Mattermark (Referly)

Discover, prospect, and track the world’s fastest-growing companies and investors.
Batch: 2012 Summer
Status: Unsuccessful

Mattermark (Referly)

Discover, prospect, and track the world’s fastest-growing companies and investors.
Batch: 2012 Summer
Status: Unsuccessful

Company

The leading resource investors use to determine the health and value of private companies. This is the Bloomberg terminal for a growing pool of non-public companies receiving investment through platforms like FundersClub, AngelList and Kickstarter.

Long term we could offer a data product in the Bloomberg/Dow Jones/Morningstar territory plus a media/analyst business competing with Gartner/Forrester. Both models have expensive subscription- based models paid for by enterprise customers.

San Francisco, but we are planning to move back to Mountain View (regardless of whether we are accepted to YC) back into the house we had last summer

Founders

We co-hosted a bunch of parties over the summer at the old Referly house, but other than that, it's been all Referly/LaunchGram since we met.

Danielle - Twilio developer community of 100K+ users, company valuation > $100M before I left

Kevin - building the core developer tools in Windows used by over 5M developers, running apps for over 400M users

Andy - started 2 micro-breweries before he turned 21

Kirsty sent out an email letting us know about a house available to rent for YC companies, and asked us to email the owner. I saw a phone number in the original mail and decided most people in YC were oriented toward doing everything online and would default to doing what they were told and using email. I called the landlord and within 40 minutes we had an offer on the house, toured the same day, and signed the lease the next morning.

Danielle and Kevin will be married 6 years in August, and have known each other since 2005. We met over an email list in 2004, Kevin blew me off, and we random reconnected in a Seattle restaurant a year later.

Danielle and Andy met a little over two years ago at a bar in Austin, Texas during South by Southwest and had a late night marathon conversation about fantasy novels and historical fiction. Of the hundreds of people Danielle met at the event, she remembered him. When Andy moved to the Bay Area to pursue his company full time Danielle became an advisor and helped get them into the 500 Startups accelerator program. When he literally had less than $20 to his name she made him 3000 calorie sandwiches because he refused to borrow money.

Kevin and Andy met through Danielle and spent a lot of time together during the summer of 2012 when the Referly house was down the street from the LaunchGram house. They share a love for cigars and long talks under the stars.

Progress

Our beta is paid subscription email targeted at private equity investors. We've gotten commitments from 4 people to pay at least $20/month (that's $240 a year - Morningstar charges $195/year).

We've been working on this for about 3 weeks, most of the research is in spreadsheets rather than code at this point. We've written 663 lines of code for scrapers and crawlers to pull various data and process
it.

Idea

When I was a kid (2001) I worked for my Dad and I used Morningstar everyday to crunch numbers and produce reports. I had a love/hate relationship with it, loving the data but wishing we could make something even better.

Until 2009 I was Editor in Chief for Seattle 2.0 (http://www.seattle20.com) before it was sold to Puget Sound Business Journal, and we made an index of local startups that was quite controversial and got a lot of press coverage and web traffic each month. For a long time I've dreamed of making an index of all startups worldwide, and eventually all privately owned companies.

I performed vendor searches for financial custodians for 401k plans (family biz), PR firms, vendors etc. at Twilio. It's a huge pain doing this research and turning to analyst reports is an expensive solution which doesn't include most smaller companies.

I have been meeting with people to understand what they'd user this for. So far, I have heard interest from VCs/angels for investment decisions, senior executives for buying decisions, and individuals for employment decisions. I think with the creation of Funders Club, Kickstarter and many more new exchanges for private company liquidity there is a need for better sources for due diligence.

The fastest growing companies are increasingly non-public and rely on totally different metrics than firms like Bloomberg or Morningstar offer. Today VCs do their own analysis to figure out who the hot firms are, we expect to commoditize some of that.

People rely on expensive ($15k/quarter minimum) analyst services like Gartner & Forrester in bigcompanies, but I think for the most part we are competing with handmade and researched spreadsheets.

Crunchbase, Forrester, Gartner, Bloomberg, StartupStats.com, Dow Jones Business Wire, various business indices, Morningstar

I'm an insider to small business, not a professional trained journalist or analyst. I have experience trying to create a meaningful footprint for Twilio, so I know where to look for the data to indicate growth and success. Often their are non-traditional ways to do this that require scraping, crawling, and mucking through seemingly disconnected information - but I can see patterns I think other people miss, and I am willing to dig deeper than anyone else because I find it endlessly fascinating.

We can make money for data subscriptions, analyst reports, custom research and banner advertising on our media properties.

Morningstar had $100M net income in 2012 (on $650M revenue), Bloomberg LP had $7.6B in revenue in 2011, Gartner had $165M net income in 2012 (on $1.6B revenue). Based on these benchmarks I believe it is reasonable to build a $100M/year income business in this space.

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