For Bend-based Droplr, maker of an online file-sharing service, the last year has been a whirlwind of fundraising, change and growth. Co-founders Josh Bryant and Levi Nunnink raised more money, graduated from the Portland Seed Fund accelerator and established a presence in the state’s biggest city.
“We’ve definitely put a lot of miles on the car,” Bryant says. He and Nunnink recently sat down with BendTECH to discuss their future plans and lessons learned.
First up: The product Nunnink notes that the startup has really homed in on its target user over the past several months. Droplr allows users to send short, secure links of large files. The company has found a niche among advertising agencies and other creative firms that are routinely sharing massive files with their team members. (Read Bryant’s recent blog post about how their product differs from DropBox).
The founders spent two-and-a-half months as residents of the Portland Seed Fund accelerator this past spring. Nunnink says the experience helped them shift their focus from individual users to team accounts. “The biggest thing for us has been launching a team plan,” Nunnink says. “It allows all the users to sign up with one account and makes collaboration among the team members a lot easier.”
That shift has been substantial: Team accounts now represent 30% of the company’s revenue, Nunnink says.
Second: The place Droplr now plans to place most of its tech and sales force in Portland. Most recently from California, Bryant moved his family to Bend for the lifestyle (skiing before work, camping with the kids) and then started his company in 2012. But after spending so much time in Portland this year, he and Nunnick realized a presence there made sense for their product.
“All of our potential partners and customers are in one place,” Bryant says. That makes it easier for the startup to make connections and generate new clients, especially among the plethora of creative agencies that call the city home. Nunnink is moving to Portland this summer, and Bryant will split his time between the two places. Droplr’s headquarters will remain in Bend.
Finally: Fundraising “We’re done and it feels amazing,” Bryant says. The startup landed $260,000 last May in a joint investment from Bend-based Cascade Angels (which contributed $100,000), Seven Peaks Ventures and the Portland Seed Fund. The most recent funds follow a $500,000 investment last year in a round, led by Seven Peaks, which included several investors.
Bryant and Nunnink won’t disclose how many users their service has or company revenues (“Our competitors already know too much,” Bryant says). But he adds that both are on an upward march. And meanwhile, they’re hiring: Droplr is hunting for a marketing star to help spread the word about their product.