Adelaide startup Good Thnx just took part in Startmate’s 10th anniversary demo day event. But, already, this business is racking up wins, including building an integrated Slack app and hitting the milestone of $1 million in donations.
Founded back in 2015, Good Thnx allows users to send a ‘thnx’ of any dollar value, to be donated to a charity of the recipient’s choice.
Even before co-founders Shannon Poulton and Ante Juricin joined Startmate, they counted global tech behemoth Google as a client.
But, while previously they were focused on selling to large enterprises, during the program they developed the Slack integration, which Poulton tells SmartCompany almost allows people to “self-serve”.
This new direction proved something of a turning point.
For example, in the early days developing the Slack-integrated app, the co-founders received an inbound enquiry from a large Australian tech company, which had heard about the project and wanted to try it out for their 10-person dev team.
“We gave them basically the very first beta version … to help us test,” Poulton explains.
“We baked in some things for virality and product-led growth, so the dev team could thank other people in the organisation,” he adds.
Within three weeks, the business’ employee experience lead reached out with a proposal to roll out the Slack integration across the whole business.
“We’ve seen a 10-person beta trial essentially turn into a 450-head sale in three weeks.”
Where an enterprise sale is a long process, the Slack integration allows small teams to pick up the product, start using it, and spread the word, fast.
“By the time an organisation is looking to use the product across their whole business, it’s likely they have a use-case internally already,” Poulton explains.
“They’ve probably got several teams of people using it happily, and then that conversation is so much easier.”
Founders helping founders
Product-led growth is a bit of a buzzword at the moment, Poulton says. But this is exactly what Good Thnx has achieved during the Startmate program.
“In 12 weeks, we completely scoped and built the Slack app, tested it for closed and open organisations, deployed it for a number of companies, and made our first sales with it,” he explains.
The founder puts that ability partly down to the mentors involved. Throughout, he and Juricin had access to leaders at the likes of Atlassian and Culture Amp.
Culture Amp chief technology officer Doug English was on Good Thnx’s ‘mentor squad’.
Other mentors in the program include Adore Beauty co-founder Kate Morris, Blackbird’s Nick Crocker and Sam Wong, Mentorloop co-founder Lucy Lloyd, and Skip Capital founder Kim Jackson.
“We had extremely senior product people from the best companies in Australia helping us with product testing and advice,” Poulton says.
“Startmate really, really accelerated that for us.”
In fact, it’s those connections that are the best part of the whole experience, he notes, even more so than the $75,000 investment.
“I could reach out to almost to anyone in that network, they would happily set up some time, jump on a Zoom call for 30 minutes, look at stuff we’ve been building,” Poulton says.
“It really is founders helping founders.”
Of course, while reaching Startmate’s demo day is one milestone to check off, hitting $1 million in donations is also a pretty big deal.
“When we started Good Thnx that was always the first major milestone that we articulated,” Poulton says.
“If we can reach $1 million distributed, regardless of what happens next, it will always be worthwhile.”
Now it’s reached that goal, things are only looking up.
Good Thnx has just signed a new customer, Poulton reveals, which is looking to pledge another $1 million to charities through the system within the next year alone.
That deal also has the potential to double the number of charity partners on the system to 400, and to grow to a value of $10 million per year.
“Lots of people talk about going from zero to one,” Poulton says.
“It was bumpy, it took a while, but now how do we grow from $1 million to $100 million, or from $1 million to $1 billion, in a much quicker timeframe?
“We will be well on our way to achieving those goals.”