Wahooly gets a win


wahoolyCall them wins, milestones, or value inflection points — there are crucial elements  of realism that every new venture must face sooner or later.

And if there’s something to watch for in the muddy trenches of startup warfare, it’s those small but distinguishable signs of life that come with certain validations.

Wahooly came out swinging with a truly innovative idea: giving fans a piece of the action.   In short order, they proceeded to act on the idea, moving from concept to product within months and partnering with the likes of Klout and CMP.LY along the way.

Then it went uponly to come right back down.

Wahooly encountered a problem that most startups, unfortunately, simply cannot relate to: it grew too fast.

“The media attention and partnerships were great and necessary, but on the flip side of that we simply were not prepared,”  said CEO Dana Severson.

But yesterday, some interesting news came about that (indirectly) tips the scales back in favor of this unique crowdfunding model, all while pushing things to a new level of uncertainty as to what happens next.

The first startup to join Wahooly, tweet.TV, announced raising a $750k seed round.

“Wahooly’s program is by far the best way that an early-stage startup can gain the most valuable asset a budding company can have — social proof.   Wahooly’s innovative platform delivers exposure and traction in the form of super-engaged and socially-influential beta users,” says tweet.TV founder Bradley Markham, noting how the relationships formed through Wahooly led to the recent gain.

Customer validation doesn’t come much clearer than that and now Wahooly is now getting a taste of it’s own social proof.  A next big test will be to ensure that the 2,700 new individual stakeholders Wahooly brought to tweet.TV stay happy while attempting to replicate and scale the process. Severson tells me that things are going to take off fast again as the company prepares for relaunch in the middle of the industry changing Jobs Act.  Only this time, he sounds a bit more calm…and confident.

An interview with Severson from the latest MinneDemo (4:00):


  • http://twitter.com/PeterBeacom Peter Beacom

    I'm looking forward to seeing the amount of traction Wahooly will be able to provide MN startups.

  • http://teamwahooly.com/ Elaine Ossipov

    Great article Jeff!!