AMA w/ YAC - From PH Makers Festival to raising $7.5M

Gabe Perez
30 replies
Excited to host an AMA with the team from YAC today at 1pm! From winning the Product Hunt Makers Festival to the just-announced $7.5M Series A, ask the YAC team about their maker journey. Drop your questions below ๐Ÿ‘‡

Replies

What were some key elements in your workflow to take advantage of winning the Makers Festival and raise $7.5M
Hunter McKinley
@gabe__perez Awesome question, thanks! Our team has been working together since the inception of sofriendly.com. We have always worked remote and coordinated async in Slack. It was fitting for our final knockout startup to come out of the design agency to be a remote-first, async app! Makers Festival was all about scratching our own itch. As a boutique design agency, we needed to coordinate with our offshore dev teams efficiently. Thus, "Yelling Across Cubicles" was born. Of course later on we shorted it to YAC and then finally to Yac!
From @karanganesan on Twitter "Curious what's the story behind the twitter handle? Was it bought if so how much or was it registered by one of the founders probably back in 2008?"
Justin Mitchell
@karanganesan @gabe__perez We did not own it prior to building Yac if that answers your question ;). I recorded a yac a bit ago for the Earnest Capital community on how we got the handle and some tips and tricks. Give it a listen: https://yac.com/play/dz6d5eW57
Lanre Akinyemi
Hey team! How difficult was it going from a "hackathon" project to a full-fledge product looking for capital?
Justin Mitchell
@lanre_akinyemi The biggest "difficulty" was by far the actual raising of capital. We had no network, no clout, and were just makers at heart. Shifting gears to a VC mindset and positioning the product as more than a weekend hack was something that not only we did on the branding side of things but also features, monetization model, and long term goals. You aren't exactly thinking IPO when you throw code together on a weekend so it meant taking a fresh look at what we built and figuring out how we make this a massive company.
Jake Crump
Hey folks! What's one thing you wish you would have done differently while building the app?
Justin Mitchell
@jakecrump I think one thing we "failed" at, was building the future first. We built the product where we wanted it to be at a pro user level, but failed to assume new users won't be used to this new way of communication yet. A lot of what we are doing now is building a strong single player experience as well as a way to ween new users into voice messaging without expecting them to be pros day 1.
Calum Webb
Congratulations on the Series A! Any hints or sneak-peaks you can share as to what's to come, particularly with any further integrations with Slack?
Justin Mitchell
@calum Big new update to the Slack integration coming soon. You'll be able to yac right from Slack via the call button and slash commands!
Jacqueline von Tesmar
Hi YAC, happy to have you on today! What's the next year look like for you? What are your top 3 focuses in getting YAC to where you want it to be?
Justin Mitchell
@jacqvon Growth growth growth! Not only hiring for those roles but going back to the product core and making sure that features and UX and copy is all centered around getting more people into the product. We are also working on a lot of partnerships and integrations which in turn will help us bring new audiences into Yac.
ยญAnmol Parashar
Regarding the actual product, whatโ€™s next? More integrations, more features, all of the above?
Sarah Evans
Hi Team Yac. I'd love to know how you plan to continue the momentum you've built. Do you have it outlined in a 30/60/90 plan, quarterly? The back of house planning can prove to be very overwhelming for startups -- what areas are you most focused on and why? :)
Justin Mitchell
@prsarahevans We've never really invested in advertising before, so there's gonna be a much larger effort there over the next 90 days. Immediate 30 days equals new hires around growth, customer success, and management.
Hunter McKinley
@prsarahevans Hey Sarah, thanks for asking. We will use the new funds in hiring new growth, sales, and marketing roles as well as investing in advertising for the first time since launch! The audio space is heating up and it's no secret that the world of remote has completely exploded due to Covid. Now we can focus all of our attention on catering to the needs of remote workers world wide and get the word out that Yac is here to let you hear!
Garrett McCurrach
What is the most important thing to focus on when fundraising?
Justin Mitchell
@thegarrettscott Storytelling! I never go over a deck live on the call (or even when we went in person pre-pandemic). I always send the deck post call and focus on telling the investors why we are the right people to build this and why this is the right thing to build.
Ruben A. Ramirez
Congrats to the YAC Team! Next stop: ๐Ÿš€๐ŸŒ™! A few questions for you guys: 1) Slack was solving the high email inbox # that individuals face while YAC is solving the many meetings that individuals and companies face. Like emails, meetings are heavily engrained in business today. What feature do you think will help managers and leaders replace large-scale meetings with YACs? 2) I know the YAC team makes themselves available to YAC when teams join. Obviously, that means that your team may be bombarded with messages. Have you seen a positive gain with allowing access to you guys like that? 3) Do you guys plan on creating a full-scale sales team to this year?
Hunter McKinley
@rubes_world 1) We have a few features coming out that will completely replace the need to have meetings all together. For now, the biggest challenge, believe it or not, is the hurdle of getting a team that is used to live meetings and communication to first go async. Once a team is async, they adopt Yac extremely quickly and can begin the process of eliminating meetings all together. 2) One of the top pieces of feedback we've gotten is how much folks like that they can directly message us in Yac. In fact, we've been asked how other apps could adopt Yac as their main line of customer support. Fascinating to see and hear really 3) We currently do not have a sales team but will be focusing heavily on growth this year! ๐Ÿš€
Kirubha
What are you guys most excited about?
Hunter McKinley
@k17ubha integrations. The current version of Yac lays the foundation to fundamentally change the way people work. Think Shopify but for work communication.
Gavin Dove
Biggest counter-intuitive learning you came across in the process of raising a series A?
Justin Mitchell
@gknd95 Ditch the deck and pitch using storytelling. Decks are tired. Very data driven and an investor is investing in your team as much as they are your product, if not even moreso. We always made one and always sent one, but first call shouldn't be a presentation.
Rhythm Bhatnagar
Many congratulations on the raise! Just love the product. Literally brings all my voice notes with the team from whatsapp to Slack (in a single space). Really excited with the async approach as a tenet. If you had all the money and the best of brains, what would a complete async Collab look like? For instance, can I make recordings a part of my figma file?
Hunter McKinley
@rhythm_bhatnagar Thank you so much! The best collaboration is collaboration that happens like magic. We believe that each part of your work life will be completely async in the future simply because it will be impossible to have everyone on at once. Hand everyone a pair of AirPods and now the world runs on audio/voice/async and you've got yourself the world's most inclusive workforce ever seen
Tasos Valtinos
Hi Gabe! I have a question for you. We have 1,300 users in 7 months, +24% RR of Day30, and in the last 4 days we got our first 3 paid customers. Are we ready for an angel investment? Is that enough, or should we focus all of our energy in anything but hunting investors?