Tuesday Jul 10, 2012 by Brendan Lynch - Contributor, VentureFizz
Framingham party-planning company Punchbowl Software has hit its stride, according to CEO Matt Douglas, bringing in revenue from five different streams, and moving to a bigger office -- but would he trade that momentum for a return to the early startup days?
"No fucking way, and you can put that in bold," Douglas said. "There's nothing like watching a product you created grow and Father's Day was a perfect example of that."
Douglas partly spent his Father's Day monitoring the card-delivery and gift-card sales analytics of Punchbowl, his brainchild.
"We thought Mother's Day was the big day, but it turns out we blew it away," he said.
Since it's founding in 2006, Punchbowl has created five revenue streams: a premium subscription service; traditional display advertising -- the company served about 200 million ad impressions last year; custom sponsorships with brands such as Fancy Feast cat food; licensing the platform as white label to brands like Real Simple magazine; and e-commerce, with Punchbowl taking cuts of sales of gifts like Amazon.com gift cards.
And the company's momentum should help it roll out any future revenue streams.
"The good news is we don't have a problem with that any more," Douglas said. "In terms of virality, and making it work, now it's just a matter of turning on the firehose."
Douglas wouldn't disclose Punchbowl's revenue, but said the company more than doubled it last year, and is on pace to more than triple revenue this year. The company is profitable, but Douglas said he's focused primarily on growth.
Punchbowl has 20 people in Framingham, where it's moving to 4,000 sq. ft. of warehouse-style office space, with high ceilings, from its current "crappy real estate office."
The new space helps with recruiting -- Punchbowl is hiring a senior front-end web developer and a public relations specialist -- and the company plans to use it to host meetings of the Route 9 Ruby Group.
Punchbowl, which does all of its design and content in-house, suspects marriages and bar-mitzvahs will be the two events that stick with paper invites and cards -- Douglas' answer to the question, "Who is Punchbowl's competition?"
"The answer's always the same -- it's paper," he said. "It's the traditional way of doing things."