Olapic chief: Success stories like Buddy Media’s light the way in N.Y.C.

E-commerce service Olapic is the brainchild of Pau Sabria and a team of Columbia Business School grads.

The Manhattan-based company, which last month acquired San Mateo, California-based rival Piqora, helps brands boost sales with user-generated images from social media. Olapic aggregates images submitted by users via social media. The tech took off as these platforms — Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook — began incorporating “buy it now” features.

Among Olapic’s backers are Felix Capital, Unilever Ventures, Fung Capital and Longworth Venture Partners. Underneath that is a true New York City startup story as early funding came from incubator NYCSeedstart. Collectively, investors have put $21 million into the company. So far, it’s been able to carve out a niche for itself and accumulate more than 200 clients, including Birchbox, Calvin Klein, Coach, Men’s Wearhouse, Pepsi, World Wrestling Entertainment, West Elm and Target.

Sabria, 33, moved to New York City from Spain. He currently lives in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and says it takes about 40 minutes for him to get to the Olapic office by way of the East River Ferry to Wall Street, followed by a Citibike ride around the southern tip of Manhattan. Read on to discover where his favorite haunts are and why N.Y.C. is fertile ground for any new venture.

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