MikMak’s enterprise eCommerce marketing and insights platform launched three years ago and our business has grown over 1300% since then. We help Fortune 1000 brands like Colgate, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream, Hershey, The J.M. Smucker Company, L’Oreal, P&G, Rémy Cointreau, William Grant and Sons, and more transition to an online-first retail strategy. COVID-19 has accelerated consumer demand for eCommerce by five years overnight, and in turn, MikMak’s business grew over 50% overnight too.
To be honest, we never planned to raise more money. MikMak has been cash flow positive since April 2018 and this spring we were approached by several VCs to accelerate our growth. Ninety days later of Zooms, we decided to partner with investors who specialize in scaling software business like MikMak, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new lead investor Wavecrest Growth Partners to our family. Existing investors Luminari Capital and Brave Ventures also participated and new investment came from Lunch Partners, Madrona Venture Group, Bazaarvoice founder Brett Hurt, Hooklogic founder/CEO Jonathan Opdyke and founding CRO John Roswech, Foursquare CEO David Shim and Kargo CEO Harry Kargman.
With this $10MM in growth capital, we will be using the funding to gain market share and significantly advance our product roadmap. We will be expanding our retail footprint, offering services to international companies, and investing the funding back into its data and insights platform for continued growth and development.
The best part is we now get to hire even more people ANYWHERE in the United States, join us.
Lastly, if you know me, I’m pretty sentimental and below is the email I wrote to our team the other week when we officially closed our round.
When Gary Vaynerchuk wrote us a check in fall of 2014, he told me two things, "Rach, it takes 5 years to build a real business and the most valuable word you will learn is patience." If I had to summarize what got us to this milestone nearly 6 years later:
Hard work pays off. As a kid, I had a reading disorder and speech impediment (y'all know I still can't say words or names correctly), I did not do well on my SATs. I watched my parents, who owned small businesses, put in the hours to grow their respective companies. Like my parents, I've always had to put in the effort to see results. Building MikMak has never come easy, but I work my butt off, stay humble and hungry to make it happen.
Resilience. MikMak 1.0 did not work out. Instead of giving up, I did the most difficult thing in my career, I restructured the entire company. I told all our investors that I need to change the entire business, the only thing that will be the same is the name. Even post the "pivot" to what the company is today, we've experienced major losses. And while all of those moments often felt like someone punched us in the stomach, we never gave up. Building a company takes grit, if you can stay in the ring longer than anyone else, you will prevail.
Market feedback is greater than your own ego. Our product evolution has everything to do with the fact that we're obsessed with understanding our market. We build relationships with brands, agencies and platforms that get us intelligence before anyone else. We've developed tight feedback loops internally to go from market to product to back out to market, and we never allowed our own ideas (our ego) to get in the way of changing direction if needed.
Tell your story with passion, it's infectious. Storytelling is core to human existence. No matter your job, your ability to tell stories around your work, your business, your product, your role, will multiply its value. And if you do it with passion, you just 100x whatever is coming out of your mouth.
Hire people whose strengths are your weaknesses, who represent your values, who are coachable, who are loyal. Being a sole founder is incredibly lonely. I know my strengths -- charisma, vision, focus, storytelling -- and essentially everything else I'm not that great at. Which is why all of YOU are here. Building a company is the work of many, and it takes several years to do so.
Treat your people the way you want to be treated. When I started MikMak in September 2014 my dad gave me one piece of advice, "Treat your people the way you want to be treated." I aim to do that every day for our employees and I truly believe that's the leadership principle to live by.
You all contributed to this moment, you should all be proud. I do want to give special shout outs to Greg Hay, Adam Van Lente, Michael Pirumov and my dad Neil Tipograph who were major participants in getting this round to close. I also want to give another round of special shoutouts to the below MikMak'ers, who all joined the company at least one year ago. This group took big risks in their careers to join a tiny start-up, I will never forget that.
Adam Van Lente. Maggie Yale. Carolann McKay. Sasha Reyes-Guerra. Nicole Melton. Connor Doherty. Terry Horowitz. Gillian Holdstein. Brennan Blair. Danasia Greaves. Moe Rahim. Tayler Corbisiero. Liz Denworth. Anduar Banegas. Alexa Zapletal.
Buckle up. We're entering a new MikMak era.