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An investor tool built in a week without code

Weekly.vc

A story from Makerpad
Quick Stats

Tools used: Parabola, Zapier, Airtable, Gmail, Google Sheets, SendGrid, Landen, and Stripe.

Time taken: 1 week

Launch: a thousand sessions & sold a few subscriptions

An investor tool built in a week without code

My name’s Matt Henderson and for the last ~2 years I’ve been building and launching indie saas & productized service businesses with my friends at West Vesey. We’ve ran ~20 product launches in the last 20 months and have generated ~$200k with a core team of 2 and no investors.

I built and launched our newest product Weekly.vc in about a week without writing a single line of code. Weekly.vc is a weekly newsletter of requests for pitches from top-tier angel investors & VCs. We send anonymized RFPs to founders in our newsletter, founders respond to the requests, then we intro the founder & investor directly if the investor wants to learn more about them.

To build Weekly.vc, I used Parabola, Zapier, Airtable, Gmail, Google Sheets, SendGrid, Landen, and Stripe.

Weekly.vc is essentially just a newsletter, so I thought it would be really simple to just use an email system like Revue or SendGrid to run the newsletter. But it became way more complicated than that really quickly.

To start, founders & investors go to our website (made with Landen).

Founders can sign up for either a monthly or yearly subscription here using Stripe Checkout which Landen has a direct integration for.

When founders sign up, their data is sent over to an archive in Airtable, where we then enrich their profiles to collect names and other data.

At our website, investors can also submit RFPs with a simple Airtable form. Their submissions get sent over to Airtable, then get reviewed and either rejected or approved.

I used Parabola as the core of the automations, mostly because setting it up to run on a schedule is really simple. It runs through our approved RFP submissions, figures out which ones have been sent before, cleans up text & data, fetches our list of paying subscribers from Stripe/Airtable, archives the newsletter over in Google Sheets, then uses SendGrid to send them all the newsletter. This runs at 10am PST every Thursday.

What Parabola doesn’t do very well, like one-off welcome emails and other triggers, I’ve used Zapier

We launched on Product Hunt last week (on the worst possible day thanks to Apple, Microsoft, Stripe, and Nokia’s launches), got about a thousand sessions and sold a few subscriptions. We also got investor signups from investors at funds like Founders Fund, Two Sigma Ventures, and Consensys.

"We’ve ran ~20 product launches in the last 20 months and have generated ~$200k with a core team of 2 and no investors"

Most products & services are able to be MVP’d really quickly with no code tools like this. You just have to be really disciplined and focus on what’s core / necessary for the first round of sales, and making sure you can put together ongoing value to keep churn down. It won’t be perfect, but it’s enough to test that 1. it’s valuable / wanted (sales) and 2. it’s useful / worth the money (retention).

"Most products & services are able to be MVP’d really quickly with no code tools like this"

You can check out Weekly.vc here, our whole portfolio at West Vesey, my twitter where I talk about building, selling, and growing products all the time, and our indie hacker accelerator where we help indie hackers build & launch products in less than a month and profit on the first day!

Would love to help out with your project––if you have any questions feel free to ask!

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