New technologies take aim at IT's diversity problem - Bloomberg L.P Diversity...
If your company is having difficulty establishing a diverse workforce, you can stop blaming the pipeline. That's the collective message s...
Closed on . Information may not be up-to-date. Campaign closed on . Information displayed may not be up-to-date.
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 maximum valuation at which your investment converts
into equity shares or cash.
If a trigger event for Balloonr occurs, the discount provision
gives investors equity shares (or equal value in cash) at a reduced price.
The smallest investment amount that Balloonr is accepting.
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. An investor makes a cash investment in a company, but gets company stock at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
A SAFE is a Simple Agreement for Future Equity. An investor makes a cash investment in a company, but gets company stock at a later date, in connection with a specific event. The Crowd SAFE is a modified SAFE that is better suited for crowdfunding.
$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 beforethe deadline
If they don’t, all investments will be refunded.
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.
MTD Season 2 Episode 6
Jesse Draper: Well, let's welcome our next entrepreneur, but first, let's take a look at what's going on behind the scenes.
Amanda G.: I'm Amanda Greenberg, I'm the co-founder and CEO of Balloonr. Before founding Balloonr, I was a public health researcher in DC, and it was really in that role that I noticed a huge problem. Business schools don't actually follow well studied research for how you get ideas and information out of a group. We're really amplifying all these unheard voices, new ideas, and bringing those to the forefront from a very level playing field.
Amanda G.: I think that Tim will have a really interesting take on it. I think that he's gonna connect to companies needing this data and this information and the best ideas. I think that Jesse will connect, as well, to just some of the obstacles around gender bias that we all encounter. It's always hard to tell.
Jesse Draper: (silence)
Jesse Draper: Welcome to Meet the Drapers. So give us your pitch.
Amanda G.: Awesome, thank you so much. I'm Amanda Greenberg, I'm the co-founder and CEO of Balloonr. Before founding Balloonr, I was a public health researcher, and it was really 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, corporate culture, or a fear of failure.
Amanda G.: And as a result, companies don't have access to the best ideas or the right data, and this costs companies billions in bad decision making, stalled innovation and wasted time. So we built Balloonr, a platform based on science and research, to address how humans actually share information and make decisions.
Amanda G.: How Balloonr works, is someone starts Balloonr, which is the question, topic, or prompt. They invite a group. That group then goes together through a special stage workflow, where they're anonymously creating and launching balloons. Discussing those balloons, creating a merit-based boat without Groupthink, and then seeing the ballooned insights or ideas. And then although Balloonr's anonymous start to finish, users are able to remove anonymity and claim their contributions.
Amanda G.: Balloonr is used across industries and our customers include Capital One, Hyatt, BMW, the LA Angels and more. We also have upcoming pilots with both Google and Airbnb. We're at 250K ARR. With a million in projected expansions by the end of the year, we've built and designed apps for IBM, Bloomberg, and the Dalai Lama.
Tim Draper: Dalai Lama?
Amanda G.: Yeah.
Tim Draper: What is the Dalai Lama using it for?
Amanda G.: We built an app previously, a Tibetan language learning app for the Dalai Lama.
Andy Tang: So, if a CEO had a bad idea, people can say, "Hey, this is not a good idea," without revealing who you are.
Amanda G.: Exactly.
Andy Tang: So you have the best ideas going to the top.
Tim Draper: Oh, so it's a survey. It's like a survey.
Amanda G.: Somewhat. Yes, so there's a survey component at the beginning where people aren't able to see each other's responses.
Tim Draper: And then they can all talk about it later.
Amanda G.: Exactly.
Tim Draper: It's like, hey, wow, 60% voted this way. I thought about it this way. I got to learn what they're all thinking.
Amanda G.: It's used in a lot of different ways. For example, used by a national sports team for scouting, so leveling out that playing field. Interns and more senior scouts, their picks are seen the same, without the bias of who's submitting that person.
Tim Draper: But why wouldn't I want a senior scout's point of view over a junior scout's point of view?
Amanda G.: For a lot of different reasons. One is, people gravitate toward the CEO, and oftentimes that results in false start. Like, we've all seen Groupthink, where someone has an initial idea. Everyone says they agree with it. They don't really agree with it and it starts to move forward. It ends up being a false start.
Tim Draper: But a senior scout is going to have a lot more experience and a lot better understanding of what might end up turning out to be a good player because they've had the experience of saying "Somebody just like this, we had the same problem, we overcame it with this."
Amanda G.: Yeah, so there's definitely elements of expertise that are necessary, so one of the things we're working on for B2 are expert networks within companies.
Jesse Draper: It's a survey?
Amanda G.: We don't consider ourselves a survey and our customers don't consider us a survey.
Jesse Draper: Okay.
Amanda G.: So there's a collaboration element, a voting element. I would say it's more geared towards business collaboration.
Q Motiwala: It's Slack with anonymity. In an enterprise, in Slack, I just took out the title and the name of the person. So what have you really done besides anonymizing the person?
Amanda G.: So, one is randomization. In Slack, if you post the question, it goes on forever. People just write responses. There's no way to really come to a consensus there, so we help to surface all of those insights, all of those ideas, in a much more streamlined way.
Andy Tang: But that's just more features. I think maybe what you're getting at is, is this something Slack could just implement?
Amanda G.: Yeah, so very different flow. It starts around this Balloonr and then people are able to discuss them in a different way, randomize, vote.
Tim Draper: What's your background? Have you run anything before and how did that go?
Amanda G.: Yeah, I was a public health researcher before. I designed and developed national behavior change campaigns.
Tim Draper: So, working for the government? Public health research?
Amanda G.: Yeah, somewhat, outside the government but for the government. Yes, so I completed my undergraduate at Dartmouth College, and then I went straight to graduate school. I graduated first in my class from the top public health school in the nation. I was a researcher and then I planned to go to medical school but I became obsessed with this problem, and left that role and started Balloonr.
Tim Draper: This is what I was guessing, you were first in your class but nobody was listening.
Amanda G.: What do you mean?
Tim Draper: You knew everything but nobody was listening to you.
Amanda G.: No, so opposite. What happened is, when I was a researcher, I was trying to get ideas and feedback and information out of my team, so then I tried everything available to me. I sent surveys, I scheduled meetings. Louder, more senior voices would dominate conversations, like posting on Slack or send an email, and it would just go on forever.
Tim Draper: Well, you should have been in the private sector.
Amanda G.: I know, I know, I know, I know.
Tim Draper: Government workers are not really anxious to participate in your-
Amanda G.: But then I started getting these one off phone calls and emails from people who were more junior than me and they were sharing these insights that were game changing. And I was like, "Why are you coming to me versus everything I put out there?" And they were like, "I'm new to my role, I didn't know if my ideas were good enough." And so, through that I was like, okay, I'm a researcher. I dug into the research, and was just shocked. All these business tools and processes we use, we just accept, even though they don't take into account all these different issues with group dynamics, or corporate culture, or how humans actually work.
Andy Tang: You're talking about culture, so what's your co-founding team and what's the company culture you're trying to instill?
Amanda G.: We're a five-person team. My co-founder, [inaudible 00:31:46] email and he was a full stack developer/designer.
Andy Tang: How did you meet your co-founder?
Amanda G.: We're married co-founders.
Andy Tang: Oh, interesting.
Amanda G.: Yeah, so very much a great complementary fit and match.
Tim Draper: How's that going?
Jesse Draper: Yeah.
Amanda G.: It's great.
Tim Draper: And you're the CEO.
Amanda G.: Yes, yeah.
Tim Draper: And he's?
Amanda G.: [Noah's 00:31:59] the CTO.
Tim Draper: CTO.
Amanda G.: Yup.
Tim Draper: That actually may work.
Amanda G.: I think it's a huge advantage.
Tim Draper: That actually may work because you have separate responsibilities. If you disagree on something, who wins out?
Amanda G.: I win out, yeah, yeah, and that's how we've always done it.
Tim Draper: It's the way it works in my family.
Amanda G.: We've always done it like that. We'll have a disagreement and then ... yeah, we figure it out.
Jesse Draper: Do you have anything to fall back on? Like, you run out of money, what do you do?
Amanda G.: We're pretty gritty and unstoppable, so we're selling, we're doing well, we're growing our company. And yeah, we believe in what we're doing and we believe in our mission, so we never really thought about it like that. We see our happy customers, and we see the results we're getting and we hear their accolades and so we know we know that we're going in the right direction.
Jesse Draper: Well, good, thank you so, so much.
Tim Draper: Terrific. Thanks for coming to Meet the Drapers.
Amanda G.: Thanks.
Jesse Draper: So nice to meet you.
Andy Tang: Pleasure meeting you.
Amanda G.: Thank you.
Q Motiwala: It was fantastic.
Amanda G.: Thank you, appreciate it.
Amanda G.: I think it went really well. Really interesting questions, it was great to share, just more about our company, more about our vision, more about our traction. I love seeing different people's takes on what we're doing. It's always exciting as a founder to share your vision, your mission, your company, your traction, et cetera, and get feedback, especially from world class VCs. We've had investors who I didn't think would be interested at all, who ended up being our largest champions and backers. We're really bringing something new to the workplace, and we're really focused on creating a meritocracy to drive better outcomes, decisions, for the world.
Jesse Draper: (silence)
Jesse Draper: Well, so, what do we think? What do we think? Andy, why don't you start us off?
Andy Tang: The part I really liked was when Tim asked her who was in charge and she says she was. Without hesitation, there was all in, so that was great.
Andy Tang: The product itself, I have noticed there's a trend of corporate culture collaboration tools, so I like that, but I do think it's still a little bit early in that. They seem a little bit of feature on the Slack.
Jesse Draper: Totally.
Andy Tang: So, overall I think it's interesting but still lots of diligence to go through.
Jesse Draper: It was really difficult not to see the product, I think, because ...
Andy Tang: True.
Jesse Draper: ... She was a fantastic founder and I would bet on her, she seems amazing. But yeah, it seems like a feature. I feel like for years and years and years these anonymous platforms have existed so it's nothing life changing. Even though she's saying they're not a survey company, I think they are, that's one of the things that they do. And so, I wasn't super into the idea.
Q Motiwala: I just love this particular CEO, she was just fantastic. This innovation in large companies, whether it's the Ciscos or ... Google is an exception, all those companies that are just dying, there's no new ideas, this is exactly in the trend line. But they just need to change the way they're gonna go sell.
Tim Draper: I could imagine being a leader of a business and thinking, "What's everybody thinking about down there? Any interesting ideas?" And occasionally putting out a balloonr, so that interesting things might rise to the top. And those big businesses that are all top down and lots of people working but just not really giving the input that they should, this is an interesting way to get that input up. I think that the business has a possibility but she is a force of nature. I don't know if I'd bet for her but I certainly wouldn't bet against her.
Jesse Draper: So true. With that, I think we should consult our crystal ball, don't you?
Andy Tang: Yes.
Tim Draper: This is the big balloon here.
Jesse Draper: [Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo 00:35:51].
Tim Draper: Balloonr.
Andy Tang: We might not need to touch the [crosstalk 00:35:54].
Tim Draper: I don't think I can reach it but I'm feeling the force.
Jesse Draper: Are we going to fund her? Thumbs up, thumbs down, thumbs all around. I'm undecided.
Tim Draper: I'm way up.
Jesse Draper: It's a founder versus business thing for me.
Q Motiwala: [crosstalk 00:36:08].
Andy Tang: Oh, we got one [crosstalk 00:36:09].
Tim Draper: Look at that. We got one sort of thumb sideways.
Jesse Draper: No down.
Q Motiwala: No, it's up. I'm just [crosstalk 00:36:13].
Tim Draper: You're a little down. You're a little up.
Q Motiwala: I'm the [crosstalk 00:36:17].
Tim Draper: Well, there you have it. But you get to decide.
Jesse Draper: It's up to you. Do you wanna vote for Balloonr? Would you like to own a piece of Balloonr? Go to meetthedrapers.com and you can invest. You should stay tuned to listen to my dad's crypt chat, up next.
Tim Draper: So, I'm here with Hope Liu. Hope is listed as one of the top five rock stars Forbes Magazine's en crypto, and she went to MIT for her MBA. And then from the MIT media lab she came up with this brilliant idea that's crypto Eximchain. And Eximchain is bringing the crypto world to all of the supply chain.
Tim Draper: Tell me about Singapore. That apparently is a big part of how your company got going, right?
Hope Liu: We actually started in 2015 back at MIT. Before that, I was working in Singapore, in the investment banking. I was trying to look forward to what's gonna happen the next five or 10 years, or maybe 20 years. Information technology is advanced enough. What we're doing now, the operations department at a bank doesn't make sense at all. It can completely replaced.
Tim Draper: So, you're thinking crypto might be replacing the banks in maybe five or 10 years?
Hope Liu: Absolutely.
Tim Draper: So I've got to make this switch quickly at this time?
Hope Liu: Yeah.
Tim Draper: Apparently, you had some difficulty because you're female.
Hope Liu: Yeah.
Tim Draper: So, tell us about that.
Hope Liu: Because when we started the idea that was back in 2015, supply chain and global trade is so inefficient, but we couldn't raise money because it was hard to persuade small business or large company to understand how a blockchain could actually become adoptable in the enterprise world. While they have so many Legacy system and ongoing process.
Tim Draper: Okay, so who did put money in?
Hope Liu: The venture's called [Blockseed 00:38:17] Ventures. He put $1 million in us.
Tim Draper: And that was enough for you to go ahead and put the legal platform together in Singapore?
Hope Liu: Yes. It was really great that we got opportunity to physically talk to the local government, the Singapore local government. And in the end, they were able to [inaudible 00:38:40] a case directly. I think that is actually the reason why a lot of the companies are actually moving to Singapore, is because of the level of clarity you can get.
Tim Draper: So, smaller governments are probably a better idea than bigger governments?
Hope Liu: I think smaller governments now have better opportunity to play [inaudible 00:39:01] into their favor and attract.
Tim Draper: Absolutely. I actually think that all these governments are in competition with each other for people like you.
Hope Liu: Yeah.
Tim Draper: Then you were able to raise $20 million on your-
Hope Liu: Token sale.
Tim Draper: ... on your token sale, not an ICO, 'cause you didn't open it up to the public.
Hope Liu: Yes, correct, correct.
Tim Draper: It's a private sale. And the people who invested were all ... Were they supply chain people?
Hope Liu: It's a utility token so it's very important that the most of the token holders, their incentive is aligned with the long term of the project, so actually I had to interview everyone who's interested. I tell them to justify why you either [crosstalk 00:39:42]-
Tim Draper: Oh, that's fun.
Hope Liu: ... Supply chain user or-
Tim Draper: It's always great to have it go the other way.
Hope Liu: Yes, it's mind blowing, but I think, for me, we try the best to identify who A, has the supply chain background, B, could add the strategic value to the platform in the future. It was still a hard process.
Tim Draper: Great.
Hope Liu: Thank you.
Tim Draper: Well, Hope, it is great to have you here on Meet the Drapers.
Hope Liu: Thank you.
Tim Draper: And when you're a guest on Meet the Drapers, we adopt you. Your name is now Hope She Draper.
Hope Liu: Oh, yay.
Tim Draper: Welcome to this family.
Hope Liu: Thank you very much.
Tim Draper: Now, if you buy a piece of a Balloonr, does that pop the balloon?
Q Motiwala: It grows the balloon.
Tim Draper: We've just had three really interesting companies, and so what do you think? Did you have a favorite?
Q Motiwala: Yeah, it was interesting when we started off, our conversation was of culture, and so that team is at the back of my head, and from that perspective, I would just pick Amanda. She was, out of the three, how she would set the culture for the organization, that infectious enthusiasm and a go-getter attitude. She's my favorite.
Jesse Draper: And her company is all about culture, too.
Andy Tang: Right.
Jesse Draper: It's supporting culture ...
Andy Tang: True, yes.
Jesse Draper: ... in a way.
Tim Draper: Oh, that's interesting. I wonder, as her business grows, will she be using her own product?
Jesse Draper: I hope so.
Tim Draper: It's a good question we could have asked.
Jesse Draper: I hope so.
Andy Tang: Right now, there's four people, so then there's no need for anonymity.
Tim Draper: Right, I think we know who said it.
Andy Tang: As far as culture goes, I do like that first CEO. I do like this business leader at the top, kind of sets a direction of the business. Knows where the customer's problems are, and then let's figure out a solution to meet those problems. I do like that kind of culture where everything is very exacting.
Kobi Wu: [Whoo hoo 00:41:21].
Jesse Draper: I liked her and I liked Balloonr. I liked both founders. Both businesses, I thought needed a little work or I needed to learn a little more about them, but those are the two I would bet on today.
Tim Draper: Let's do that, let's just say you've got $1,000, and you've got those three companies, what do you do with your $1,000?
Q Motiwala: I'd put it on ... All on Amanda.
Tim Draper: All on Balloonr?
Q Motiwala: Yeah, because she'll figure it out. It's probably Balloonr. The go-to market is probably wrong, but she'll go figure it out on how to pivot it and get back in.
Jesse Draper: I think I go 50/50 on Balloonr versus Visuwall. I think I would do that.
Andy Tang: I think I would probably go between the email company and Balloonr, and the split, I think I'll probably do more on the Balloonr side, maybe 60 to 80%. And then take a 20% flyer on the email company, because if that does take off, it's a big market.
Jesse Draper: Well, dad.
Tim Draper: Yeah, I would probably do about 80% with Balloonr, and I would probably put 10% on Lavabit just because email, it could be just a huge business.
Jesse Draper: Yeah.
Tim Draper: And then another 10% on Visuwall.
Andy Tang: Visuwall.
Jesse Draper: So you're saying the entrepreneurs today were pretty great?
Tim Draper: They were all worth thinking about investing in.
Jesse Draper: Yes.
Tim Draper: Absolutely, and this final entrepreneur with Balloonr just blew my socks off.
Jesse Draper: Yeah, she was great.
Tim Draper: If the other two weren't so compelling, I would have said 100% behind her.
Jesse Draper: Wow. Well, what do you think? Go to meetthedrapers.com.
Tim Draper: So, Q, it's been great having you here.
Jesse Draper: Thank you so much.
Tim Draper: And when we have a guest on Meet the Drapers, we adopt you.
Jesse Draper: [crosstalk 00:43:08].
Tim Draper: So you are now a Draper. Welcome to the family.
Invest in promising
Win a brand-new Apple iPhone 11 Pro with 256 GB of storage. In addition, winner will be featured in our newsletter, get 100 Notes, and a Republic swag pack.
Win a brand-new Apple Watch 5 Space Gray Aluminum Case with Sport Band. In addition, winner will be featured in our newsletter, get 50 Notes, and a Republic swag pack.
Win a brand new set of Apple AirPods. In addition, winner will be featured in our newsletter, get 30 Notes, and a Republic swag pack.
All runners up will get 5 Notes and a swag pack featuring their choice of a Republic t-shirt or hoodie, a pin and a sticker pack.
What other rules should I be aware of?
(Obviously) no cheating. Fraudulent actions towards earning Notes will result in immediate disqualification.
Investors should verify any issuer information they consider important before making an investment.
All securities-related activity is conducted by OpenDeal Portal LLC doing business as Republic, a funding portal which is registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a funding portal (Portal) and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Republic is owned by OpenDeal.
Investments in private companies are particularly risky and may result in total loss of invested capital. Past performance of a security or a company does not guarantee future results or returns. Only investors who understand the risks of early stage investment and who meet the Republic's investment criteria may invest.
Republic does not verify information provided by companies on this Portal and makes no assurance as to the completeness or accuracy of any such information. Additional information about companies fundraising on the Portal can be found by searching the EDGAR database.