Report Of The Week: 2 Startups To Watch

May 8, 2021 3 min read

The first week of the month's gone, and so are the first 100+ pitches I reviewed since last Saturday. Two startups, in particular, have caught my attention, and I've added them to my deal-to-watch list. In the following week, I’ll be laser-focused on doing due diligence on both of them.

Vin Social

If you read that a startup launched less than 6 months ago has already turned over half a million in revenue ($512k) while spending just $34k in advertising and marketing, wouldn't you be amazed?

Well, that's exactly what Vin Social (raising on WeFunder) did between July 2020 (date of incorporation) and December 2020.

And the company keeps growing this year, too: according to the last update on May 4, 2021, the company made $895K in revenue since launch in July 2020, on track to cross over $1M in year one.

Vin Social is a virtual hospitality platform that provides corporate events planners and CROs with an all-in-one solution to create and manage meetings that convert prospects to customers with unbelievable attendance and conversion rates.

So let’s imagine you’re in sales and schedule a virtual meeting with potential customers. Unfortunately, these tend to be the most boring meetings ever for your prospects. Let’s be honest here, sitting in front of your computer listening to a 30-minute pitch is not the most exciting way to spend your evening, right? So it's no wonder that the average attendance rate rarely exceeds 65%.

That’s where Vin Social comes in: according to the company, the average attendance rate for meetings hosted on Vin Social is a surprising 89%. How they manage to do that? Well, imagine having a corporate meeting at 8 p.m. Right before the meeting, in the afternoon, you receive a

“beautifully curated box that puts our client’s brand at the forefront. Our guests’ curiosity is piqued by the elegant presentation, storytelling pieces, and two full-size bottles from small-batch makers—hidden gems they have likely never encountered before.”

But that’s more. When you join the meeting, you are greeted by a trained Sommelier that is a “charismatic on-camera storyteller, skilled at inspiring audience interaction, and able to put others at ease in a virtual environment.”

With the audience “warmed up and wined up,” guests participate in a shared experience, enjoy a sense of community, and a lovely evening out (even if they are sitting on their couch!)

As you can guess, it’s not surprising that meetings like that score incredible attendance and conversion rates. But what I love the most about this concept is what in the growth hacking community is called the viral coefficient (or K-Factor). As Sean Ellis explains in his book, Hacking Growth, to be truly viral, a product must have a viral coefficient greater than one, meaning that each new user who signs up brings in one or more new people to the product.

As you can imagine, when a new customer sends a box to a dozen prospects that will join the meeting, this is free advertising for Vin Social. And, if the prospects enjoyed the experience, he will likely replicate it for his own company, becoming a new customer of Vin Social.

Finding products with a viral coefficient greater than one is extremely rare, and I believe Vin Social is one of the very few companies that can claim a similar rarity. Their incredible organic growth is proof of that, and that’s what caught my attention in the first place.

The second startup I've added to my deal-to-watch list is a leading-VC backed company growing 405% YoY, with an experienced founder that already has an exit under his belt—his previous company, operating in the exact same industry, was acquired just 3 years ago. So it's no wonder that the lead investor for this financing round is a leading VC fund that has already invested $1,050,000 in the business. The company is...

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