We’re excited to end the year on 50,000 sites, a team of 4 and a big surprise coming in early 2012! We’ve had great external help this year and want to thank Y-Combinator, our advisors and our investors. Thank you!
This year has been one of forward progress for Envolve. Looking back at the past 12 months we feel a sense of accomplishment at the milestones we’ve achieved and we are extremely grateful for the relationships we’ve built with our customers, our investors and our peers in the startup community.
Some of you may remember that 2010 wasn’t the best year, but that all changed in 2011.
The year began with a burst of growth that was connected to the release of our single sign on (SSO) feature in mid-December 2010. This feature allowed site owners to pass Envolve the names of their users. When a user logged in to their site, our chat system would automatically know the user’s name, display their picture and show a link to their profile.
Our growth continued into the spring with the addition of high profile Facebook games, VIP Society and Area Extreme, and high profile musicians, Blink 182 and Mindless Behavior. These additions helped fuel new sign ups: we added almost 2,000 sites in the month of January and we added almost 5,000 sites in December, bringing our grand total to 49,600 websites.
As we moved into summer, our pace of work increased dramatically as Y-Combinator’s Tuesday dinners got underway. Y-Combinator is an intense 3-month accelerator program that is widely regarded as the best early stage startup program. Two notable things happened during our time there, Vikrum joined us in July and we launched our API in August. Our API allowed site owners to customize Envolve more than ever before, it included the ability to group users, embed chats and much more. Overall our API pushed us closer to becoming the world’s most customizable chat system.
YC concluded with demo day on August 23rd and 24th. Here’s our presentation:
After demo day we raised seed money from some great Silicon Valley investors who have worked in, and founded, some of the most well known and respected companies in the valley. We’re excited to leverage their expertise to help us grow faster in 2012.
The remainder of the year has gone by incredibly quickly. We feel very fortunate to have Mike join us from Microsoft. He moved down from Redmond in October and has been hard at work making sure that our infrastructure continues to improve. Collectively we’re working to ensure that Envolve continues to evolve at a rapid pace. We have some extremely exciting announcements coming in 2012 and we can’t wait to share them with you. Be sure to follow us on Twitter to get all the details.
Happy chatting in 2012!
James Tamplin is Founder & CEO of Firebase (www.firebase.com), the fastest way to build an app. James is a serial entrepreneur having previously founded SendMeHome and Envolve. He is a graduate of Y-Combinator and holds a MS and BS in Industrial Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. You can follow James Tamplin’s personal blog on technology, entrepreneurship and more @ www.tamplin.net.