EC-1

How bottom-up sales helped Expensify blaze the path for SaaS

You'd expect an expense management company to have a large sales department and advertise heavily. But like we’ve seen over and over, Expensify just doesn’t do what you think it should.

How Expensify hacked its way to a robust, scalable tech stack

Take a close look at any ambitious startup and you'll find pugnacity nestled in its core. Stubbornness and a bullheaded belief in the worth of what a company wants to bring to fruition is often the bi

How Expensify shed Silicon Valley arrogance to realize its global ambitions

Expensify may be the most ambitious software company ever to mostly abandon the Bay Area as the center of its operations.

How Expensify got to $100M in revenue by hiring ‘stem cells’ and not ‘cogs in a wheel’

The influence of a founder on their company's culture cannot be overstated. Everything from their views on the product and business to how they think about people affects how their company's employees

The Expensify EC-1

Let’s make it clear from the outset that this story is about an expense management SaaS business called Expensify. As you’d expect, yes, this is about the expense management market and how

How a band of P2P hackers planted the seeds of a unique expense management giant

It’s natural to think an expense report management business would play it by the book. But one look at Expensify is enough to tell you that this is a company that never even looked for the book.

The Duolingo EC-1

Education may well be the most important activity we conduct as a society — and it may also be the hardest space to build a startup in. Selling to school districts and universities is notoriously di

How a bot-fighting test turned into edtech’s most iconic brand, Duolingo

Luis von Ahn, an entrepreneur who has dedicated his career to scaling free education, has probably annoyed you more than once. In fact, you’ve likely been annoyed by his work dozens and maybe hundre

The product-led growth behind edtech’s most downloaded app

Duolingo CEO and co-founder Luis von Ahn was tired of the gray and dreary design aesthetic edtech companies used to emulate universities. Instead, he and the company’s early team sought inspiration

How Duolingo became fluent in monetization

As its meandering route to monetization will demonstrate, Duolingo isn’t mission-oriented, it’s mission-obsessed. Co-founders Luis von Ahn and Severin Hacker never wanted to charge consumers for a

Duolingo can’t teach you how to speak a language, but now it wants to try

Duolingo has been wildly successful. It has pulled in 500 million total registered learners, 40 million active users, 1.5 million premium subscribers and $190 million in booked revenues in 2020. It ha

Extra Crunch roundup: Klaviyo EC-1, micromobility’s second wave, UiPath CFO interview, more

Origin stories are satisfying because we already know the hero will overcome the odds — and in doing so, they'll reveal their core strengths.

The Klaviyo EC-1

E-commerce is booming as retailers race to transform their brick-and-mortar footprints into online storefronts. By some counts, the market grew an astonishing 42% in 2020 in the wake of the COVID-19 p

How Klaviyo transformed from a lifestyle business into a $4.15B email titan

Startups are stories of feverish dreams and obsessive fears. Short of hearing it from the source, a glimpse into the inbox of a founder would be the best way to experience the travails they endure on

How Klaviyo used data and no-code to transform owned marketing

Email is the communication medium that refuses to die. “Eventually, every technology is trumped by something new and better. And I feel that email is ready to be trumped. But by what?” wrote the v

Marketing in 2021 is emotional and not just transactional

Brands are emotions made physical. The clothes we wear, the media we consume, the devices we use — all signal not only to others what we value and see in ourselves, they also are a way to construct

Drama and quirk aren’t necessary for startup success

Many of the stories in our EC-1 series tell tales of startups in the wilderness hacking out green field opportunities. Klaviyo is a different breed of company: One that went into an established market

The StockX EC-1

StockX is a unique company at the nexus of two radical transitions that isn’t just redefining markets, but our culture as well.

How StockX became the stock market of hype

StockX may be a multibillion dollar juggernaut with massive influence radiating throughout sneaker culture today, but it started with taking the leap to transforming a personal passion into a business

Authentication and StockX’s global arms race against fraudsters

In this part of the EC-1, we’ll explore how authentication got started at StockX and how it has grown, as well as what it takes to compete with the fakes — and the fallout when the company gets a
Load More