Aston Graduate’s business secures £100,000 funding


9 August 2012

A networking company, founded by an Aston graduate, has secured £100,000 funding from Birmingham City Council’s Finance Birmingham arm and private investors.

Hobzy.com works by allowing users to upload examples of their hobbies to gain feedback, find inspiration and join a worldwide like-minded community. The revenue generation model for the website has a number of strands, including lead generation, selling advertising and encouraging registered users to buy ‘Hobzy credits’ for featured slots, themes and domain names. 

The company, based at Birmingham Science Park, will use the money to help generate 300,000 users. Having already reached the 100,000 user milestone, the expectation is that the business will break even within eight months.

The three founders of the company are all 23 years old. Alex Major, from Worcestershire, is an Aston University graduate. Coventry University graduate Dan Rice and Andy Robinson met at school in Sutton Coldfield. Andy Robinson worked with BBC Apprentice 2012 finalist Nick Holzherr, before the three tech specialists were selected onto the Oxygen Accelerator programme with their Hobzy concept.

Alex Major, Co-founder of Hobzy.com added: “We are incredibly grateful to receive investment at this stage, as we have built a very exciting platform and are all set to embrace a mass market.

“Knitting, crochet, scrapbooking and crafts such as pottery are some of the more popular hobbies being showcased on Hobzy.com currently. However, there are so many untapped markets that we need to target, such as martial arts and other sports.”

With investment now in place, the plans for further development of the site include integration with platforms such as Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and Etsy. A public Application Programming Interface (API) will be launched later this summer to enable third parties to develop applications that can utilise Hobzy.com’s data and allow the site to grow across other platforms. By mid 2013, a Hobzy app will be launched. 

At Aston we work hard to make sure our students develop the skills they need to be successful entrepreneurs. Meet some of Aston's entrepreneurial students and graduates.

For further media information contact Kreesha Pattani, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or k.pattani1@aston.ac.uk