Everipedia - My First Angel Investment
December 13th, 2016
I've always been passionate for entrepreneurship and my career aspiration is to become a full time angel investor. I see angel investing as the most direct means of contributing to the advancement of technology and progress of mankind. Angel investors enable innovation. Hence, it was a huge milestone for me to make my first angel investment in Everipedia. Here's a short aside about my decision to make the investment, and why.
The first thing I look at to gauge a startup's potential isn't the product. It's the people. These people must live eat and sleep their company. They are the ones that must push the company forward each and every day, often times making personal sacrifices to do so. These are the guys that should be promoting their product 24/7.
The Everipedia team does exactly this. A squad of straight bauses, most of the founders having some sort of tie to UCLA. CEO and co-founder Sam Kazemian is a UCLA alumni that I met during a Startup UCLA pitch event during the summer of 2015. Sam graduated from UCLA in 2014, double majoring in Neuroscience and Philosophy, and decided to start and code Everipedia while still in school. Other baus members of the 2015 Everipedia founding team include Mahbod Moghadam, founder of Rap Genius (now Genius) and Stanford Law alum, Tedde Forselius, a Swedish Internet entrepreneur, Travis Moore, a talented computer programmer and real estate investor, and Christian Deciga, a talented computer programmer and autodidact.
In addition to these original founders, Everipedia has brought aboard bauses Dave Liebowitz, an Executive Editor of Everipedia, and Angel Ordaz, a UCLA student and top IQ holder of the Everipedia community (username: ordazdon). These bauses along with the original founding team all reside in a Penthaus on Hilgard near UCLA - the Everipedia HQ. Every time I visit, I enjoy the startup feel. I absolutely love how their living room is an office with multiple desks and desktops, and they all work together in that room each day to enable easy communication. They grind day in and day out, constantly producing content and modifying code and design for their site to drive more and more traffic to it. The Everipedia team understands what it takes and has the skill sets to make the site blow up. It's just a matter of time. #incrementalprogress #compoundingsuccess
Aside from Everipedia's founding team being baus, let's take a look at their product. Everipedia.com is an Online crowd-sourced encyclopedia of everything. Sam created the product after being inspired by the request for it on #23 of Y Combinator's list of ideas they would like to fund, which claims that "there is room to do to Wikipedia what Wikipedia did to Britannica".
Everipedia is like Wikipedia, but everything and everyone can have a page. For instance, my late pet chameleon even has a page. Every single Wikipedia page is on Everipedia, plus much much more. However, Everipedia pages are much more lively as they feature GIFs. I love GIFs. Despite the inclusion of GIFs and crowd-sourced content, the overall vibe of the site is scholarly. Each time a user adds a piece of information on a particular page, he or she must site it and provide an adequate URL.
Additionally, Everipedia gets a considerable amount of traffic from breaking news stories. The team will make Everipedia pages for the individuals involved in the news story that serve as bios that people reading the news stories find interesting. This is huge because it drives new organic traffic to the site as news unravels. And news is never ending.
I personally use the product everyday to define the linguistic gems I coin. Some say I have a language of my own, so that is why Everipedia is perfect for me. I get to manifest these philosophies and baus words I coin. The product even has gamification with the granting of IQ points as each user contributes information to pages. The more you contribute, the more IQ you gain. This is important as it incentivizes more contribution amongst the individuals in the Everipedia community. I personally have 28,007 IQ points!
Although the product is very sleek and scholarly, let's take a look at monetization. How is Everipedia going to make money? They already do. From an average day of traffic, they make $200 in revenue from advertisements. Although it is not a substantial amount of daily revenue, it is steadily increasing as Everipedia's traffic increases and more pages are being created. Moreover, a typical user's experience Everipedia starts with an initial page they found through a direct link or Google. However, after reading that page, the user often clicks on word that links to another Everipedia page, resulting in a large amount of page views per user. This is huge as users spend a considerable amount of time on the site. This also provides Everipedia with a considerable amount of data in regard to individuals' interests and browsing tendencies, which has considerable potential for monetization.
Last week, I had the great opportunity to speak with Everipedia CEO Sam Kazemian to ask two questions that were recently on my mind about Everipedia:
What is Everipedia's greatest asset going into 2017?
The most valuable asset Everipedia has is its "feel." There's nothing else honestly on the internet that you can contribute to that really feels like you are contributing to the history of mankind, even if it's just a small page about yourself or a startup. The closest thing is Wikipedia but even they don't have the same "feel."
What is and how do you measure the value that Everipedia adds to the Internet?
Any time someone truly learns something new that they didn't know before by visiting an EP page, that's +1 positive point in changing the world for the better in my opinion. And we have thousands of points a day. Sometimes people even hit us up and say it was so cool they found either their own page or something interesting that Wikipedia didn't have.
I really enjoyed getting to know the Everipedia team well over the past year and a half, and I am very thankful I had to opportunity to invest in the company. There is no doubt in my mind they will continue to grow exponentially over the next few years. I believe in the team, the product and the vision - I am good friends with and speak with the founders every week, and use the product every day.
Although their Alexa rank is around 20,000 (which is pretty good as it is), I think Everipedia has the potential to be is as big as Buzzfeed, and have an active Online community of users similar to that of Reddit. It's just a matter of time. Given the baus team, baus product, and baus vision, I am confident in my first angel investment. Let's get that 10x.
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