Dalia is the founder of Presently. Presently helps cut out gift waste, stress, and clutter, while also making it easy for groups to give gifts and cards that’ll be talked about for years to come!
Dalia is the founder of Presently. Presently helps cut out gift waste, stress, and clutter, while also making it easy for groups to give gifts and cards that’ll be talked about for years to come
All right, how's it going, everyone. Welcome to another episode of forward-thinking founders, but we talked to founders about their companies, their visions for the future and how the two collide today. I'm very excited to be talking to Dalia Katan, who is the founder of presently. Welcome to the show.
How's it going? Thank you so much. It's so good to be here. It's gone pretty good. It's been a pretty wild year. It's been a wild year. It's about to be over, you know, hopefully next year will be not as wild and hopefully a little more, a little, a little better. But you know, I I'm really looking forward to learning more about what you're working on with presently, for people that haven't heard of it.
What is presently? What are you working on? Presently, it's a group celebration and group gifting platform. We're building this space for groups to go to celebrate any occasion? No, we're starting with group gifting. Okay. So walk me through a little bit about like, how it works.
So someone, you know, wants to celebrate something. Let's say someone got engaged or, you know, an example of celebration after celebration here, you know, how are they able to use presently? Can you just walk me through the user experience? Yeah, absolutely. So let's say you have a friend with an upcoming birthday or baby shower.
We can go with birthday just because everyone has birthdays every month. You go onto our platform and you can choose from a wide array of options for how you want to celebrate that person. So let's say you choose a group gift. You can bring together 10, 15, 20 friends from across their communities.
Maybe it's coworkers, maybe it's friends from high school, maybe it's, you know, friends in your common friend group and they can all take part as collaborators on this single group gift, leave their messages pitch in and amount. All the amounts are fully anonymized. So there's no shame in only being able to give a small amount.
There's no glory in being able to give like a hundred, $200. It's just about the fact that the community is coming together to do something special. So after everyone's pitched in and you got the gifts. You can choose where you want any of the excess funds to go. It could go towards their savings, could go toward a charity of their choice, but on the day of their big event, day of their birthday, they get a card with all the messages from all the people that love them.
They get that one big group gift that everyone's kind of put their money toward to give them something really meaningful. And, you know, it takes it from there. So it's kind of like a little celebration with a group taking activities that are normally individual and making them a bit more social. Can you walk me through why you started this, or I guess in other words, what's the origin story here in, you know, how'd you get started?
I kind of started it by accident and just left my job in consulting. And I was actually on a creative sabbatical. I was trying to figure out what would life look like if designed around curiosity? So I was using that time as kind of a sandbox to play, explore, not necessarily to start a company. But rather to just better understand my passions and put my curiosity in the driver's seat, so to speak.
So leading with that mentality made me super aware of a lot of different pain points around me. I was coming up with. Dozens of side projects each month and presently was just one of them. But what sparked the idea for presently was actually a visit to my parents' attic over Thanksgiving two years ago in 2018, every closet I opened was filled to the rim with choice.
We had upwards of 300 stuffed animals, 140 plus board games of which 15 of them were the same exact monopoly set. It doesn't Nerf guns. It doesn't robots. All this stuff that was all super well intentioned, but wasn't getting any use. And it made me realize that we don't really have meaningful ways to show love and appreciation for the people we care about.
We default to, you know, picking something up at target or picking something up at the corner store before a party before a special occasion. And on top of that, we're also creating a lot of environmental waste in the process of failing to connect. So that's what we really wanted to solve. I wanted to bring more connection and belonging and community.
That's at the core of why we celebrate things like birthdays and holidays in the first place, and decided to start by making gifting a social activity and building from there which we have a lot of exciting things to announce in 2021. And, you know, as the founder of this company, you know, you probably wear a lot of hats.
I'm curious, you know, what, what is a day in the life for you? What are you spending your time on? You know, how does that change over time? You know? Yeah. What's a day in the life. Good question. I'm sure every founder will say that there's a pre post fundraising and then a during fundraising. So when I'm not fundraising, I'm usually spending maybe two to three hours a day on working sessions with my team.
I'm zooming out between the day-to-day things zooming in and out between the day-to-day things like marketing campaigns, web development, like playing in the code running operations on for ongoing group gifts. Building partnerships, et cetera. And then zooming out to longer-term things like what's our product roadmap, what are the different features we want to build in a product suite?
How do we time all those things in a way that we're both educating consumers, but not overwhelming them at the same time. So a lot of those like bigger picture decisions that we sometimes do and working sessions sometimes do on my own or with advisors or investors that are working with us. But when fundraising, I think I spend like.
I don't know, 60 to 80% of my week is back-to-back calls. So it's a lot of just like pitching presently you know, getting people to know the company, getting excited about different products with other investors who are excited about our space. A lot of edits to the pitch deck, a lot of you know, cold outreach, warm intros, all that kind of stuff.
Since you kind of got started with this, what is one thing it could be about fundraising or accompany ability and our strategy or anything like that. But as you started this, what's been a big thing that you've learned along the way that you maybe didn't know before you started this company. And before we started a business and now you do.
I think I really learned the power of community and how necessary community is to build a company. You know, they say it takes a village to raise a family. It definitely takes a village times a hundred to build a company. And I. Didn't realize how valuable communities like on-deck or for capital, or like even like the Twitter founder community.
I don't think I realized how important those would be. When I first started the company and today I can't imagine being a founder without it. So that's probably my biggest lesson. A hundred percent. I firmly agree on that. And if you were to look out into the future five, 10, 15 years what do you see for presently?
What, what's the big vision here and what you're actually rowing in every day? What was the second part of the question? And what direction are you rowing and ultimately what, what's the big vision and where are you headed? So, one of my favorite questions, we want to be the place that you go to celebrate.
So we are building aware online. We want to help build more meaningful connections amongst communities, make it easier for people to celebrate the people that they love and ultimately help build stronger connections within a broader network of people. So that might span digital and physical that might span synchronous and asynchronous, but it's all centered on the idea that we're all looking for ways to meaningfully connect with the people that we love and celebrations are one of the best ways to do so.
And, you know, you mentioned earlier, it takes a village to raise, raise the company. And I firmly agree. And you know, we have a village here around forward thinking founders. So my question for you is it to make that happen, to make that vision happen, you know, how can we help? Are you hiring? Are you looking for investors looking for customers?
How can we assist here for the founders? Great question. We'll always say, check out our website, getpresently.com and see if there's someone in your life that you might want to add. Some extra love to. We are looking to hire an incredible engineer, whether they come on as a technical co-founder, whether they come on as a early engineering hire.
If they know if anyone in this community knows someone really talented, who cares a lot about. Community and social commerce would love to have them join the team. And then we're not currently fundraising. We actually just closed our first angel round, but we will be fundraising in the winter. So if you know any investors who again are excited about community and social please put us in touch.
And then for my last question, if someone wants to learn more about this, they want to check you out online. Anything like that? What's the, what's the website URL. Do you have social media, an email? How can someone get in touch? They can check us out on any social platform I get presently, or they can go to our website, get presently.com.
They're also welcome to email me directly. If you have any questions it's firstname.lastname@example.org. Awesome. Well, I appreciate you coming on to the podcast and best of luck building out. Presently. Thanks so much, Matt, because like with yours as well.