Posts by Dan

Dan Zaitsev Building Augmented and Mixed Reality startups and products

How I’m building Augmented and Mixed Reality startups and products

February 21, 2019 Posted by blog 0 thoughts on “How I’m building Augmented and Mixed Reality startups and products”

Starting from 2018 Augmented and Mixed Reality markets have been growing very fast. Many of new AR / MR companies and products are becoming very popular, such as: Magic LeapPokemon GO, LEGO® AR Playgrounds, INKHUNTER, etc.

I’ve decided to share my background and where and how I can help you in Augmented and Mixed Reality verticals. So, I jumped into AR market at the end of 2013 when I was developing apps for Google Glasses.

A little bit later, I was invited to join Looksery startup as a Product Marketing Manager. Looksery allowed to use different facial lenses and masks through AR experience. From my side I did my best to make sure this startup grew as much as possible. I had done a tremendous amount of work in terms of ASO, SEO and promotion of the app which resulted in its raising to the top position of the AppStore and Google Play. You may have heard that at the end Looksery was acquired by Snap inc. for more than $150M.

After Looksery / Snapchat I went on to work on new Augmented Reality startup called ROAR. This is a self-service Augmented Reality Platform that allows to build own AR experiences without any coding skill. I’ve prototyped, built and scaled this startup from basic idea and PoC to a highly profitable company. Right now you can find ROAR at the top positions of Google Search with thousands of users loving it and lots of information in media outlets.

In 2019, I started to work on my own side-project / startup Catchar — the world’s largest Augmented and Mixed Reality community. Users of Catchar are able to share, promote and discover the best AR lenses, apps and campaigns.

Below, you can find the list of services that I provide related to Augmented and Mixed Reality verticals:

  • Consulting of Augmented Reality startups and companies
  • Management and creation of AR mobile apps and websites (based on HoloLensMagic LeapVuforia, ARKit, ARCore, WebAR)
  • Organizing and management of dev teams (developers, UX/UI designers, 3D artists, etc.)
  • Consulting regarding development of your own AR technology (facial, surface, object and image recognition, SLAM, etc.)
  • Consulting regarding creating Augmented Reality experiences, AR content, campaigns and lenses
  • Planning of steps and strategy for AR products and projects
  • Prototyping and realization of UX, wireframes
  • Recommendations regarding UI design for AR apps and websites
  • Creation and realization of marketing and growth strategy (Promotion, SMM, SEO, ASO, Announcements, PR, etc.)
  • Monetization of Augmented and Mixed Reality products and projects
  • Investment strategy for AR products and projects


So, feel free to reach out to me if you need to build your next Augmented or Mixed Reality
startup or improve the one you already have. I will definitely do my best to help you create the best product on the market. Looking forward to working with you.



dan zaitsev side projects startups

Do we need even more low quality side projects?

November 20, 2018 Posted by blog 0 thoughts on “Do we need even more low quality side projects?”

Hello everyone who is reading me 👋

You know, lately I have been noticing different makers trying to launch tons of products with 1-2 features only. Yeah, sure I know everything about MVP, PoC, etc. But c’mon guys, are these real tech products that are capable of solving users’ problems?

Having said that, I do understand that launching side projects can serve as a way to earn quick money in a short term perspective. But in any case, you have to make sure that people can actually use those projects / products. Unfortunately, my observations prove that product usability (when it comes to side projects) is neglected more often than not: in 90% of cases all side projects have terrible UX and UI. Plus + tons of bugs and issues.

Also, I am very disappointed with what’s happening on ProductHunt. The frustrating thing is that some side projects that were made on the leg within 1-2 nights are getting hundreds of upvotes while other unique products which were made from scratch by using proper tech stack are located somewhere at the bottom of the list.

Please, stop creating low quality products with horrible UX/UI that contain only 1-2 features. If you remember a book “Zero to one”, also try building something unique and useful.

My personal conclusion… If you are a tech guy who feels like building up a new side project / startup, try to create a product that people would love to use and willingly share with friends. Even if this means rolling up your sleeves and taking a long term approach. In such way, both makers and users will end up benefiting tremendously.

scammer angel list fraud

How I almost got scammed on Angel List

October 18, 2018 Posted by blog 5 thoughts on “How I almost got scammed on Angel List”

Hi everyone and thank you for reading my post,

I want to share with you the story that happened to me on AngelList (i.e. Some scammers have tried to fraud me and charge more than $12,000 🙀, then they have tried to get equity of my startups / side projects that I’m working on right now.

For those who do not want to read all this post, here is some brief information on how to avoid scam on the internet regarding investment opportunities:

  • Avoid emails from random domains. Big VCs and asset managers will not send you a request from @gmail or @yahoo 🙂
  • Check the contact person’s name and company name through Google and social media networks
  • If you have found a contact person with the same name on the web, contact directly to clarify your conversation and make sure that it is a real person (you can even attach the screenshots of messages with investment opportunities)
  • Once you’ve clarified all information, I totally recommend requesting a video call or personal meeting face2face. Note, that not a single investor will agree to provide you with investments without having a personal meeting or long discussion to understand risks, goals, etc.
  • You shouldn’t provide any documents (except some generic presentation or pitch deck) via email, chat, etc. I recommend to sign off the documents only with lawyers during personal meetings.


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Here’s the full story


Everything happened when I got a notification (summer 2018) from AngelList about investment opportunity into my startups and side projects. The conversation started in form of a talk to real investors, we exchanged the contacts, emails, I presented self into and pitched information about startups and projects. See the screenshot below of the first email I got after the conversation had been moved from AngelList to email.

Scam Fraud Angel List

What’s funny is that they attached some documents and account statement with a huge balance available on their account. These documents looked very impressive. Take a look…

scam fraud angel list documents

I was excited about this opportunity, because it was AngelList and previously I had heard some good feedback from this source. But then, first of all I started to think about this random email, such as: In addition, I wondered why they sent me such private documents. Then we had a lot of different conversations and they requested to provide a presentation and pitch deck about the product / startup. This was fine, I didn’t see any risks there by providing some generic presentation, especially when it is already available on the web and SlideShare.

The major risk and signal was when they proposed me $2,000,000 of funds as loans at the rate of 4.5% annually and pushed me to open the issuance of the surety bond. They sent me some scam website This website looks terrible, they don’t even have SSL certificate. The price for opening a surety bond was $12,000.00.

Needless to say, I turned down this offer 🙂 But I was still curious about this fraud and what will be next. I told that I wasn’t ready for loans. They asked me about equity and I answered that this could be the best option and suggested discussing this opportunity. They offered me a 25% stake in the company for $2,000,000. Sounds like a dream 🙂 The next step was to prepare and send them LOI Letter. I knew that to make a proper LOI I should spend around $500 – $1000 for lawyer fees.

Since this fraud scheme was going on for quite a while, I decided to stop this game because didn’t want to waste time anymore. So, I answered them that I would like to schedule a video conference call or meet them in person. These scammers got furious and started to talk some bulls#^&@t something like “ we gave you a huge opportunity, you are delaying this deal, bla-bla-bla”.

So guys, to avoid risks and optimize your time, just ask for a video conference call or meeting face to face. Believe me, this will make scammers back off. They will immediately stop harassing you.

What’s funny, they sent me some phone number with notes, like: I can’t make a video call I have a full time job in some bank and let’s make just a phone call… LOL.

These scammers tried to reach out to me a couple of times more. But I ignored all their next messages.

After several months, I’ve got a new request on Angel List (C’mon Angel List, is it some kind of joke? Again?). The funny thing is that this time new scammers have sent me a passport of some U.S. person. Hah…

scam fraud angel list documents

I asked them for a video call through Zoom or Skype and they immediately stopped fooling me. Below, I want to share with you these profiles of scammers, so that you can be aware.

Scammer profile #1:
Scammer profile #2:

I hope it’s been useful and my story will serve as a warning to watch out for scammers.
Please feel free to leave comments or ask me any questions.

Best regards and be careful,

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