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Dartmouth-Carnegie Mellon founding team. CEO is a public health researcher and designed national behavior change campaigns for government agencies.
$765k raised to date from Wavemaker Partners, 500 Startups, DreamIt Ventures, and others.
500 Startups Batch 19 Alumni
Featured in CNN, The Ringer, Crunchbase, Bloomberg, among others.
Our business tools and processes – collaboration tools, meetings, surveys, emails, etc. – are broken. They don’t address the way our brains actually work in a group setting.
As a result, companies don’t get the right data, resulting in:
This oversight in our collaboration tools and processes hits every company’s bottom line in almost every part of the organization.
Balloonr is a platform to address how humans actually share information and make decisions. We built Balloonr from the ground-up – based on hundreds of studies across the areas of cognitive science, neuroscience, social science, public health, and psychology. By removing the most costly cognitive biases (groupthink, anchoring, pattern recognition, gender bias, etc.) from collaboration, Balloonr is able to surface previously unreachable knowledge.
Balloonr uses a staged workflow. To provide psychological safety, Balloonr is anonymous from start to finish. Users are able to remove anonymity at the end of the process and receive credit for their contributions.
Launch - Removes anchoring bias and ensure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute their ideas and feedback without interruptions.
Evolve - Allows collaboration without titles, identities, pleasantries, and courtesies getting in the way.
Pump - Merit-based voting without groupthink.
By leveraging our unique and less-biased dataset, Balloonr will serve as a platform for software applications to deliver high-value customer insights.
Our customers include teams, companies, and organizations from a wide range of functional areas and industries, including Fortune 50 companies, tech startups, mid-market technology companies, universities, pro sport teams, and hospitals.
We have annual SaaS subscriptions with 15 initial customers. On top of the subscription fees, our service agreements typically include a small fee for customer success and optional services like single-sign-on integration. Subscription fees usually account for 70-80% of our deals.
We use a “land-and-expand” strategy, closing pilots or first subscriptions with one team or division, then leveraging customer success and inside sales to expand the account.
Every group and company has this problem. Balloonr touches all parts of an organization and is industry-agnostic, so there is endless opportunity. Balloonr is currently used across diverse teams and functional areas, including:
Our customer base touches across many different industries, and to date, the majority of our customers have been inbound through earned media, customer referrals, and partnerships. We are first focused on priming the market and gaining early adopters.
We’re creating a new category – our biggest competition is the status quo. We’re replacing meetings, focus groups, green dot exercises, surveys, and antiquated idea/innovation platforms, and several collaboration platforms.
Our customers and the companies in our pipeline often say that they’ve always needed a product like this or the information and ideas that are surfaced.
We are backed by incredible individuals and firms that have experience as both investors and as entrepreneurs themselves. They bring decades of experience both growing and investing in unicorns.
Our v1 was a huge success. We have developed our product roadmap with significant customer input over the 1.5 years our application has been in-market. The 2nd version of the product is on track to launch in September 2018.
Crowdfunding is a key part of our current round of fundraising, which Wavemaker Partners is leading with a $250k investment. We are targeting $1M for total round (including crowdfunding), and we will use the investment to grow our team, bringing on a customer success team member to drive land and expand within companies, two to three engineers, and a second business development team member. This will accelerate our growth with v2 launch.
Key feature updates for v2 include:
Significant user experience updates, including improved product flow
Ready-to-use templates (which we call “flight plans”) organized by functional business areas and use cases
Advanced analytics and reporting
Advanced user segmentation, making it easier to engage the right audience for your use case
Robust search, so all data and information is quickly accessible
Integrations with collaboration tools, notification systems, enterprise identity management systems, and human resource information systems
Image and file attachments
Mobile applications for iOS and Android
2018 September: Launch v2
2018 Q3: Reach $500k ARR
2019 Q1: Reach $1M in expansions from current customers
First, hello and thank you for taking the time to learn more about Balloonr! We want to share more about our team, our story, and why we’re unstoppable in creating this new category. We also look forward to getting to know you.
From Amanda (CEO & Co-Founder)
Before founding Balloonr, I was a public health researcher in DC who developed national behavior change campaigns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy. My work was focused on translating science and research into national behavior change campaigns.
It was in that role, I noticed a huge problem with the way that we work. I needed to get critical ideas and feedback from my team. I tried all of the tools available to me - surveys, in-person meetings, various collaboration tools. I was met with low response rate, discussions dominated by louder, senior voices, and off-topic conversations. At the same time, something really surprising started happening. I started receiving one-off phone calls and from more junior team members. The ideas and feedback that they shared were game changing for our firm, so I started asking – why did you come directly to me versus all of these tools available to you? Their answers again shocked me: “I didn’t know if my ideas were good enough or the right ones.” “I was intimidated by other people.” “I didn’t see a good time to share them.”
I dug into the research, and the findings shocked me. There is a system-wide, huge breakdown in the way that we work. All of our business tools and processes don’t account for the way humans actually share information or make decisions – they don’t account for what our brains do in a group setting. I became obsessed with solving this problem and left that position to found Balloonr.
From Noah (CTO & Co-Founder)
Before founding Balloonr, I developed and designed apps for IBM, Bloomberg, national political campaigns, and the Dalai Lama. My work has focused on designing and building products that result in organizational change and drive impact, and I love both delighting and surprising the user. I was experiencing and witnessing many of the same issues Amanda outlined above, so we both left our previous positions to join forces to found Balloonr.
We’ve seen the power of Balloonr. We’ve seen the way that it changes teams, companies, and organizations. The new ideas and innovation, amplified voices, streamlined processes, and increased productivity – it is incredible and drives us every day.
We are obsessed with solving this problem and growing the Balloonr behemoth. We decided to launch this Republic campaign because our vision and mission aligns with Republic’s – the best ideas (and companies) can come from anywhere. We hope that you invest today and take-off with us!
Amanda & Noah
The smallest investment amount that Balloonr is accepting.
$25,000 – $1,070,000
Balloonr needs to raise
before the deadline. The maximum amount Balloonr is willing
to raise is $1.07M.
Balloonr needs to reach their minimum funding goal before the deadline.
If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
The Crowd Safe is an agreement for future equity in the startup,
meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
The Crowd Safe is an agreement for future equity in the startup, meaning that it can convert to equity in the future.
A 'thank you' note from Balloonr team and Balloonr stickers.
All of the above and your name featured on a very special investor page on the Balloonr website.
All of the above and an invitation to a group on the Balloonr platform just for our investors.
All of the above and a Balloonr branded sweatshirt.
All of the above plus a copy of one of the Balloonr team's favorite books.
All of the above plus 10 complimentary seats to Balloonr and 20% discount on any additional seats (for 1 year, on v2).
"PUMP": All of the above plus premium Balloonr branded swag (TBD - will be something like a jacket, bag, etc.).
"SUPER PUMP": All of the above plus invitation to annual Balloonr investor dinner to be held in San Francisco with Balloonr founding team.
"HELIUM": All of the above and will be included in quarterly investor meetings.
Should we hit our aggressive growth targets over the next two years, we see our assets being valuable to any number of companies who frequently acquire companies similar in size/space. Targets include collaboration platforms (e.g., Slack) or surveying companies (e.g., SurveyMonkey, Qualtrics). We, however, are 100% focused on growing Balloonr into a $100M+ company.
Please see the below transcript from Balloonr's pitch at the LAUNCH festival.
Amanda: Hi everyone, I'm Amanda Greenberg, I'm the co-founder and CEO of Balloonr. Before founding Balloonr I was a public health researcher in Washington D.C., and it was in that role that I noticed a huge problem with the way that we work. Our business tools and processes are broken, they don't address the way our brains actually work in a group setting. They don't account for things like group dynamics, dozens of different cognitive biases, corporate culture and a fear of failure. And as a result, companies don't have access to the right data and this costs companies billions.
Amanda: We built Balloonr, a platform based on science and research, to remove the most costly cognitive biases, promote psychological safety, create a meritocracy and accelerate time to wisdom.
Amanda: Here's high level how it works. Someone starts a balloonr which is a question, topic or prompt. They invite a group, small or large. That group then goes together through a special staged workflow, where they're anonymously creating and launching balloons which are the ideas, the feedback, the information, without anchoring bias, discussing those balloons without titles, identities, pleasantries, courtesies getting in the way, and then completing a vote that's merit based and without group think.
Amanda: At the end of the process you get access to the top information and insights, and although Balloonr's anonymous, start to finish, there's two places you can choose to remove anonymity, and this is the first place.
Amanda: Our customers are from teams and companies of all different sizes across many different industries, these are some of our paying customers. And Balloonr touches all parts of an organization, from surfacing new, innovative product features at BMW to driving quality improvement at the top children's hospital in the United States. And our customers are seeing the power. Saying that they're, "shocked by the humanness of information being shared on Balloonr," and that, "once you use Balloonr it's impossible to imagine doing things the old way."
Amanda: And the opportunities in front of us are huge. We're surfacing a unique critical dataset, so the big opportunities are platform play, leveraging this true dataset. The first thing being built on that platform is Helium. We're using AI to identify trends, undercurrents and inclusive innovation opportunities. We're selling SAS subscriptions, we're at about 250k in ARR, projected to hit 500k at Q3 of this year, a million from expansions across our current customers, and we have a $3.4 million pipeline.
Amanda: We're landing and expanding across the enterprise, averaging seven months to expansion, with an over 400% increase in both ACV and C-count at expansion.
Amanda: We're a Dartmouth Carnegie Mellon team, we've built and designed apps for IBM, Bloomberg, national political campaigns, even the Dalai Lama. Our first three hirers bring incredible experiences and talents, from being one of the lead designers at IBM Watson and also leading growth at three venture-backed startups.
Amanda: I'm Amanda, we're Balloonr, I'm excited to answer any questions and thank you so much.
Jason: Okay. Hey, [Delly 00:47:47] why don't you start since I started last time. What are your questions for Balloonr?
Matthew: How do the actual workers in the company feel about it, not just the management's results? Great presentation.
Jason: Amanda, your questions.
Jason: Oh, sorry, Andrea, I'm sorry. She's Amanda, you're Andrea. Two As, got it, sorry Andrea.
Andrea: I was just interested, your SAS projections, what you base those on.
Amanda: Okay, yeah.
Stonly: Great presentation. I'm curious what your thoughts are around the value of expert networks or validating where the opinions are coming from. And, secondly, you seem like you have a stellar story and traction. Why do you need to raise money now, what's the goal?
Amanda: Yeah, great.
Jason: I would like to know a specific example of an idea, you don't have to tell us which customer obviously, 'cause that's confidential, but a specific example would've been better in this presentation, 'cause, what is the great idea that's come out of the platform to date and how did it impact the business. So you may have to clean that example up a little bit to not give us what's going on a BMW, but do your best.
Amanda: Great okay. I'm gonna start, I think there and go this way. So, first example I would say, is a hospital, one of our customers. They're transplant surgeons, so a group of 20 transplant surgeons which of course, there's tons of ego and personalities and titles and seniority involved in that specific role. So they were actually debating and discussing around a patient, but also their overall procedures. So the ideas that they surfaced on there actually resulted in change for patient outcomes. But there's tons of examples like that.
Amanda: Expert network, and engaging expert network and validating and verifying users. So something that's on our roadmap is looking across our customers inside their walls, how do people become experts in certain areas, and how are they engaged. Oftentimes people who are perceived as being experts aren't actually experts in that area, they just have the loudest voices. So how do you ensure that you're engaging them in the right way?
Amanda: Revenue projections, so we are looking at, what is that average expansion across our customers and companies. So we have kind of a map in terms of getting a team, or a division on Balloonr, expanding from there, what that looks like, what's that average size that expansion, and then what does that next expansion look like and that's what we based our projections on, along with our pipeline close rate, et cetera.
Amanda: Final question, let me see if I can remember it, uh-ho.
Jason: Ask it again Delly, it's okay.
Amanda: Will you ask it again?
Matthew: Oh right, how do the workers find it-
Amanda: How do they feel about it, yes.
Matthew: ... either being anonymous on the platform.
Amanda: They feel great about it because their voices are amplified and heard, they're not being shut down by leaders or managers or others, so they're much more engaged, much more level playing field. The thing that's really unique about us is that it's removable anonymity, so although they have true psychological safety, no fear of failure throughout, they're able to claim things at the end.
Jason: I have a follow-up question. Do you think that companies that deploy this will be able to save head count, because you'll have less people being dedicated to being the idea person, since ideas and innovation will be spread out, that you'll be able to save head count and save money? Or do people look at it as just a way to not lose ideas, or do your customers look at it as a way to make everybody feel good about themselves and have high fives?
Jason: What's really at work here?
Amanda: Yeah, so I mean, it's a little bit of all those things across all that, but I really think it's around the quality of ideas that are being shared, so new innovative ideas and solutions that are being brought forward. Also feedback that's more honest and transparent, that then people really know if they have buy-in to decisions, are they actually moving forward in the right direction, not making a false start, which has cost companies tons of money.
Amanda: And then of course also a level playing field, fairness is a huge thing for companies.
Amanda: Thank you so much.
Jason: Let's give it up for Amanda, well done, from Balloonr.
Technology for making faster and better decision, minimizing the common human biasAlejandro AuInvested about 2 hours ago
Jason Calacanis already invested, it seems like a useful product.James WestmoreInvested about 23 hours ago
I was impressed with the pitch and follow up answers to questions when they were presented on This Week in Startups.Alexander WingeierInvested 1 day ago
I was impressed with presentation on This Week in Startups and it sounds like a great idea.David KinsfatherInvested 1 day ago
Fits perfectly the zeitgeist and is scalable.Daniel SteinInvested 2 days ago
Significant traction. Chance to invest alongside Jason Calacanis (heard him claim the investment on his podcast).Mel ClarkInvested 2 days ago
Because of Jason Calacanis invested in this.Adam SuInvested 2 days ago
Companies have seen the value of using behavioral psychology to influence customers. Time to take those same insights and improve internal processes. Smart to focus on one process at the start but so many ways to scale. Heard the pitch on TWiST.Reed ConnorInvested 3 days ago
I invested only because of the big names on their client list. Also went with Jason to be safer on my first bet!Srinivas RaoInvested 3 days ago
I could this concept being used in federal government space. As a retired senior executive from the federal acquisition arena (DOD, Navy, USMC, DHS, ICE), I could really see the B-2-G use case for this SaaS tool. William RandolphWill RandolphInvested 4 days ago
I work in consulting and I believe that this project may help companies partly replace consulting services with internal employees' knowledge and ideasMikhail SidakovInvested 8 days ago
The company has already a proven product and it works in one of the fields I have experience in.Andrei NegrauInvested 9 days ago
The idea of accelerating time-to-wisdom using an SaaS platform is excellent and I will support it until it become a success!Marco MatoukInvested 14 days ago
I work in a corporate environment and frequently see politics and ego get in the way of good ideas. I think this app has a STRONG possiblity of revolutionizing how we work and communicate with each other.Laura LavergneInvested 16 days ago
I invested because I believe in the future of BalloonrAntoni HadiInvested 22 days ago
I invested because this idea will expand like crazy.Jared SchlarInvested 29 days ago
I invested in Balloonr because I believe in technology that enables to do more and do better!Loic SanchezInvested 29 days ago
This is a great idea. With proper execution it could be an unicorn.Tan Quan NguyenInvested about 1 month ago
This appears to be a viable company.Neil LevyInvested about 1 month ago
Seems like a great idea and they already have great traction among the top companies.Arun VermaInvested about 1 month ago
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