Building a new Kid-Tech Venture
By Filippo Yacob
For the last few months my colleagues and I have been stealthily building a new SaaS venture on a quest to create a kid-first Internet discovery tool. Not the released by FINH, but we abide by the maxim that not every product can be a venture. This one however, is a venture.
Codename: URSOR, a browser for kids that doesn’t track them, doesn’t serve them ads, and doesn’t steal their data. It will be a paid subscription service, because when products like these are free, the user, in this case our kids, are the product, and we don’t like that very much at all.
We want the URSOR experience to feel more like an are.na than a Google.
We want it to allow parents to curate a safe corner of the internet for their children.
We want it to be a tool that turns the Internet into an extension of parenting as opposed to an extension of big tech.
The market we’re after is big. Really really big. The timing is right, and the path to a £100M ARR business seems clear enough. Getting there is of course another story, and the great adventure ahead.
To make things more interesting we also decided we will develop and launch the venture without external investors.
REASON 1 - Amongst the founders we have the technical and operational skills to build and launch a venture of this ilk independently, and we also believe that a “back against the wall” environment in the early days of a start-up leads to better product, shrewder business decisions, and slicker operations for maximum capital efficiency.
REASON 2 - We've had some success in the past, but we also made loads of mistakes. We want to repeat more of the former and less of the latter, and we want to test all of the bootstrapping tricks learned during our 2 previous ventures, Pigzbe and Primo Toys. We want to see if we can build a 3rd venture faster, cheaper, better.
REASON 3 - Early money can be super useful, but it tends to distort a Founder’s perception of a product as it develops, especially if the idea seems good to begin with. It's hard to be truly objective about a project you've already sunk money in, and therefore harder to fail quickly (and gracefully).
REASON 4 - We don't want early money because when you have it, you spend it, and you end up relying on it to solve all kinds of problems, but some problems you just can't buy your way out of...
I will journal the experience from field to fork, sharing our process from product development, to operations planning, to growth, to governance. It’s going to be fun.
So... if the prospect of reclaiming the Internet for future generations to come sounds like something you want to get behind, or you're just curious about how to build a SaaS venture from the ground up, watch this space, and sign-up for early access to URSOR's Alpha program.
See you soon!