Interview With Adam Nash
Describe your product or service & the problem it's solving:
“Daffy is the ‘Donor-Advised Fund for You,’ a not-for-profit community built around a new, modern platform for giving, one built around the commitment to give, not the amount you give. It empowers people to be more generous, more often through a seamless mobile experience that helps members set money aside, watch it grow tax-free, and donate to more than 1.5 million charities.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“Two years ago, Alejandro and I set out to build a category-defining company in a space that has been ignored for far too long. We had noticed that people want to give to charities and causes they care about but often wait until asked to give or find the process harder than it should be. Like many financial priorities in life, automation can solve the problem by changing our default behavior from doing nothing to doing something--insert Daffy.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
“We raised $17.1 million in Series A funding led by Ribbit Capital, with participation from XYZ Capital, Coinbase Ventures, and more than 50 notable angel investors (Reid Hoffman, Aaron Levie, Amy Chang, etc.).”
How big is your team?
“About 20 employees & contractors. We are hiring talented engineers and designers.”
Who is your target market? How did you determine this?
“Today, we have thousands of generous members, and they are charity-minded and tech-savvy Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers who give frequently, and just like they have an app for saving or investing, they love how Daffy can be their one place for all their giving. Daffy makes it easy to give a variety of assets, and because of that, we see a diverse membership base that contributes and donates in different ways: cash (ACH, debit/credit card), stock/ETFs, crypto, existing DAF transfers. It’s still early days at Daffy (we just hit one year), so we hope to grow the community from thousands to millions, so if you are one of the 60-70 million Americans who donate to charity every year, we believe Daffy can help you be more generous.”
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What's your primary marketing strategy?
“We primarily focus on listening to our early adopters, especially when they express their appreciation for the product and ask, “Why hasn’t anyone built this already?” We invest in content, specifically when it comes to education. A big difference that we’ve noticed with Daffy is that people are big advocates for the organizations they support, and they’re willing to share their donations and leave public comments about their giving.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Through organic word-of-mouth through social, Product Hunt page, and media coverage.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“At Daffy, we have a mission to help people give more, more often. Unlike traditional donor-advised fund providers, we are about the commitment to give over the amount of money you gave, so we focus a lot on the number of people joining Daffy and committing to give more regularly vs. trying to win over people who have millions of dollars like Fidelity and others do.
We also look at the percentage of people who are setting a giving goal for the year and hitting it, and of course, the number and amount of donations going out to charities. To date, Daffy saw an all-time high of donations in Q4 2022, 3X times that of Q4 2021, and over 1.5 million charities, schools, and religious institutions are enabled for giving on Daffy, and over 4,000 organizations have already been supported by our members.”
What was the biggest obstacle you encountered while launching your company? How did you overcome it?
“The hardest part about building a company is prioritization and phasing - you can’t do it all at once. Companies waste too much energy debating whether an idea is good or bad, and while many ideas are good, it may not be the right thing to do at the moment.”
More on Daffy
The origin story of Adam Nash's fintech startup Daffy that is increasing accessibility to donor advised funds.