28 February 2018 was the day our platform launched officially, but the process behind and what followed after was like climbing up and down the hills. With Hasbi Asyadiq (founder & CEO) and Anita Yustisia (co-founder & CCO), we're tracing back our footprints for the past three years.
2017 – the beginning of it all
"Assemblr actually started off in 2017 as an idea from a design sprint session in my former workplace, Octagon Studio. After that, it was developed into a prototype," Hasbi explained.
Inspired by the AR gamification from Pokémon GO and the building blocks from Minecraft, Hasbi created the prototype for 3 months – all by himself. Every day, day and night, he dedicated himself, as he was deeply passionate about it.
As soon as the prototype was finished, Hasbi ran the internal and closed beta test for the public. Surprisingly, it received a lot of great feedback as well as impressive traction.
"We finally released the first-ever Assemblr for Android users in September 2017, and the rest of the story was amazing. Once, we even managed to hit 27,000 daily active users."
Y Combinator – a blessing in disguise
Hasbi, along with Anita and Risnandar were pretty confident with all the records and decided to take a big, big leap. Applying to Y Combinator was one, and surprise – the trio were even invited for an interview session!
Despite not being able to secure the seat, it eventually became the start of something new. A blessing in disguise, to be exact.
"We went back to Indonesia, then we started to reach out to the founder of PAYFAZZ, Hendra Kwik on Facebook," Hasbi shared. "We knew that Payfazz was the only Indonesian startup to join YC at that time."
After getting to know each other, Hendra was excited about Assemblr and saw tons of potential for the platform. Eventually, he even introduced the trio to an investor – all the way from Singapore!
Seeking the opportunity, Hasbi and Anita went to Jakarta to pitch and do fundraising to the investor. "The process was extremely long. We started at 5 P.M and wrapped everything up at 2 A.M," Anita laughed.
But, what made Hasbi and Anita stunned was, they got offered the commitment term sheet along with the amount of investment right at that night! "I still remember signing the paper at 1 in the morning," Hasbi recalled.
It took them six months to finally receive the funding, but the process was worth the experience, especially since it's Hasbi's first time to do fundraising.
And in August 2018, using the funding they just received, Assemblr finally had its own office in Dago, Bandung. Still our beloved office even up until now!
Reshaping the purpose
Up to the end of 2017, everything went well for Assemblr. However, the traction that was once pretty significant eventually kept sinking. After analyzing the core of the problem, they realized that what they did was only a temporary hype.
"In the end, we don't think a company could last long if we only laid our foundation based on the hype. That's why in 2018, we switched our lane and turned Assemblr into an AR use-case-oriented platform," Hasbi explained.
At first, Assemblr started to partner up with enterprises to solve their problems. However, along the way, another idea popped up in their minds. They decided to create a platform that empowers people to be able to create their own AR experiences.
"Through our platform, we want to let people know that AR is not gimmicky. You can use AR for your daily activities, either it's for your business or personal life," Hasbi said.
In light of their vision, which is #ARForEveryone, they tried to keep the broad users in mind. Simplicity is a must, so everyone can easily access our platform.
Based on that idea, they provide Simple & Classic Editor on Assemblr – editors with a simple layout, but tons of functions within it. Then, they also decided to release Assemblr Studio & Assemblr EDU – each of them designed to complete everyone's needs.
The story of the three
Anita still remembers the day she got introduced to the prototype that Hasbi made. Back then, she was his co-worker at Octagon Studio as well.
"I think it was around May 2017, if I'm not mistaken. Hasbi sent me a video sample, and I was captivated at the first sight. It was very unique," she recalled.
Right at that moment, Anita knew she had to help Hasbi to do the prototype together. "I couldn't miss out this chance," she added. Therefore, in search of new challenges, Anita decided to jump into the project.
"Anita is the founder of a well-known drawing community, Sketsa Pulang Kerja. Since she had this experience in building a community, I think she's a good addition to our team. Approaching a small community is crucial for us," Hasbi explained.
And to top it off, Hasbi also asked Risnandar – still a junior Unity developer in Octagon Studio at that time – to join the line-up of the co-founders. According to Hasbi, Risnandar is a fast learner and he has tons of potentials within him.
Long story short, the founders of Assemblr were assembled, consisting of two guys with a technical background and a woman with creativity running through her blood.
On Assemblr & their wishes ahead
"Assemblr is my life," Hasbi said while smiling brightly. "I love the product, I love the people, and I love the culture. I am fully committing my life to it."
For the past three years, Hasbi even thinks that Assemblr has been inseparable from his personal life.
Anita also strongly agreed with what Hasbi previously said. "I think there are no boundaries between my personal and professional life. I honestly never thought that I would reach this point, but I think Assemblr is not merely a job. Personally, it's a whole responsibility," she said.
However, Hasbi has grown fond of the process and the challenges. "Nothing could ever top this opportunity, and I couldn't ask for more."
"For me, Assemblr is like my second home. It's as if I'm not working at all. Every day at the office feels super duper fun, especially with all the people here – it doubles up the fun," Anita added more.
Regarding their wishes for Assemblr on its third anniversary, they both have their own interesting thoughts.
"Although we never know where life brings us to for the next, next years, I think we'll always find the best way for Assemblr. I will always enjoy the process and challenges. One thing for sure is, I do hope that Assemblr can be used massively and be useful for all people," said Anita.
While for Hasbi, he wants to accelerate the growth and find the product market that fits in.
"Someday, I believe Assemblr will be the must-have AR platform for everyone. However, to achieve that, I know for sure it's not one person's success. It takes a whole team to fight and achieve more, so that we will succeed as a whole," Hasbi concluded.
In Assemblr, we believe that all people – including you – can create and present your own AR experiences. With an easy-to-use application, Assemblr empowers people to implement AR in any occasion. Interested to unveil more possibilities of AR? Download Assemblr now, available in App Store and Play Store!