" Tynan (@tynanwrites) November 4, 2015
The 4th cofounder, Simon Coursin, has moved on to work at Twitter as a Vine Engineer, according to his Twitter bio.
one.cash hasn’t launched yet, so I wouldn’t presume to make any predictions about its future; however, Mindie’s story was the rallying cry both for French entrepreneurs in France who couldn’t raise money for their consumer app, as well as for French entrepreneurs abroad who sought validation for their decision to leave France. That rallying cry continues today, despite the lack of concrete evidence that 1) a significant increase in emigration is occurring, or 2) that those who emigrate are particularly entrepreneurial or tech-oriented. All we have for now are examples, and the Internet has a short memory and a poor sense for what it means to follow a story, so it seems necessary to point out that not all that glitters is gold.
Update: I’ve adjusted a few words here & there to reflect the fact that one.cash is not yet launched. I wish the one.cash team the best in the coming months.