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Goodly YCombinator Application

Goodly successful YCombinator application from 2018 summer batch (YC S18).

Student loan repayment as an employee benefit.
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If you have a demo, what's the url?

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Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less.

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Student Loan Repayment as an Employee Benefit.

What is your company going to make? Please describe your product and what it does or will do.

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Goodly makes it easy for employers to offer student loan repayment benefits. Our platform allows employers to make monthly payments directly to employees' student debt. Similar to a 401k to pay down student loans. Offering student loan benefits as an incentive for recruiting and retaining top employees and to foster diversity and inclusion has become increasingly essential for employers. Student loan benefits rank as one of the most desirable employee benefits for millennial and gen z employees. When we looked at existing options, it was clear that the market does not have a great solution for employers that want to offer student loan benefits. Current options are difficult to implement, expensive, and have limited resources for employees. Goodly will: Benefits administrator: implement plans, enroll employees, verify student loans, and facilitate payments. Improve workplace diversity: - Women hold two-thirds (66%) of all student loan debt - Black and Latinx Americans have 31% higher student loan debt - LGBTQ community holds significantly higher debt on average

Where do you live now, and where would the company be based after YC?

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San Francisco, USA / San Francisco, USA


Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not private) YouTube video introducing the founder(s).

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Who writes code, or does other technical work on your product? Was any of it done by a non-founder?

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Hemant writes the code and technical work.

How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet? Have any of the founders not met in person?

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Greg and Hemant have known each other for well over a year, and met when they started working as early hires at Rippling YC W17 out of Parker Conrad's unfinished basement in the Mission.

Please tell us about an interesting project, preferably outside of class or work, that two or more of you created together.

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Last winter, we were curious about what it would take to build a decentralized social network and hacked together Peppy, a block-chain alternative to Twitter as an experiment.


How far along are you?

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We're building our MVP. Over a two week period we met with 40 thought leaders in the HR/benefits space, including startup founders, tech CEOs, VC's on the boards of HR/benefits companies, and HR and people operations employees in our target market to guide our product development. We started sales outreach for our alpha last Friday, by end of day Monday we had five alpha customers.

How long have each of you been working on this? How much of that has been full-time?

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We quit our jobs at Rippling four weeks ago to work on this full-time.

How many active users or customers do you have? How many are paying? Who is paying you the most, and how much do they pay you?

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We have five alpha customers that we're onboarding this week.

Anything else you would like us to know regarding your revenue or growth rate?

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We're preparing to launch our beta and plan to have revenue soon.

If you are applying with the same idea as a previous batch, did anything change? If you applied with a different idea, why did you pivot and what did you learn from the last idea?

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This is our first time applying :)

If you have already participated or committed to participate in an incubator, "accelerator" or "pre-accelerator" program, please tell us about it.

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Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?

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We picked this idea for three reasons: Idea: Goodly came from Greg's personal experience with student loans. After Greg's father passed away unexpectedly due to a heart attack, he had to borrow $80k in student loans to pay for his education at Dartmouth. After moving to Silicon Valley to work for a startup, he saw the war for talent and how challenging it is for tech companies to hire a diverse workforce. Need: - 44 million Americans hold $1.5 trillion in student loan debt (300% increase since 2006) - 70% of Americans graduate from college with debt - Average borrower owes $37,127 - 22 years (average time to payoff) - 1 in 4 student loan borrowers are in default - 37% have missed at least one payment 49% of millennials prefer student loan benefits to a 401k and 53% would consider a salary cut to have this benefit. 86% of employees said they'd stay with a company for at least 5 years if their employer helped pay down their student loans. Goodly bridges the gap between the demand for this benefit from employees and the cost and complexity of administering student loan benefits for employers. Domain expertise: Hemant and Greg gained deep domain expertise building and selling HR/benefits software at Rippling. They started working together a week apart, before Rippling launched or had customers, and helped build the company from the ground up. Hemant built over 100 of Rippling's integrations. During YC W17, Greg worked with Parker to develop and execute Rippling's go to market and first sales strategy. Greg had a 75% close rate selling Rippling's HR/benefits software.

What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?

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The implementation process for employee benefits solutions on the market today can be needlessly complex and expensive. Many HR/benefits solutions are cumbersome and cost prohibitive for many employers to offer. Goodly can be implemented in 10 minutes and is flexible enough to fit any budget with no setup or annual fees.

What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?

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A focus on employees (not just employers) as end users: Many employee benefit vendors are focused on developing relationships with employers, Goodly is building a highly differentiated brand that is employee centric. Goodly will provide all of the tools needed for employees with student debt manage and pay off their student loans, allowing Goodly to become a trusted resource for employees and employers.

Who are your competitors, and who might become competitors? Who do you fear most?

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Gradii, Tuition, Student Loan Genius, Peanut Butter We fear large financial institutions with significant resources and existing partnerships.

How do or will you make money? How much could you make?

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Starting with a bottom up approach, our initial target market will be startups with 1 to 500 employees. Our immediate source of revenue will be a SaaS-based pricing model of $6/month for each employee that participates with no setup costs or annual fees. 44 million Americans have student debt, charging $6/month x 12 months would produce $3.16 billion in ARR. The total U.S. student loan market is $1.5 trillion (larger than all consumer credit cards and auto loans) and growing by $2,726 per second. Bipartisan legislation in Congress would make up to $5,250 a year in employer contributions for student loan repayment tax-free. The bill has 118 co-sponsors as of April 17, 2018.

How will you get users? If your idea is the type that faces a chicken-and-egg problem in the sense that it won't be attractive to users till it has a lot of users (e.g. a marketplace, a dating site, an ad network), how will you overcome that?

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Bottom-up approach targeting other startups as beta users and rapidly expanding to target professional services companies (law firms, consultants/MBAs, medical/dental) to gain a foothold in the market and then expand to other sectors. - Working through personal networks to gain traction with beta users - Connecting with startups in major tech hubs - Education/Awareness: seminars/workshops for employees on how to manage student loans - Online distribution to employers - White papers/case studies - Gaining traction in the press/media


Have you formed ANY legal entity yet?

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Please list all legal entities you have and in what state or country each was formed (e.g. Delaware C Corp, Mexican SAPI, Singapore Pvt Ltd, etc.).

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Delaware C Corp.

Please describe the breakdown of the equity ownership in percentages among the founders, employees and any other stockholders. If there are multiple founders, be sure to give the equity ownership of each founder and founder title (e.g. CEO).

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Have you taken any investment yet?

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We're bootstrapping, but have received investment offers.

How much money do you spend per month?

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How long is your runway?

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We're bootstrapped, but have received investment offers, including from the CEO of Postmates How to use the Postmates delivery app, and what you can order through it Postmates is a delivery app that allows you to order food and goods from your phone and have them delivered to your door. Read more Image related to article. We have enough savings to go a year without funding or revenue, but we hope to get revenue soon.

Is there anything else we should know about your company?

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We formed the company using Gust Launch. Goodly's incorporation documents were reviewed by Mike Sullivan (a partner and head of the Corporate Group at Orrick serving as a mentor to Greg).


If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them. One may be something we've been waiting for. Often when we fund people it's to do something they list here and not in the main application.

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Marketplace for job applicants to find open roles at companies that offer the benefits that matter most to them.

Please tell us something surprising or amusing that one of you has discovered.

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Recent college grads in the Bay Area without student loan debt will spend 12 years saving for a home. Recent college grads with debt will spend 27 years to do the same.


What convinced you to apply to Y Combinator? Did someone encourage you to apply? Have you been to any YC events?

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The first thing Parker said when Greg told him what we're building was "Apply to YC!" We want to rapidly accelerate our growth and saw first-hand the value YC provides to early stage companies during our time working at YC companies, including at Rippling W17 and Optimizely W10. Many of our friends and colleagues are YC founders and pushed us to apply for the S18 batch, including: Parker Conrad Rippling W17 and Zenefits W13, Ryan Jackson MicroEval S12 and Paid S14, Jeff LaBarge Tule S14, Marta Jamrozik VanGo W17, and Zack Brown Haiku W18.

How did you hear about Y Combinator?

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Reading PG's essay's over the years and being early employees at YC companies.

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