A note from Ben Zifkin, CEO and Founder of Hubba
Last year, I had the opportunity to recap what turned out to be an amazing 2014 for Hubba. The post talked about the ‘Next Chapter’ in the maturation of the company. I am fortunate to be back to write another ‘Next Chapter’ post. It will not be the last. There will be many, many more to come.
I am very happy to announce that Hubba has raised $11M to fund the next stage of our growth. Our full press release can be found here. This raise, one of the largest Series A rounds for a Canadian software company, marks an important milestone for the business. While many people celebrate the funding itself, what I celebrate is that we built a strong enough company to support such a large round. It is a small nuance, but it is important one if you want to understand how we think.
Since raising our $3.1M seed round, we have seen some pretty remarkable achievements. While our stats tell an amazing story, it is the small signals that I always find most important. We are now approaching an astonishing 10,000 brands and retailers on our network. However, the real story is the pace at which Hubba is being adopted. We were blown away when we brought on our 1,000th company only 4 months after our launch just over a year ago. Now we are capable of onboarding 1,000 companies in 5 days.
Our community is sharing product content, discovering new products and launching products all on Hubba
We have also seen our community expand and flourish. One of the most interesting signals is that our members are using Hubba for advanced use cases. Some of which, even we have not thought about. Recently, during our Baby Week campaign, several brands held off on their scheduled marketing and PR cycles to do exclusive worldwide product launches on Hubba. Amazing. This is exactly the organic usage we had hoped for.
Evolving from outbound to inbound
The most recent signal is the evolution from outbound to inbound. Historically, we reached out to brands to get them to sign up. Now they either find us themselves or they are invited into the network from another happy member. Even our candidate pipeline has evolved. We were fortunate that we were able to snipe the best and brightest from Toronto in the early days before anyone knew about us. Now, the calibre of talent that wants to join us in our mission is truly unbelievable.
Finally, the influx of partnerships has hit us has been off the charts. When the world’s largest retailers, most innovative technology players and respected venture capitalist start to reach out, unsolicited, to a small Canadian startup, you know things are moving in the right direction.
Raising funds to accelerate growth
So with everything going so well, why would we raise money? Excellent question. Easy answer. We can accelerate our growth. We have built an awesome rocket ship. We have the best crew in the world. We know our course. And we have lifted off from the launch pad. Now it is time to ignite the booster rockets. Not only are we winning in our space (in such a short time), but we are completely defining the category. Winning, however, isn’t our goal. Our goal is total domination.
We are not just talking about huge market share, we are talking about 100% market share. Everything. We are going to do it. This funding helps us do it faster. Stay tuned to see some amazing new hire announcements, product launches and other exciting news in the coming months.
I will end this post with a little insight into how lucky I am. Every day, I get to oscillate between feeling incredibly fortunate, extremely proud and ridiculously excited.
I am incredibly fortunate that we have such an amazing community crystallizing around us. Whether it is an innovative brand, a forward thinking retailer, an investor who stood behind us or any other supporter, please know that none of us takes it for granted. Your backing is what makes Hubba special.
I am extremely proud of the team at Hubba. Their work ethic, intelligence, creativity and focus on our mission is exactly what I would have hoped for but nowhere near what I was expecting. We will always be the best, not because of what we do but because of who we are.
And finally, I am ridiculously excited for the opportunity that we have in front of us. The world of commerce is evolving and we have a unique position to not just be a part of it but to be a catalyst in this massive market.
Thanks for all the support. This is just the beginning.