Interview With Ihor Bauman
Describe your product or service:
“Workee is the simplest personal website builder designed for private tutors and freelancers in private sessions. We are disrupting a $24.9 billion private education market in the US with our unique technology and approach. Workee builds a personal website with built-in booking, scheduling, and payments in less than one minute, allowing tutors to get booked and paid directly with 0% and autopilot work and client management out of the box.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“Our values are transparency and people. Our mission is to empower freelancers to be independent.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
“Bootstrap. Raised pre-seed round of $600,000.”
How big is your team?
“12 team members across the globe. Founding team is from Ukraine.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“The story behind Workee comes from the personal pain of my mom. She lost a job in a private hospital because it was not ready to meet the safety COVID requirements. Since my mom is a therapist, she has a lot of appointments online. Many tools are required for freelancers who work with online appointments, such as video calls, booking systems, CRM, work management, and a personal website. We conducted about 20 interviews with people in a similar field over the next month. We discovered a huge need and opportunity for a simple tool to autopilot work routines and help professionals focus on their clients rather than business management.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“The story about the name was around ‘work.’ Since Workee is created to work online simply, we were brainstorming about putting ‘work’ as the main word. That is how we come up with Workee.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“I guess it is in the blood. I was always feeling the mission to create something. To empower people and to lid people.”
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Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“US private tutoring market size in 2022: $24.9 billion. Market grows at 10.8%. After COVID, there is high demand for online work. In 2025, the private tutoring market size will reach $56.5 billion in the US.
Services that allow work online are growing at a faster rate.”
What's your primary marketing strategy?
“Network effect. Our strategy is to grow referrals and organics that will lead to fast user acquisition and strong awareness.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Before starting the development, we launched an early-access campaign to confirm an interest in our product. After spending $500 on Facebook Ads, we gained our first 199 users.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“User retention, activate rate, web-to-sign-up rate, churn rate.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“Nathan Latka podcasts are good. Book — ‘SCRUM.’”
What are a few of your favorite startup tools, apps, or services?
“Figma is a must-have. Design, validate, build concepts.”
When did you know it was time to quit your day job to focus on your startup?
“Once we hired the last developer to start working on MVP, I quit my job.”
What was your first job and what did it teach you?
“My first official job was at Nestle as a business analyst. I learned what responsibility is, and I learned how to learn fast.”
More on Workee
Ihor Bauman, founder of SaaS startup Workee, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.