Back in 2010 the hottest startup on the planet was Groupon. It was growing revenues faster than anyone had ever seen, certainly faster than Google and Facebook.
Everyone you know had two or three Groupons they were waiting to redeem, and Living Social was booming as well. The country was beat up by the financial crisis, and many thought it was the “end of days.”
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Startups were taking a beating. In fact, they were unfundable and the great startups were raising their angel rounds at a $3-4m pre-money valuation.
At that time I decided I would invest in a few companies, and my first cohort included Signpost (then Postabon), Backupify, Chartbeat, Thumbtack, and Uber.
Now, back then you could only pitch to angels if you paid to do so. I found that so infuriating that I started something called the Open Angel Forum. [ You can read a post from Rob May of Backupify about that night, held at Matt Coffin’s old house. ]
The companies I mentioned above all pitched at the various OAFs around the country — for free of course.
Stu got up and pitched his vision for a crowdsourced Groupon called Postabon — as in ‘post a good thing’ — and it was such a horrible name!
To give you an idea of how long ago this investment took place, well, peep at the hysterical looking phones on the Postabon landing page — that’s the original iPhone!!!
However, the product looked really slick and Stu presented it well. I remember thinking to myself, “I have no idea if that will work, but this guy is executing at a high-level and he sure is passionate about it.”
Continue reading "Why we invested $25,000 in Signpost in 2010 — and $500,000 today!"