Unveiling Hyper, a new kind of early-stage venture firm powered by community and distribution
When Ryan Hoover introduced me as Product Hunt’s new CEO a few months ago, he teased a big vision for the future. I’m incredibly excited to finally be able to share some of that vision with you today.
Say hello to Hyper, a new kind of early-stage venture firm inspired by the awesome community of makers and early adopters at Product Hunt. Hyper's investments are about a lot more than just money — we provide startups with the things they need most in today’s tech ecosystem: a great mentorship program, a helpful community, and unique distribution partnerships, among other things we’ll announce later this year. And what makes Hyper really interesting is how we plan to reinvest our fund profits back into the ecosystem.
We’re going to invest in a small number of startups four times per year, with the first group starting our 8-week founder program on September 10th. Applications for Hyper's Fall season are open as of today, so if you’re thinking of starting a company, you should apply now.
In 2011, when I moved to Silicon Valley from a small town in rural England, I was an outsider. I was still a teenager then, and I had no connections in the startup industry. All I knew was that I wanted to start a tech company. After a few lucky meetings, many sleepless nights, and some help from great mentors, I was able to raise funding for my first company, Mino Games. When I transitioned from CEO to Chairman last year, the company had grown to 70 employees and was generating more than $20M in yearly revenue.
As we were growing Mino Games, I began investing in other companies. It didn’t take long for me to notice the nearly universal difficulties that founders faced when it came to things like raising money, hiring employees, and launching products. The strange thing was that most investors focused super heavily on the money problem and didn’t focus enough on the other stuff. I helped when I could.
Things have changed a bit over the years, but there are still common challenges all startups seem to face. Today, well-connected founders have access to nearly limitless amounts of capital, but launching new products, breaking through the noise to reach potential customers or users, and building lasting companies are all harder than ever. And if you’re not well-connected, it’s even more difficult. Strangely, the VC model hasn’t changed much to address these issues since I first raised money a decade ago.
That’s where Hyper comes in. We do a lot more to help our companies with the venture part of venture capital.
How does it work?
Hyper invests $300k each in a small number of companies four times per year. We keep the number of companies small so we can provide hands-on, intimate help. Each company goes through an 8-week-long founder program and gets access to Hyper’s special partners — which are some of the best people and companies to help with community, distribution, talent, mentorship, and fundraising: the things modern startups need to succeed. Our partners include Andreessen Horowitz, AngelList, the Twenty Minute VC Podcast, Sequoia Capital, and Product Hunt (of course), just to name a few.
It’s about the makers
Product Hunt has always been the heart of the maker movement. It has helped countless companies find their audiences — including startups like Notion, Airtable, Zoom, and Slack, which all launched on Product Hunt. At Hyper, we want to help even more makers find success.
You can think of Product Hunt as Hyper’s sister company — there’s a strong bond between the two that will become even stronger over time. They’ll grow and evolve together, with the same mission of helping makers make great stuff.
Joining me on the team at Hyper is Dustin Curtis, as General Partner. He has extensive experience not only as an investor, but also as a founder and maker who has designed, built, and shipped products for his own companies and dozens of others.
Malika Cantor is a partner and GM at Hyper. She joins us from Sequoia Capital, where she worked on the early-stage accelerator and Scouts programs. She previously worked with founders and developers at Google.
Ashton Brown, our Programs Director, also joins us from Sequoia, where she led founder programs and community, and conducted user research.
Outside of our core team, we have an impressive list of partners and mentors who we will be introducing you to over the next few months.
You can apply to be part of Hyper’s Fall season starting today. The application is here: hyper.com/#apply
. If you’re a founder, or if you're thinking of starting a company, you should apply by midnight PT on August 10.
If you have any questions, send an email to us at email@example.com.
To keep up with Hyper and our thoughts about distribution and community, enter your email address here: hyper.com/#news
Stay tuned for more announcements in the coming weeks about Hyper and Product Hunt. We have some exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you.