Introducing an earlier investment: Volley, a friendly place for helping othersPortfolio
Last October, we made our first investment out of Fund II and are excited to announce this news today as the company launches publicly out of beta. Volley is a friendly place for helping others solve problems online.
Volley members can post requests in response to the question, “What are you looking for?” You can sift through a list of requests quickly and either reply directly to a request, volley it on to someone you know who can help, or just skip it if you can’t think of anyone in your networks suited to help.
We have posted technical questions on drones, podcasts, Facebook groups, transportation/logistics, etc.; as well as personal questions (like what surgical graft I should get after I tore my ACL). Similarly, we’ve leveraged the Volley community to recruit help (i.e. videographers, illustrators) and to get leads on renting out parts of our Vancouver office.
The idea is simple, and there is no doubt that many other startups have worked on facilitating connections, but here’s why we decided to lead Volley’s round.
There is a huge opportunity in the social space as everyone’s networks are fragmented across different services and platforms. For example, with friends on Facebook being mostly personal and private, acquaintances on LinkedIn being professional, and followers on Twitter being public, this makes connectivity inefficient. Volley can thus be the dominant way to solicit help from and access the knowledge of relevant people who are “siloed” across a variety of networks.
Tapping into a “pay it forward” culture
What’s exciting about Volley is that they are capturing the essence of Silicon Valley’s “pay it forward” culture and replicating it on a grand scale. Living and working in the SF Bay Area, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by people who are incredibly generous with their time and knowledge, always eager to make introductions and help each other out. Volley offers the chance to open this Silicon Valley dynamic to community after community after community.
The first time we met Volley founders Mike Murchison and David Hariri (they later welcomed Brendan Lynch as a co-founder too), we were blown away by their thoughtfulness.
This same thoughtfulness has translated into incredible traction and engagement among the young professionals on Volley, especially in the Toronto startup ecosystem. For instance, every request receives an average of over 5 replies. Volley has organically spread to other cities and they are looking forward to growing their community with this public launch.
We are power users, not just investors
We have been active members during Volley’s beta, deriving much value from the platform.
For example, I posted the request below:
Within two days, I got 15 very thoughtful answers from friends, and friends of friends whom I’ve never met before, and compiled a list of over 50 tools (to be shared in an upcoming blog post). Yes, I could have discovered many of these tools via Google. In fact, this is how I started but I quickly found that the information was outdated and/or sponsored (i.e. inherently biased). Instead, through the Volley community, I was able to learn who uses which tools and why, today.
We’re certain many users have found great value from Volley too – and we would to hear those stories.
Have a question or need some help? Getting the urge to be helpful? Come experience the power of Volley’s community.
To learn more, visit http://volley.works or follow on @volleyworks on Twitter.