What is the first role you should hire upon reaching the revenue stage for a freemium app? It’s just me CEO) and my developer and we are making enough after the first month to pay ourselves small salaries. Should we be focusing on getting a business developer/marketer for the first hiree?

I need to ease the burden of the work I do because I think I need to be more focused on strategy and getting investment. Even the legal stuff is taking up a lot of time too.

One obvious role to start considering is business development/marketing director, as I have no expertise in this field and it seems like they could provide a pretty decent ROI assuming they are good. Is this the same as a "growth hacker"?

We also need to start looking for another developer, likely just frontend. But I'm interested to hear what other tech startups tend to start looking for at this stage.

I realise every company is different, especially when my skills as a CEO might be different from someone else's. But it would still be good to get a general idea of what people see as absolutely critical hires at this stage.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Collective, a back office platform that caters to ‘businesses of one,’ just landed a hefty seed round

Americans and other global citizens are increasingly self-employed, thanks to great software, the need for flexibility, and because skilled services especially can pay fairly well, among other reasons.

In fact, exactly one year ago, the Freelancers Union and Upwork, a digital platform for freelancers, released a report estimating that 35% of the U.S. workforce had begun freelancing. With COVID-19 still making its way around the country and globe, prompting massive and continued job dislocation for many tens of millions  of people, that percentage is likely to rise quickly.

Unsurprisingly, savvy startups see the economic power of these individuals — many of whom aren’t interested in managing anyone or anything other than the steady growth of their own businesses. A case in point is Collective, a 2.5-year-old, 20-person San Francisco-based startup that’s been quietly building back office services like tax preparation and bookkeeping for what it dubs “business of one” owners, and which just closed on $ 8.65 million in seed funding.

General Catalyst and QED Investors co-led the round, along with a string or renowned angel investors, including Uber cofounder Garrett Camp, Figma founder Dylan Field, and Doordash executive Gokul Rajaram.

We talked yesterday with cofounder and CEO Hooman Radfar about Collective’s mission to “empower, support and connect the self-employed community” — and what, exactly, it’s proposing.

TC: You previously founded a company and, even before it sold to Oracle in 2016, you had jumped over to VC, working with Garrett Camp at his startup studio Expa. Why shift back into founder mode?

HR: What I saw throughout across AddThis and Expa and my angel investing is that managing finances is hard. Accounting, taxes, compliance — all that set-up as a small business is annoying.

Two years ago, [Collective cofounder] Uger [Kaner] came into Expa and he basically pitched me on a startup-in-a-box-type program that we were talking about building from an incubation perspective, but [with more of a pointed focus on back office issues]. He’s an immigrant like me, and because he didn’t quite understand the system, he wound up having tax penalties — penalties that are even worse when you’re a freelancer. Some startups have come up with a  bespoke version of what we offer, but we were like, ‘Why do they have to do it?’ These are commodities, but if you put them together in a platform, they can can be powerful.

TC: So is what you’ve created proprietary or are you working with third parties?

HR: Both. We’re an online concierge that’s focused on the back office as the core, meaning accounting and tax services. We also form an S Corp for you because you can save a lot of money [compared with forming a business as an LLC, which features different tax requirements]. So there’s an integration layer plus a dashboard on top of that. If you’re an S Corp, you need to have payroll, so we have partnership with Gusto that comes with your subscription. We have a partnership with Quickbooks. We work with a third party on compliance. Our vision is to make this easy for you and to set this on autopilot because we understand that time is literally money.

TC: How much are you charging?

For taxes, accounting, business banking, and payroll, for the core package, it’s $ 200 a month. We are piloting bookkeeping and a fuller service package that’s probably [representative of] the direction we’ll head over time, and that will be an additional fee.

TC: How can you persuade these businesses of one that it’s worth that cost?

HR: There are almost three million people in the U.S. who [employ only themselves and] are making more than $ 100,000 a year and if you think about how many of these [different products] they are already using, it’s a great deal. Quickbooks and Gusto is cheaper with us. You see savings through expensing. The magic is really running your S Corp the right way. Part of that is normal income tax, but you also have a distribution and it’s taxed differently than an income — it’s taxed less. So we pull in salary data and look at expenses and across states, and say, ‘This is what we’d recommend to you based on how your cash flow is coming in, so you recognize this distribution in a compliant way.’

TC: Interesting about this useful data that you’ll be amassing from your customers. How might you use it? 

HR: Our first concern is making sure the right people are seeing it [meaning we’re focused on privacy]. But there’s a lot we can do with the aggregation of that data once we’ve earned the right to use it. Among the things we could do, theoretically, including creating a new level of scoring. If you’re a business of one, for example, it’s very difficult to get mortgages and loans, because credit agencies don’t have the tools to assess you. But if we have your financial history for years, can we represent that you’re a great person, you have a great business.

Another interesting direction as we reach more members — we’ll get to 2,000 soon — would be to use our power as a collective to get our members less expensive insurance, [help facilitate] credit, [help them with a] 401(k).

TC: There are a lot of other things you can get into presumably, too, from project management to graphic design . . .

HR: Right now, we’re want to make sure our core service is nailed.

Think about the transparency and peace of mind that Uber brought to ride-sharing, or that Uber Eats brings to food delivery. You know when something is cooking, when it’s on its way, when it’s arriving. We’ve gotten used to that level of transparency and accountability with so many things, but when it comes to accounting, it’s not there and that’s crazy. We want to change that.

TC: Going after “businesses of one” means you’re addressing a highly fragmented market. What kinds of partnerships are you striking to reach potential customers?

HR: We’re having those conversations now, but you can imagine neo banks make sense, along with vertical marketplaces for nurses and doctors and realtors and writers. There are a lot of possibilities.

Pictured, left to right, Collective’s cofounders: CTO Bugra Akcay, CEO Hooman Radfar, and CPO Ugur Kaner.

Startups – TechCrunch

We have managed to get to the revenue stage with just me (CEO) and my CTO. What are the first roles you should be looking to hire once you can afford them as a tech startup? As I simply can’t do everything apart from dev anymore.

I need to ease the burden of the work I do because I think I need to be more focused on strategy and getting investment. Even the legal stuff is taking up a lot of time too.

One obvious role to start considering is business development/marketing director, as I have no expertise in this field and it seems like they could provide a pretty decent ROI assuming they are good. Is this the same as a "growth hacker"?

We also need to start looking for another developer, likely just frontend. But I'm interested to hear what other tech startups tend to start looking for at this stage.

I realise every company is different, especially when my skills as a CEO might be different from someone else's. But it would still be good to get a general idea of what people see as absolutely critical hires at this stage.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Ask Just Before Into Work From Your Home Opportunities And Franchises

Try to network with business owners to build your connections. This’ll help you carry out lot, including getting in your home and creating a competent support physique. Sometimes, you just need to step out from the computer.

You might get on a nicer schedule but you have fully grasp that anyone learn a new trade or business of which is essentially what you doing possess take on the work at your home job, possess to to perform work while you learn the trade. And considering knowing to work from home, you probably have household responsibilities as well.

TIP! Have your husband or wife and friends avoid interrupting your home business online workday by calling ahead when he would with any tasks. This lets you stay focused on work, including phone calls.

Well, for starters, you get to de-clutter your house and make room all those the baby things. About your house for anything you don’t and won’t need anymore, maybe even those problems that are not child-friendly as well. A Nielsen survey has found an average home the actual United States has about 52 unused items already there worth ,100. Just imagine how much passive income selling your stuff online can generate!

The benefits of nay particular job are the main centers of attraction as as to if one is useful or truly. With that, it is essential ensure you can be aware with the benefits that give the online job. Check to see that it suits the life-style you want and that it does not limit someone.

As you embark on a direct sales work at home business opportunity, costs few choices to get enterprise off a floor. First, you can host groups or individuals. Many people center their businesses on our model. You enlist several friends or family members to host a home party and invite all of a friends. The host provides snacks you present marketing in a sales pitch that feels more for example a party for any group of girlfriends. At the conclusion of the party, each attendee has the chance place a purchase. With a few parties each month, you may make a nice income!

There virtually no reason to investigate an old-school conventional company that hires you. Companies such as Apple, Google, and many retail stores are not going shut off. Almost always, you can assume the checks they pay you won’t bounce, you will be paid about your work, for instance.

Just an idea, what do you guys think about it?

Hi,

As a student, I've talked to my peers and we thought: could one optimize a kitchen garden to grow your garden herbs? Provide it with pH-sensors to check the needed supplementation, temperature sensors, humidity sensors, concentrated UV-lighting and an irrigation system. In addition to that, all of these factors can be reviewed and controlled in a userfriendly interface. For us, it sounded like a watertight plan (this might be a Dutch phrase) and we were curious whether people would be interested in this. Cost-wise, we think it can be done for 95 euro's retail.

Please share your opinion!

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Efty just hit a major milestone – their first 4 million user month

 MorganLinton.com: Well it’s safe to say Efty has had one heck of a summer. Today the popular domain management/monetization/marketing platform shared their traffic stats on Twitter, and like the title says – they hit 4M users over the last month 🚀 This has been a big month for Efty, along with breaking traffic records they also […]
Domaining.com

Just bidding on domain names for shits and giggles

Not every bid is a bid to win MapleDots came back to Namepros and detailed an auction battle that he had with Huge Domains. The domain name was CanadianRed.com and he won the auction at $ 1,280. Huge Domain bid $ 1255 USD for CanadianRed.comI had to go to $ 1,280 to get the domain. I posted this […]

The post Just bidding on domain names for shits and giggles appeared first on TheDomains.com.

TheDomains.com

Peterson Ventures, a firm that quietly backed Allbirds and Bonobos, just closed a $65 million fund

Peterson Ventures, a 12-year-old, Salt Lake City, Ut.-based seed-stage fund, has long operated fairly quietly, but many of its bets have become known brands in the respective worlds of consumer and enterprise software investing. Among these is the shoe company Allbirds; the men’s clothing company Bonobos (acquired a few years ago by Walmart); and Lucid Software, which closed its newest, $ 52 million round back in April.

Thanks to a newly raised $ 65 million fund — more than double the size of its $ 33 million second fund — Peterson has even more money now to write checks in the range of $ 250,000 to $ 1 million in a wide variety of startups.

We were in touch this week with Peterson partner Ilana Stern, whose own consumer startup, Weddington Way,  raised money from Peterson before selling to the Gap in 2016.  Stern, who joined the outfit last fall and is based in San Francisco, shared a bit more about the firm’s newest fund and where it’s looking to shop. Our exchange has been edited lightly for length.

TC: Peterson is part of a bigger platform called Peterson Partners. How many asset classes is Peterson Partners funding?

IS: Peterson Ventures is part of the Peterson Partners platform with funds that invest in lower middle market private equity and search funds. There are over 30 people firm wide, including a four-person full-time investing team [on the venture side. We’ll be looking to add one to two more members in the next year.

TC: How does the firm think about consumer versus SaaS, and is this different than in past years? For example, First Round Capital used to invest half its capital in consumer-facing startups, and that’s not the case right now, as Josh Kopelman told us a couple of weeks ago.

IS: Our first, $ 25 million fund, was close to a 50/50 split; in the second fund, we shifted to 65%/35%, focusing more heavily on B2B SaaS than consumer. Going forward, we expect to be investing around 60% to 70% SaaS and around 30% to 40% consumer. The bread and butter of the Utah market is SaaS, and we expect to continue to back great SaaS companies in Utah.  That said, there is a growing ecosystem of compelling e-commerce and consumer companies, including in healthcare and financial services where we see a continued ‘consumerization’ of those two sectors.

TC: What are two of the firm’s most recent bets, and what do they say about the way your team operates?

IS: Via and Tava Health are two of our new seed investments. Via connects businesses to their consumers on their favorite messaging and voice platforms. Commerce infrastructure is an area where we’ve been very active over the last five or so years, [including because it’s a] perfect cross section of SaaS companies selling into e-commerce and retail. Tava Health is a telemedicine platform for mental health for employees paid by employers, and healthcare SaaS is an area that we’ve also invested in a lot. In fact, its founder, Dallen Allred, is someone whose earlier company, Artemis Health, is another portfolio company.

TC: Out of curiosity, how did Peterson get involved with Bonobos?

IS: Co-founders Andy Dunn and Brian Spaly were students of our founding partner, Joel Peterson, at Stanford GSB. GSB is a key area of deal flow for us. Joel has been teaching there for almost 30 years. Ben [Capell, a partner with Peterson since 2010] has been involved in backing over 20 companies in the last 8 years led by Stanford GSB alumni, and I’ve been guest lecturing there for seven years.

TC: You don’t invest exclusively in Utah, but you spend much of your time with local startups. How has the Utah scene changed since Peterson swung open its doors?

IS: Peterson dates back to 1995, so we’ve been fixtures in the Utah market for 25 years as a firm. When we started Peterson Ventures in 2008 investing Joel’s personal capital — it’s now a mix of institutions, family offices and high net worth individuals — there were no seed-stage firms. Now there are three institutional seed-stage firms, several Series A firms that will also invest in seed stage startups, and active family offices and angel investors.

Also, where the firm used to have to work hard to convince coastal firms to invest in Utah we now have an abundance of mid- and late-stage investors from both coasts spending significant time and
investing meaningful dollars here.

Startups – TechCrunch

Just Started A Blog

Hello everyone, I started a news blog for a niche community of a niece community. At first, I thought content curation would be a viable idea but it wouldn’t help me to tangibly reach any of my goals. The general problems I’m running into now as a content creation blog are encouraging new visits and maintaining activity for those who are already familiar with it. The policy to solve this would be branching out to do articles that appeal to the target community’s interest. However, it’s been really hard for me to grasp copywriting. And due to not having any kind of budget, learning the skill through sites like Udemy isn’t an option. Should I look towards partnering with an established blogger to figure something out? If so, what should be my approach?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

RemoteOk.io makes $65,000 a month…and the whole site is just one PHP file

 MorganLinton.com: So here’s an interesting one. See the website above? It’s all contained in one single PHP file, and it generates $ 65,000/month. Yes, you read that right, it’s on a $ 780k/year run rate and it illustrates how much you can do if you know what you’re doing. I first learned about RemoteOk.io from this tweet: When […
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