Notey is a platform (website and app) where you can find the Best Blogs on over 500,000 topics. Whether you’re researching Bali, or you’re an Architect who’s into 3D Printing, you can find the latest internet buzz on all your favourite things.
Where did the idea form, and has much changed between the original concept and what you have live now?
It all started when Co-founders Catherine Tan and Kevin Lepsoe, the husband-and-wife duo, were searching for blogs on travel recommendations and realized it was no easy feat. The first few pages of Google are dominated by big media websites, and with more than 150 million blogs out there, how do you find the good ones relevant to your interests? Tan and Lepsoe set out to create an easy and seamless way to browse the best stories in the blogosphere, and that’s how Notey was born.
Since early 2014, Notey has combed through millions of blogs curating only the best. Today, Notey features the best blogs from popular interests like Travel and Design, to specific topics such as Audi or Elon Musk, each resembling a beautiful magazine filled with thousands of blogs posts.
Tell us about your team. Did you have all the expertise you needed to launch this product or did you have to outsource any of the components?
We’re now a team of ten with 70% of the team focusing on development and the rest on product and community outreach. Notey currently offers a web and iOS app, with an Android app on the way.
We’re an outlier in the tech world though – Team Notey is 50% female and we’re proud of it. Women browse more, spend far more than men and are more social, and we cannot be in business without them. We make a conscious effort to ensure our team is as diverse as possible, which includes actively seeking out female engineers and joining organisations like Women 2.0.
What was the development process like? How long did it take?
A long time with lots of sweat, tears and weight gain. All jokes aside, we’ve been around for over two years and iterated along the way, while launching our beta version in September 2014. We also love feedback from the Notey community and take their suggestions seriously.
What are some of the biggest challenges you encountered so far?
Fund raising and finding the right people are always the greatest challenge for any growing startup. From investors to team members, our first priority is always about finding people who are the right fit for the team. Being in a startup means being passionate towards the same goal and working alongside each other for over 60 hours a week, it’s important to find people who want to grow together and have fun on the journey.
Did you raise funds to launch Notey or was it self funded?
A lot of hustling, flying around and over a thousand coffee meetings later, we’ve finally closed our seed funding round of US$ 1.6 million. A few notable investors include Steve Kirsch (Founder of Infoseek and OneID), Ryan Holmes (CEO and Founder of Hootsuite) and Hugo Barra (ex-Google VP of Android and now VP of Xiaomi International).
What’s next for Notey?
Continuing to build the best blog discovery platform and growing our community is our priority. Other than that, we’ll also focus on Mobile, which includes rolling out the Android app soon. We’ll also be looking at Partnerships and have already been approached by a handful of brands for partnerships and campaigns. Notey’s brand pages (like Adidas) are top-notch as they immerse viewers with third-party, high-quality content.