Web browsers haven’t changed a lot over the years. In fact, whichever web browser you are reading this article on, most likely follows the same UI with a tab system, which was introduced more than 20 years ago. To completely revamp the way we experience the web, Amsterdam-based startup Stack offers the first tab-less browser, which they also call an “Operating System for the Internet.” The company has now raised fresh funds of €700k in its seed round.
We also have some exclusive inputs from George Laliashvili, founder and CEO at Stack. Laliashvili tells us about the company’s inception, how they acquired funds and much more.
Peak Capital and 500Startups lead the funding
The seed funding round for Stack was led by Peak Capital and 500Startups. The company intends to use the funding to not only grow its consumer user-base and team but also expand its service to enterprise customers worldwide.
The company first met Peak Capital at the Next Web Conference in Spring 2019. “Being based in the Netherlands, we strongly value and appreciate the contribution that the strongest local VC brings to the company. Hence we’re honoured to have Peak Capital with us on this exciting journey,” says Laliashvili.
Additionally, back in mid-2019, Georgia hosted the first local acceleration program by 500Startups. “We enrolled in the program there and shortly afterwards, 500Startups San Francisco got in touch with us and offered to participate in their program as well. This was our chance to become a member of the strong global community of unicorns and expert mentors, which we believe to be extremely beneficial for Stack.” Laliashvili reveals.
Stack: How the side-project became an OS for the internet
Stack actually started off a side-project when the company’s CTO, Zviad (aka Ziko), created his own browser when his previous workplace didn’t allow accessing social media via the default browser. Ziko then uploaded the first version of his new browser on ProductHunt and received notable positive feedback. Hence, the idea of Stack took off.
Stack believes that the idea behind moving away from tabbed browsing is crucial for changing the way we experience the web. “Tabs are the invention of the last century. The internet has evolved a lot since then. It turned from the information highway into a virtual workplace to many people that instead of browsing, spend most of their time interacting with the same web applications every day.” says Laliashvili.
He adds, “Tabs have shown to be quite inefficient for this new way of interacting with the internet.”. Thus, the company moved away from the usual tab experience and introduced a new parallel card system that enables interaction with multiple apps and websites without the need to switch.
Five founders, one project
Stack was founded by five people – George Laliashvili (CEO), Dachi Gubadze (COO), Zviad Sichinava (CTO), David Gavasheli (CLO) and Irakli Pkhakadze (our Chief Software Architect). The founders are all from Georgia and are also long-time friends with previous experience of building scalable companies around innovative tech products together from scratch.
George, Dachi and Ziko initially studied together in the University back in Georgia and they worked on multiple projects together since their first year. Afterwards, Dachi moved to Germany to pursue further studies and then moved to the Netherlands, where he met David and Ika. Meanwhile, Ziko and George launched a location-based grocery ordering app for the Middle East in Dubai but the venture failed and George went back to Georgia. He then managed a state-owned business incubator for 2 years and experienced being a stakeholder of the startup ecosystem from a different perspective.
One of the major reasons Stack has multiple co-founders is said to be because they all offer different skills and expertise. “We know each other well personally and in business and believe that all of us shall be equally interested in the global success of our company,” adds Laliashvili.
Additionally, three out of the five Stack founders had already been based in the Netherlands by the time the company started. Hence, the founders chose Amsterdam as a place to unite in, between Georgia and the Netherlands.
Delaware corp and future plans
Stack is a Delaware Corporation. Talking about the reason behind creating a Delaware Corp, Laliashvili notes, “When forming the company’s long-term business strategy, we knew we would be in need of strong international investors and partners and wanted to have the corporate and legal structure that is equally comfortable for us as founders and for future partners as well. At that time, we knew that Delaware C-corp could have been a great option for the purpose.”
While the fresh funding will help Stack push its product and the company further, we asked the founder what are their future plans.
“As all software products are being shifted from desktop to cloud with an increasing pace, we clearly see the future where personal computers serve solely as input/output devices with very little operational requirements. At that time, the only computer software that a user ever needs will be a sort of gateway to the internet, a launchpad from where one will access all their digital tools, applications and information.” Laliashvili says. “We strongly believe that the world does not need just another internet browser – it needs an operating system for the internet that will run smoothly, intuitively and with the speed of thought. And this is exactly what we see as the future of Stack.”