Building a hardware business is hard. The combination of supply chain commoditization and the large budgets required to differentiate your brand in a world where consumers have access to tens of unbranded products through horizontal e-commerce sites, are big challenges.
Led by its founder Ben Nader, the Butterfleye team did a great job in light of these challenges. I congratulate them for the acquisition.
TBH (short for “to be honest”) is an anonymous messaging app that promotes positive communications rather than the negative communications that often plague anonymous messaging apps. We had invested in the app’s parent company at Aslanoba Capital, and TBH was recently acquired by Facebook.
At the time of our investment in February 2015, TBH’s parent company was working on an on-campus messaging app, not the anonymous messaging app that is currently TBH. The team then went through several iterations of other messaging apps before finding success with TBH. This article outlines their journey well. In other words, TBH wasn’t an overnight success, but the result of perseverance, learning, and continual growth.
I commend the TBH team and its CEO Nikita Bier for each of these three traits.
In addition, Washio picked up and delivered its customers’ laundry whenever customers wanted. This was in contrast to Rinse’s approach of scheduling pickups and deliveries only between 8PM and 10PM in the evenings.
Finally, Washio delivered its customers’ laundry a day after picking it up, while Rinse offers a 3 day turnaround time.
While these three decisions gave Washio the opportunity to serve a larger number of customers whenever these customers demanded service, they also made Washio’s operations more costly. And the resulting benefit for customers isn’t large enough for customers to pay more for. Most people are home at some point between 8PM and 10PM, and they have enough extra clothes in their wardrobe that they don’t need a next day turnaround from their laundry and dry cleaning service provider.
As Rinse’s co-founder Ajay Prakash points out, “the on-demand model isn’t the most efficient or economical way to handle the dirty business of cleaning clothes”.
Two of our portfolio companies just joined forces. Dugun, Turkey’s leading online wedding marketplace connecting couples with merchants during their wedding planning process, acquired Anneysen, Turkey’s leading content site for aspiring and current moms.
The acquisition makes a lot of sense for both parties. Thinking about having babies, and often eventually having them, is a natural progression from getting married. So it makes sense for users to be able to access information about and navigate both of these very important life events on the same platform.
I congratulate Pinar and Aylin, the founders of Anneysen, and their team on the sale. I also congratulate Emek, the founder of Dugun, and his team on the strategically important acquisition.