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If you subscribe to the conventional wisdom, then you likely believe that the past two years have decimated the startup sector. But while the market conditions seemed hostile to startups, the reality is that new venture activity has exploded. For proof, look no further than the data surrounding venture capital activity.
VC investments rebounded sharply in late 2020 and reached a crescendo in 2021. In fact, the second quarter of this year saw the most VC dollars invested in any quarter, ever. And amid that wave of startup activity, there’s one firm–a startup itself–that’s uniquely positioned to capitalize. Their name is Doola, and they’re a one-stop shop for entrepreneurs looking to start businesses of their own.
Related: The Rise of Alternative Venture Capital
The Startup Helping Startups
Doola began its life as a company called Standups. And it was during the process of getting the company up and running that co-founder Arjun Mahadevan had an epiphany. He realized that the work of acquiring the software and accounting infrastructure a new business needs to get up and running is itself a full-time job. And it was one he believed was holding other like-minded entrepreneurs back from focusing on the critical work of making their business ideas into a reality.
And so Standups pivoted to take on that job on behalf of other entrepreneurs, renamed as StartPack. But that name didn’t adequately reflect what the company aimed to do. It wasn’t planning to walk entrepreneurs through forming an LLC and send them on their way. It would instead be a full-service fintech company–a sort of creators’ operating system–that a startup can lean on until it can stand on its own. So Mahadevan and his associates came up with a new, more descriptive name, and Doola was born (and for those that don’t get the reference, ask a new parent).
Startup All-Stars Align For Doola
If you think that the major players in the startup scene would recognize an idea like Doola’s as valuable, you’re right. One after another, some startup all-stars began to get behind Doola. It recently completed a financing round led by Nexus Venture Partners, raising a total of $3.6 million. And Nexus isn’t the only well-known name now attached to Doola.
Prior to their latest financing round, they’d already assembled an array of well-known backers. They participated in a Y Combinator batch in the summer of 2020, and count the likes of Hustle Fund, XX, Psion Capital, and Translink Investment as early backers. Their support was enough for Doola to build an MVP and attract its first customer in September. And that opened the floodgates for the fledgling firm.
Related: Y Combinator Invests $125,000 In Mumbai-based Nino Foods
Creators Flocking To Doola
In the months that followed the launch of its MVP, Doola has already assisted in the formation of hundreds of LLCs. And according to Mahadevan, that’s already put them on a glide path to sustained growth, with the firm already turning a profit from a unit economics perspective. And it’s already providing clients with services well beyond LLC creation.
Doola is already helping its clients with the process of securing an EIN for tax purposes, providing a US address (for overseas clients) and US bank accounts, free tax consultation and support, and even access to US payment collection services. And those are just the flagship services. Doola estimates that all of the extra value-added services it’s already providing its clients add up to a value of around $50,000 – which is a significant financial boost for any startup.
Related: 5 Foundational Principles of Early Entrepreneurial Success
Doola’s First Steps Into Its Future
For Doola, the good news about its early success is that it didn’t have to burn through its recent fundraising round to keep the lights on. Instead, Mahadevan has indicated the bulk of the funding would go toward scaling up its team. Right now, Doola consists of co-founders Mahadevan and JP Pincheira and 14 other employees. And given the response so far, it’s already clear the existing staff will soon be overwhelmed.
That could even turn out to be an underestimation of the situation. Mahadevan has indicated that Doola has its sights set on bigger things in the very near future. That includes a push to expand operations globally, where Doola would gain access to a much larger cohort of potential clients. Worldwide, it could offer services to the over 50 million members of the global creator economy, where it might find fuel for a new generation of startups.
Related: Can The Creator Economy Help Democratize Entrepreneurship?
Unleashing a Wave Of Creator-Led Startups
Doola’s focus on creators might help create a wave of new creator-led startups, which would be a very big deal at a time when economic disruption has limited opportunities for many. And it coincides with a boom in funding aimed at the creator economy. In 2021 alone, VCs pumped $1.3 billion into creator-led businesses. That means there’s an awful lot of people joining the creator economy and even more money available for them to build startups of their own.
And Doola’s founders understand that most of the people participating in the creator economy don’t have the time, skills, or interest to do all of the work necessary to make a startup soar. From its founders’ perspective, creators work best when they can devote their creative energy to doing what they do best and leaving the rest up to others. And they intend for Doola to be those ‘others’ for as many creators as possible.
If they succeed, it would mean the beginning of a startup renaissance the likes of which haven’t been seen since the early days of the dot-com boom. But this time, the entrepreneurs leading the charge would have all of the help they need to build the next big thing. And that’s good news for them, and the global economy at large – so stay tuned.