setting the scene
you debate quitting your 9 to 5 to pursue your startup full-time 🚀
you need encouragement to make the leap, so you try:
listening to motivational speakers
reading self-help books
hyping yourself up in the mirror 🪞
these options fail to help you self-reflect and plan for the future
this week’s company provides a peer coaching platform that enables users to work toward their goals
in a sentence
Topknot is a wellness platform that connects and guides users through peer development sessions
wellness: for users looking to take action on an area in their lives
connects: the core offering, Topknot Time, matches two users with similar goals in a synchronous, hour-long session where users take turns prompting and sharing
guides: the platform automates prompts, provides self-evaluation tools, and helps users take actionable steps
bulleted version: Topknot is like a workout class for personal development, where users join sessions to exercise their self-improvement muscles 🏋🏻♂️
industry: consumer internet, health & wellness, professional development
headquarters: San Francisco, CA 🌁
year founded: 2020
company size: 3 employees
investors: Full Circle, Homebrew, Uprising, Base Ventures, 27V, Backstage Capital, Copper Wire Ventures, Phin Barnes, Nick Caldwell, Melissa Tidwell, Laura Butler, Merline Saintil, Jeff Lawson, Aston Motes, Joe Greenstein, Rachel Sheinbein
amount raised: $1m total, pre-seed stage
business model: b2c
Sweater Ventures is proud to announce round two of Barnburner, the world’s largest CONSUMER pitch competition.
Imagine Shark Tank meets America’s Got Talent. Founders will compete to pitch on a live stage for a $500k investment from a panel of VCs, filmed in front of a live consumer audience, and premiered to a global consumer audience.
Your vote makes all the difference in deciding who makes it to the final stage. Vote here today through the Sweater app.
what we like
💨 affordable solution: the $41b personal development market has skyrocketed post-pandemic as individuals seek flexible ways to manage stress and navigate life changes
Topknot makes coaching accessible and affordable by eliminating the need for an expensive coach
👥 community focus: by allowing users to feel part of a community, Topknot builds retention, presents a wellness alternative to traditional coaching, and brings features of a club online
🔀 expansion opportunities: Topknot has the potential to expand its addressable market by catering the platform to different communities and life stages
🏢 no b2b: by focusing solely on a b2c model, does Topknot miss out on a massive opportunity to provide a wellness product for the workplace?
📝 all synchronous: Topknot requires users to be present at specific times, which may limit the potential for early user growth and high active use time
👁 regulation: as Topknot scales, how does the company plan to regulate and ensure appropriate and productive conversations between users?
Claire Shorall (prev. Principal @ Neo, Teach for America)
Brook Osborne (prev. @ Code.org, Duke)
Medley: $3.7m raised from a16z, Aglaé Ventures
The Grand World: $2.4m raised from Seven Seven Six, Precursor Ventures
why Topknot: with 500+ trial members, 200+ unique session attendees, and early paying customers, we are confident that this company is a top-notch platform for personal development 📈
🚕 first event in the books: we loved meeting our NYC community at the Tech Breakfast Club last week!
huge thanks to Morgan and Ariel for co-hosting and helping us manage an event that hit capacity
shoutout to Jibby Coffee and Culture Pop for providing the refreshments
🤑 fundraise alert: in October, we covered OneRoof, a social platform for apartment communities
OneRoof raised a $3.2m seed round from Chamaeleon, Dream Machine, Gaingels, General Catalyst, and more
what do you think of Topknot?
we want to hear from you!