Innovation, Startups and Venture Capital in Iceland

Avo becomes first Icelandic company to be selected for Y Combinator

Avo, the SaaS company preventing human error when implementing analytics, is the first Icelandic company to be accepted into Y Combinator, widely regarded as the world’s best accelerator. As part of the program, Y Combinator invests $150,000 in the company. Avo (then as Viska Learning), previously raised a $1.2m seed round from local investors Brunnur and Investa.

The company was founded by several former employees of QuizUp, which raised more than $40m in venture financing from investors including Sequoia Capital and amassed 100m users before being acquired by Glu Mobile.

“Every company is already or will soon be using analytics through tools like Amplitude, Segment, Looker, Google Analytics or even their custom pipeline,” comments Stefania Olafsdottir, co-founder and CEO of Avo. “The problem is, humans suck at implementing analytics.”

According to Stefania, the team ran into this problem at their previous workplace QuizUp. “We ended up building our own, in-house analytics validation tool to help us alleviate that.”

The Avo team: Stefanía, Sölvi, Þóra, Árni Hermann

Later, when the team had founded another company they ran into this problem again. They couldn’t believe they would need to build internal tools for this again, so they started investigating what friends and colleagues were doing.

“We found that a surprising amount either had this problem and hated it, or fixed it by building similar tooling to what we had done at QuizUp,” Stefania adds. “To us that meant we had something.”

And seemingly, the partners at Y Combinator think they have something as well.

“I always wanted something like this at Airbnb,” Gustaf Alströmer, former growth lead at Airbnb and currently partner at YC commented in a statement.

“The constant problems we had was analytics implementation being mistakenly removed while refactoring or launching new flows, misspelled event-names leading to incorrect funnels that took until next release to fix, and poor knowledge of where you look up the meaning of events for other teams. Avo solves all this!”

While Avo is the first company from Iceland to be accepted into Y Combinator, they’re not the first Icelanders. Ari Helgason, currently principal at Index Ventures, participated in YC with his company World on a Hanger (Winter 2012), and Ingvar Helgason was at YC recently with VitroLabs (Spring 2017)

Avo was recently featured on Product Hunt.

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