When users would to post to the photo-sharing site Instagram, aside for posting a link to it on Twitter, that’s all they could do. There was no way for users to communicate directly through Instagram.
That is where Mexican entrepreneur Cristian Castillo came in. Looking to fill the need for a private messaging service on Instagram, Castillo developed instaDM. Though the application was initially a web app when it was released a year ago, with the help of his brother, it was eventually developed it into the iOS app many have been rushing to download.
When it was still just a web app, instaDM saw a peak of 62,000 visits in one day, and that is when he decided it was time to develop the idea further.
The iOS app has seen amazing success as well, especially considering it was only launched on Apple’s AppStore on March 29, reaching 150,000 downloads in just 6 days.
Calling himself a serial entrepreneur, Castillo worked on a number of apps before finding his way to instaDM, including a Web to SMS message service. In only four months, that service saw 10,000,000 SMS sent, with 300,000 visits and over 1,000,000 daily pageviews.
What makes Castillo’s success even more amazing however, is the fact that he’s done it all without investors, using one thing to fund another.
He recently tolg Business Insider, “We currently do not have any backing from investors. It has been profitable since we placed ads in February.
Also, we’ve received over 865 in-app donations since launch.”
He adds that by creating a number of apps himself and not using investors he’s able to “fail quickly, and move as needed.”