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Emmanuel Bamfo: Home-sharing by the hour
Emmanuel Bamfo is the CEO and Co-founder of Globe Inc, a Y Combinator-backed startup that enables property owners to rent out their spaces by the hour.
About This Episode:
Manny chats about his entrepreneurial journey, including working for Linkedin, going through the acquisition process with Hitch, and founding his own startup Recharge, which provided hotel room rental by the hour. Due to problems with the supply side of business, Manny had to close down Recharge, despite having a dedicated customer base, and millions in funding and revenue. Manny eventually decided to iterate on his original idea for Recharge and founded Globe, a startup offering home rental by the hour.
Manny addresses the city of San Francisco threatening to shut down Globe and his mindset while building a home-sharing startup during a pandemic, having to go through many pivots and adversities.
He also discusses the co-founder matching, hurdles of terminating a company, and shares an exciting vision for what is next for Globe. Manny’s advice for first time founders? Relax...
Greg Miaskiewicz: So what was your first foray to startups? What was the first startup you worked for?
Emmanuel Bamfo: The first startup I worked for was my own in college. I started a company in college with the founders of currently Blavity. Also, with support from somebody I went YC with, by the name of Eric Zu, who ran AI at Reddit. And this concept, what we had, it was called Quad Connect. We would just get all the free food events on campus. We would crawl the events on Facebook, crawl all of the events from all the different school calendars and put them on a map. So you as a college student could go and find like where all the drinking events, where are all the free food events? And that made us pretty popular and it was a lot of fun.
And I remember reaching out to Joe Lonsdale about this idea and just reaching out to different people in the valley. I was probably 18, 19 years old and that was kind of my first foray into start ups. I ended up not immediately going and running my own company. I went to work at LinkedIn for a little bit. And that built a really strong relationship with Mike Gamson there, who was an exec and actually recently invested in our company. He was a huge mentor of mine. And I learned a lot from Mike. I had the opportunity to meet Jeff Wiener, the CEO of LinkedIn at that time. At some point I left LinkedIn and I went to Mixpanel and I worked for Suhail the CEO there. Startup was a pretty, maybe 50 folks when I joined Mixpanel. This is a 2014. And I left Mixpanel and I joined a very small startup called Hitch.
So I was running growth there. And before there was Lyft Line and UberPool, there was this very small company called Hitch. And what we did was we did shared rides. So our slogan was super shuttle, me to Brex. You have one person that wants to go from point a to point B. Maybe they pay $17 for an Uber ride or a Hitch ride. And it was a very simplistic concept instead of having somebody pay $17 and the driver maybe get $15 after our cut let's have that customer maybe spend five extra minutes in the car they pay $12, two passengers pay $12. And then the driver, instead of getting paid 15 out of $17, they get paid 21 out of $24 for only maybe three or four minutes of extra time. Right?
And so this was the initial matching that we were doing. And because it was neat, man. It was one of the most interesting things I've ever done in my life. It was cool. I remember when Uber rolled out with UberPool and we were hunkered down in the office, it's just the four of us. And there was this sense of panic, like fuck this billion dollar company just indirectly pivoted into what we're working on. There was a lot of debate about what to do and I wasn't CEO of the company. I was on the founding team, but I wasn't CEO and we ended up getting acquired.
So we sat with Lyft, we sat with Postmates, we sat with Metromile, we sat with Uber and ultimately Lyft bought the company. And so I had a decision to make in terms of going forward with Lyft being kind of like a Lyft launcher of sorts or going off on my own. And I just decided to go off my own. And so I talked to Cyan Banister, and I said, look, Cyan, I want to do something different. And at the time I was just getting a break locations for drivers and Cyan would come and we'd hang out. I have incredible respect for her. And she was a great friend and mentor to me very early on in the journey. And there were my first check as I kind of forward into this space of alternative space. Yeah, that's a little bit about how I got started.
Alec Hartman is the co-founder and CEO of Welcome Homes, a startup streamlining the way people buy homes online. Alec was also a co-founder in a now publicly traded company Digital Ocean, that provides cloud infrastructure that helps businesses build and scale software applications.
Natalie Barbu is the co-founder and CEO of Rella, a startup building software to help influencers and content creators manage and expand their business. Natalie is also an experienced content creator, with over 350,000 followers across platforms like Youtube and Instagram.