QUICK PITCH: Today Amitee tells you exactly what you spend money on by using the information on your receipts. Tomorrow Amitee will merge mobile payment tools, budgeting services, digitization of receipts, and rewards programs to make them “just work” for the average person. We believe these tools should be integrated in order to help 47% of Americans who simply can’t save money. Sauce 1 & Sauce 2.
THE BUSINESS: Amitee is much better than Mint because it tells you what things you buy (shampoo, pantiliners, lipstick, deodorant, diapers) instead of only categorizing at a high level (personal care, food, entertainment). You can’t save unless you optimize your spending behavior. And you can’t optimize your spending behavior without knowing exactly what you buy.
We are running a private alpha with 10 users. They email us pictures of their receipts, and we give them insights. The next step after this is to use these insights to provide users more relevant, targeted deals.
Our end destination is to help you walk into Macy’s, pay with your mobile device, have any relevant discounts automatically applied, and measure this purchase against your spending goals — without you having to do any legwork.
THE “AHA” MOMENT: I left Google in June 2014 to learn how to code. Needed to manage my monies and Mint.com didn’t cut it. It told me I spent $300 on Food, but not what kind of food (McDonalds’ chicken nuggets?, prepared food at Safeway?, chips?, yogurt?).
Created my own tool that helped me track this stuff. Friends were impressed, and asked if I could do this for them. I said “yes if you pay me plz”. They were down to pay me, and I knew I was on to something.
HOW IT MAKES MONEY: We aggregate and anonymize purchasing trends from our users, and sell them to brands that need to make smarter business decisions.
The information we sell looks like this: “Hispanic women between the ages of 25-30 are 32% more likely than Asian women to buy Revlon mini tweezers at Target in the San Francisco Bay area.”
BUSINESS IT COULD DISRUPT: Google AdWords, Rewards Programs, Personal Finance.
Google AdWords has been successful because it offers targeted deals based on things you search for. We think a tool that offers you targeted deals based on things you actually spend money on is more valuable.
MARKET SIZE: We are taking the advice of Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Ben Horowitz and are starting with a small market that’s currently being underserved: 10 million single mothers in the US.
The reason for this is because taking pictures of your receipts is a labor-intensive exercise. Single mothers have been the most engaged in our app and we think it’s due to their price sensitivity (average income is $26,000 compared to $81,000 for two-parent households).
The most successful startups have followed this approach. It works largely in part because it’s easier to become a monopoly in a small market and later expand than it is to try to dominate a larger market from the get-go.
PARTNERSHIPS OR COLLABORATIONS: None. We need to validate more assumptions through our private alpha test.
MANAGEMENT TEAM: Eric Flores. ex-Googler. can clap with one hand. hot cheetos addict. www.linkedin.com/in/eflo12
Currently recruiting for “founder+cto”. Hit me up if you find this interesting: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHO ARE YOUR ROLE MODELS? My father. He got himself through medical school without any money at one of the most reputable universities in Mexico. Like many immigrants, he came to the US in search of better opportunities for his family. His credentials weren’t accepted here, and he had to work as a carpenter, dishwasher, and truck driver while learning english. I’m not as badass as he is, but definitely inherited his hustle.
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR? You’re always learning. Don’t be an entrepreneur if you don’t value learning more than money and/or sleep.
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE THAT ANYONE HAS GIVEN YOU? Do things that don’t scale. Why? Read this: http://paulgraham.com/ds.html. Too long for you? Then don’t be an entrepreneur.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS? Being an entrepreneur is 90% managing your own psyche, and 10% execution. Don’t be an entrepreneur unless you’re already pretty good at this, or are willing to learn (quickly).