By Arian Abdulkader | Founder, CEO on April 5, 2020
Today we re-launched nexme, something our team has been working on since we rolled out a minimally viable product (MVP) back in early 2018. It’s amazing to see it really happen. In addition to a new look, we have introduced features and services designed to make the homebuying and selling process better. Check out the blog and let us know what you think.
Many have said that watching your dream take flight is one of the most exhilarating moments in an entrepreneur’s life, and yes, it’s far more exciting than I could have ever imagined. Today, we are taking a few minutes to breathe and enjoy what we’ve accomplished and to celebrate just a little. But the real work begins now.
There’s never a dull moment in the startup world. This past year, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs, setbacks, and problems we thought we’d never get solved. You would think something so simple to use every day would be easy; in reality, it’s extremely hard to build! We started 2019 with the awesome news that we’d been selected to join the WTIA’s 2nd Founder’s Cohort. Dave Parker’s insight was so helpful and Nick Ellingson’s understanding of what startups need was critical. Thanks to the WTIA, we met with investors while improving our MVP and received constructive feedback from all of them. They say you’ll go through many investor meetings with folks who just don’t see it but then there’s that one. That’s exactly what happened to us.
In February 2019, with our MVP still in market, running out of our own money, but also getting some traction, I received a call on our 1-800 number from a potential home seller. (By the way, Reid Hoffman says, “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you've launched too late” …it’s true). Our caller had heard of nexme and browsed our app, but he really wanted to talk to me about what we were doing. He is a long-time real estate investor with a great deal of knowledge in the industry and was intrigued with our concept. This phone call led to coffee, which then led to our first 3-hour meeting. With white butcher paper and colored pens laid out on a table, he drew pictures and took notes as I talked him through our vision of nexme. He was impressed with our business model. Multiple meetings followed and 3 months later, Mark Montgomery was so impressed, he became our first, strategic angel investor. He handed us our first significant check. I actually cried. I then shared the news with my team who had been working most nights after their day jobs, who sacrificed time from family to work on our vision, who didn’t sleep (I didn’t either), and who invested so much more than what I had asked for…they know how thankful I am for them. They were ready to go all in.
People are the most important thing in the startup journey. You may think, “we know that”, but the people you decide to start it with are critical because you really are starting a multitude of new friendships and forming another family. My co-founder and I have our days, but we manage to make sure we’re focusing on the important things. Our crew of 3 in early 2018 has now become the founding team of 9, and we’re so lucky that we’ve managed to come together. As we’ve spent time, they’ve become our nexme family. Mark, our angel investor is very involved with the business and contributes a great deal of his knowledge and time. He joins team meetings to learn all aspects of the business process, from marketing to engineering. He’s also bringing on a Microsoft veteran as another investor who understands the real estate industry and is excited about what we’re doing. We’re so lucky to be surrounded by great people.
I wanted to share this moment because I know how frustrating it can be for others, spending countless hours struggling with hardship while pursuing a dream and not bearing much fruit. Sometimes you lose hope. I experienced this many times during this journey but perseverance and a 1000% belief in the vision has finally gotten us to the first step in our journey. We are so thankful and excited for what’s ahead.