Blogo: Blogging from Brazil

Latin American startup tackles blogging on Macs

Aspiring to become the number one choice for bloggers operating under Mac OSX, Blogo is indeed a light and very appealing app. According to Amure Pinho, 31, co-founder and Blogo’s CEO, the software is much more than just a word processor: it is a full-featured solution that goes from blog writing to multiple blog management, including image editing.

Amure is a veteran when it comes to startups. Before investing his time and money in this new venture, he had already been an angel investor for over nine tech companies in Latin America and owned his own very profitable software developing business. All his experience and know-how helped Blogo to become one of the finalists at the Evernote Platform Awards as Startup of the Year.


How did you make the transition from an IT service provider and angel investor to startup owner?

AP: While investing in startups and working in our own company, my partners and I met Ivan Neto, Blogo’s original founder. Meeting Ivan felt like becoming friends with an idol, because we were already Blogo fans. That was the turning point, because we had found both something that captured our attention and the perfect partner. Therefore, we decided to invest not only our money but also our time. Blogo’s first version was entirely redesigned since we started working on it in June 2013.


What is Blogo?

AP: Blogo is the best and fastest way for a blogger to blog. To blog isn’t just writing, but it´s to look for references and study them in order to attract readers. In addition, it is a marketing initiative which requires content management, photo and video editing, clipping, cutting and writing.  A blogger can’t just write, even though it is what professional bloggers love most. Blogo understands that and that’s why Blogo is the best, because it is the cornerstone of a blogger´s day-to-day life. And it is the fastest because it integrates all these activities into one piece of software, one app.


Tell me about the market. After all, loving it or not, an app has to sell. It is a business, isn’t it?

AP: There are over 300 million blogs on the internet, 20 million bloggers – professionals and amateurs. We also considered into our pool of prospects people who are not bloggers, but who work with content directly or indirectly.

20% of all internet blogs are based on WordPress – that´s why we decided to start with WordPress support and, in the months to come, we will add support to other platforms on our app. Tech Crunch, TED and CNN as 22% of the web run WordPress. We are not limiting ourselves to WordPress, however. Soon there will be versions for Blogger and other platforms.


Ok, I can understand clearly why you chose to start with WordPress support. But why Macs?

AP: Mac OS X is an operational system for desktops. We discovered that bloggers still prefer desktops because it is simply better to work on them rather than on iPads or other mobile devices. The blogosphere has adopted Mac. The most influential bloggers work with Mac and that is a publicly known fact. Furthermore, the Apple market is mature when it comes to buying habits: users are accustomed to buying through the Apple Store.


What were the technical challenges you faced during development?

AP: We were used to developing apps for mobile devices. To develop desktop applications is very different: there are few developers with real experience in native Mac programming. There is less support available, less documentation. Users are less demanding when it comes to details and design quality regarding mobile apps, but that’s very different when we talk about apps for desktops.


Who are Blogo’s competitors? Isn’t the problem you are trying to solve already being solved by someone else?

AP: Mars Edit is one example of a doppelganger. It was created by Daniel J., who’s been working on his product since 2009, but with a different focus. Daniel is worried about bridging a past generation of bloggers to the present. He´s not focusing much on the new generations, and that’s awesome, because in a way we are developing complementary products.

Ulysses and Byword are text processors that are clean, easy to work with, and have been growing. Byword, which is connected to Wordpress, represents a bigger threat. Wordpress itself and its mobile version and app do too, but we are unique. We offer that “all-in-one” solution, not only a text processing tool. WordPress and Tumblr still don’t have that kind of solution, neither do our close competitors.


What is the growth engine behind Blogo?

AP: Bloggers blog. We have one of the main sources of viralization on our side. On the other hand, this is something not to brag about: one slip and it is all gone. We have to make sure our clients are being well taken care of. They will write about us, that’s for sure. We firmly believe that our growth is well secured in the hands of bloggers if, and only if, we can give them a quality product and a timely answer to any problem regarding the app.


You used Evernote as one of the key elements in your growth strategy, am I correct?

AP: Last year we attended one of the TC Disrupt events, in California, and visited Evernote’s headquarters. We met really interesting people, including Chris Traganos. He loved Blogo and we realized that Evernote was the perfect alternative for our users to work on their ideas via mobile devices and then, on their Macs, just synchronizing everything with Blogo. It was perfect.


I heard that you are moving to California with the whole team. Why are you leaving Brazil?

AP: Our market is outside LatAm. We need to go after a more mature blogosphere. Our investors are out there, too. We need to be closer to our partners and to our end-users, and they aren’t in Brazil nor Latin America - they are in the US.


What are the positive and the negative aspects of working in Latin America?

AP: Regarding Blogo’s development, the downsides of working in LatAm are to find investors and to actually operate a global business in Brazil. Labor force is cheaper, but it doesn’t really make up for the lack of supporting policies from our government. The positive aspect of being in Latin America is that we feel at home and I believe that we have a creative startup ecosystem, which drives innovation - but doesn’t sustain it.


How was Blogo chosen as one of the finalists at the Evernote’s Startup of the Year contest?

AP: It was a public nomination. Our friends, beta testers and people who know us helped us get there. After the first phase, which was public nomination, we were selected by a jury of qualified professionals. It was already a great achievement for all of us to be one of the finalists and now we are one of the three startups competing for a U$ 25.000 prize.



Frederico de Azevedo Aranha is a Marketing Graduate with a Post-graduation in Project Management and a Latin American entrepreneur. He would love to receive your feedback: