Arjun Rai, the founder, and CEO of HelloWoofy was Entre’s first Pitch Competition winner back in November 2019. Arjun says he still has the giant cheque in his office as a keepsake. We wanted to catch up with Arjun and see how things have been progressing with HelloWoofy since their victory.
For those that may not know, tell us a bit about HelloWoofy.
HelloWoofy is a marketing platform that offers unique features using AI and data science to enable its users to make data-driven decisions when it comes to marketing.
From the beginning, HelloWoofy wanted to make a platform that was more creative and innovative than some of its competition. The magic of HelloWoofy is in creating and adding content using real-time data.
One of the biggest features of the platform is that it can autofill copy and suggest emojis and hashtags that are relevant and trending.
What have you been up to since Entre’s 2019 pitch competition?
HelloWoofy just completed a successful crowdfunding campaign with Republic, where they raised nearly $400K. They’re preparing to start their next crowdfunding campaign in a couple of weeks. As a part of the crowdfunding campaign, they were featured on the TV show “Meet the Drapers” and have made it to the final round.
Since the Pitch Competition, they’ve got $122K in sales and have grown their user base from a few hundred to over 3,500 globally.
HelloWoofy also has a Content Masters Facebook group for all of their customers to share their feedback, which helps them iterate the platform based on their needs and what’s working or not working.
How has winning Entre’s 2019 pitch competition helped you grow your business?
Outside of winning the pitch competition, HelloWoofy had also received capital from two investors that were on the panel; Scott Kallick and Susie Farber. It was a great way to get in front of early-stage investors.
What are some of the biggest benefits of doing pitch competitions?
Pitch competitions allow you to get exposure for your business. Not only do you get in front of your user base and potential customers, but it’s a great way to connect with investors because they get to see you in action.
You never know who you’re going to meet at events like these.
What’s some advice you’d give to the start-up founders participating in Entre’s next Pitch Competition?
Make sure you connect with the investors on a human level. A big part of a successful pitch is storytelling and proving why you’re the right founder to invest in. In HelloWoofy’s, case they talked about having to fire a co-founder and CTO because of a bad culture fit and maxing out credit cards so they could continue growing the business as a way to connect on a personal level.
What advice would you give to an early-stage founder?
Look internationally to build your core team early on. Not only is there a lot of great talent out there, but it enables your company to be on 24/7. It can be a challenge to keep up with the time differences, but it will give you a competitive advantage.
Based on your experience, what’s something to look out for when hiring developers internationally?
Make sure you test the developer’s skillset using products like HackerRank before making a decision. Don’t just hire based on what they sell you. Arjun also recommends hiring on Fiverr and Upwork to find global talent.
Check out our upcoming Pitch Competition happening on May 20! We welcome entrepreneurs of all types, start-ups of all sizes, industries, and stages to join us. Find the inspiration, resources, and friends that will make you successful.