The Stellar Company
I’ve been recently sharing my view with a fellow investor on one of the most promising companies of our portfolio… I figured it was worth sharing my thoughts.
The real name of the company has been changed to avoid unwanted solicitation.
I’ve met for the first with the team of this stellar company in November 2015. We ended up investing in their seed round alongside other investors in Spring 2016. Looking back in the archives, I found a couple of revealing emails from this period… I was already sold on their ability to make something beautifully huge while at the time they were only doing 40k in monthly GMV.
Email from March, 2016
As time went by, a vivid, obvious, brilliant impression stroke me. I didn’t know what it was exactly, but in an insanely large, broken, cluttered yet much addressed market by incumbents and new players, this feeling just kept growing with more and more facts backing my intuition of incredible vision & execution end-to-end. Just like Marc Andreessen once tweeted:
The best startups just radiate quality end to end.
Irresistible to VCs to fund. Aug 7, 2014
The team of this stellar company did something different than the competition. They didn’t go only after growth. The market being already huge, and both supply and demand being available and able to switch easily from one solution to another, growth was just a parameter within a consistent obsession for product, data and operational excellence. It was attached to clarity of vision, focus, and strong values that having spread throughout the entire company, had allowed them to accelerate their pace of growth while strengthening their organisation.
Between mid 2016 and Dec. 2016, they went from 50k to 100k in monthly GMV… It took them another 6 months to reach 250k. By end 2017 they were at 500k, another semester later at 1M and they will be reaching 2M monthly GMV by end of 2018. With 60 people at the moment.
Sometimes, the foundations of such companies suffer from weak economics that only seem to work at scale. But for this stellar company, it’s working with a solid 43% net contribution margin post sales, marketing and operations. The result is that out of the 5M they raised mid 2017, they still have half of it in cash and equivalent and can now expand geographically with an ambitious plan. The United-States ?
When you meet with such company, you need to put away your beliefs about their market and all the players trying to take a chunk of it with short-sighted approaches. You must thoroughly listen to the CEO, let him show you how the product, the execution and obviously the cohorts back their genuine yet ambitious vision of providing the most incredible end-to-end experience to their customers.
What’s magic for me is that I have seen the company grow 20x from 100k to 2000k in monthly GMV in 2 years time, building up excellence and defensibility. I can envision their path to another 20x growth over the next few years thanks the compounded effects of a beautifully executed marketplace that address a quarter of the population with greatness, not only changing their industry but more importantly the life of people ❤