“I was a full-time musician and hobby programmer before I came here, and now is the other way around. I’m happy to have a guitar next to my desk though,” smiles Chavdar Donchev, who came back after nine years in China, to start working at Smule as an Automation Engineer.
In 2018, ten years after it was founded in the US, the musictech company Smule decided to open its first office outside the Valley. So, they came to Sofia.
In one short year, Smule managed to bring together software engineers, marketers, creatives, and even musicians from Bulgaria and abroad and set up a fully operational product team. Currently, a bit over 120 people are working on the main product of the company, which is a musical app that allows around 50m people from all over the world to sing together via smartphone – a technology backed by 60 patents. Recently, the team in Sofia started also working on breathing in new life into another app – AutoRap that, as the name suggests, turns speech into rap.
As the local team features people with quite different roles and backgrounds – some developing apps, others – web presence, thirds creating marketing campaigns for users from five continents, not even two days in the company are alike.
“Everything here happens really fast, you need to be very adaptable. But the team is also a great support in learning new things and finding new ways,” says Vera Dimitrova, a Lifecycle Marketing Manager, who’s responsible for the communication going out of the app, aiming to increase the users’ retention, engagement, and monetization.
A day in Smule may start with feature testing, analyzing data, shooting videos, and end up with an in-house concert. In any case, it seems to be all about hard work, cutting edge tech, but also fun and community.
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