What started out as a weekend hackathon turned-into the opportunity of a lifetime for Dispatch.io, now Dispatch.cc. The team competed in the TechCrunch NYC Hackathon back in 2011 and then took part in the TechStars accelerator. While they started as Dispatch.io they rebranded as Dispatch.cc. With about a million in funding the company was able to build some very meaningful traction, getting the attention of MeetUp.com and becoming their very first acquisition.
Like so many awesome startups, the team didn’t start with their current idea, instead the winning idea is the result of a pivot. While pivot has become one of the most-used terms in the startup world, there’s good reason for it. Founders who know when they’re not getting traction and make targeted changes based on data can pivot to a model that finds the traction they were originally looking for, even if their original idea did change in the process.
For those unfamiliar with Dispatch’s focus, the startup had initially been working on building an online workspace that connected Dropbox, Google Docs, Evernote and Box, allowing teams to manage and collaborate on work projects in the cloud. But failing to gain significant traction for that product, the company pivoted this summer to shift its efforts to improving email-based collaboration. (Source – TechCrunch)
The acquisition will add what I think is a much-needed tool within MeetUp.com to help groups communicate better. What’s amazing is that this is actually MeetUp’s first acquisition since the company was founded back in 2002. Another great example of a great team executing on a great idea, then learning that their original idea wasn’t that great, and pivoting to something that is. Oh, and doing it on a .CC which IMO makes it that more awesome.
Congrats to the whole team over at Dispatch and to MeetUp.com, I’ll be looking forward to trying the new and improved messaging system once it rolls out!