From passion to hobby to startup – TechCrunch

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Hi team! Alex here. I will be off next week. Anna, my regular co-pilot in the weekday column, will process next week’s newsletter. That would be more than good. fun!

NS a few weeks ago Focusing on growth, we looked at the results of several startups. Today, we focus on a single company from a collection of startups that we write: Water cooler trivia..

Many startups start their lives as a solution to their problems. Developers find workflow flaws, code their solutions, and later incorporate the hack into extensible products. That kind of thing.

Colin Valdock He turned his hobby into a business and did something different.

Waldock came from a family of six children, which he called a competitive family, hosted bar trivia in college, and then sent weekly trivia questions at work after graduating from school. Did. He maintained his habits during his early career, including stints at Lyft.

It was in his corporate life that Waldoch realized that the company was willing to spend a lot of money on team activities. Like the soccer team he joined during one job, his employer spent some spectacular time, but struggled to find enough legitimate players. If the company dropped that much money on group sports that most of its inhabitants didn’t want, he thought he would probably have the budget to attack with trivia products.

So Waldock launched Water Cooler Trivia, which he and some friends built as a side project as a corporate product that expanded to around $ 20,000 in ARR. The founders described the level of success at the time as pretty good beer money. What helped the project generate revenue was the very low churn rate. This helped Waldock decide to quit his day-to-day work at Lyft and do a full-time side project.

Today, Water Cooler Trivia has reached an ARR worth $ 300,000 and is sporting a gathering of workers around the world to help implement it. Companies can choose the difficulty level of their weekly trivia quiz and use the vertical leaderboard to track employee scores.

Part of the success of the idea in Waldoch’s view is that it is built for the end user (employee) rather than the HR. That means it’s really fun. Today, the company has experienced some churn, but still boasts a net retention of just under 100%. This is ideal for products that do not have an enterprise SaaS level upsell.

And the service is cheap. Frankly, it’s too cheap. A water cooler costs $ 100 a month for 100 seats, which can increase your bill and boost your bottom line in the short term. Waldoch said his company could start raising rates in the fourth quarter of this year. But even without it, water coolers believe they can see significant growth from their core products.

Dig Longevity software that makes life a little more enjoyable.

Drift, Xometry, carrot

It was a busy week Infinite IPO filing When 8 billion YC startups pitch, But others Did it It happens that we need to talk:

I am interested in selling Drift to Private Equity. Boston drift Sold most of the shares to Vista Equity Partners, Announced this week. I’ve been to the drift office because the company lent us a room to record a podcast. The people there were great. But as the company reports 70% ARR growth in 2020, I’m very curious why Drift has raised more capital and hasn’t continued to grow. The company has been in the past, for example $ 60 million roundback in 2018.. Leaving most of the company early feels a bit strange, just as the sale of Gainsight to PE was a bit of a headache. Good news for Boston as this exit may help foster new angel investors. But it still feels like an exit that lacks important details.

Xometry: It’s been in the notes folder for a long time, so I’ll include it here because it’s off next week.I talked to Xometry CEO Randy Altschuler After his company reported earnings a few weeks ago. Remember Xometry Published earlier this year.. Altschuler reports a generally bullish view of the process exposed in the COVID-19 era, allowing his company’s Zoom roadshow to chat with more people while saving travel-related fatigue. I called it efficient.

Xometry, continued: But beyond the standard post-IPO chit chat, Altschuler had some notes that stood out in my memory. First, inflation can impact the technology business. Rising costs are affecting companies like routes that have to deal with used car prices that affect billing costs. Inflation also manifests itself in Xometry’s business, which connects manufacturing demand and manufacturing supply. Keep in mind that macro market conditions are really important in the tech world and are not always an easy way to see them.

Xometry, and more: Altschuler also said he believes a carbon tax at some point is inevitable. This has emerged in our discussion of onshore manufacturing in the United States over time. Shipping costs are high today and will be even higher if you add carbon emissions with taxes. This can make local manufacturing particularly competitive. Perhaps it will benefit those who support more industrial production in post-industrial societies. That’s something to keep in mind for tech companies dealing with goods in the physical world.

And finally, Carrot: Let’s talk about another entry from the note archive Carrots.. The startup raised $ 75 million a few weeks ago, so I asked the company about its growth history and a few other things. Carrot sells products to employers, allowing them to provide birth benefits to their workers.Given the Decrease in human fertility, This kind of coverage, in my view, could become more popular over time.

Of course, other factors are also working, but the last 18 months have proven to be accelerating for Carrot’s business. According to the company, “about five times the overall growth” has been seen in the last six quarters. The startup is expected to reach 450 customers by the end of 2021 and is expected to have a total of approximately 1 million target audiences.

Carrot refused to share the difference between Series B and Series C ratings.Fortunately PitchBook Has data on this issue, so according to the dataset, Carrot’s valuation rose from about $ 66 million (post-money) following Series B’s $ 21 million to about $ 260 million after Series C. Can be reported. This is a good markup for company employees. And the founder.

My general bullishness regarding the growing need for childbirth support is childbirth and “family-building care can and should be the fourth pillar of employee benefits and health care.” It is in line with the spirit of the company mentioned in the email. Medical or dental or vision. One of them is difficult Yes.

OK, that’s all from me for a few weeks. Be safe, get vaccinated and be kind to each other. — — Alex

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