Vizzly's Y-Combinator Application
As we approach the one-year mark since our acceptance into the S22 batch of Y-Combinator, we decided to take a nostalgic trip down memory lane and share our application with all of you. Much has changed since we first penned this application, but our fundamental vision of helping B2B SaaS companies build better dashboard and reporting experiences has remained steadfast.
We've omitted a couple questions / answers, but we hope you still find this useful.
Describe what your company does in 50 characters or less.
The developer toolkit for data apps.
What is your company going to make?
Vizzly helps companies create analytics dashboards with a fraction of the code needed otherwise. Once the user has built the component, the platform offers a code snippet of React, Vue, Angular or Vanilla JS to embed the view natively in the user’s website or app.
Our aim is to enable product and engineering teams to deploy significantly quicker with a fraction of the technical overhead to manage.
How far along are you?
We have successfully developed an initial version of the MVP, which enables users to upload a CSV file and create a limited set of React-based components. Thus far, our primary challenge has been dedicated to constructing the ETL process required to efficiently process and store data from diverse sources. Developing this essential functionality has demanded a significant portion of our time and attention.
From a commercial pov, we're engaged in talks with 5 mid-market companies. Although we are still too early to serve these organizations, they are providing a continuous stream of feedback and input. We aim to sign a handful of LOIs before the end of Q1.
How long have each of you been working on this?
We handed in our resignations to work on this full-time in January and went full-time on the project in March. It’s a new project, but we’re deeply committed.
Why did you pick this idea to work on? Do you have domain expertise in this area? How do you know people need what you're making?
Before starting Vizzly, I was responsible for building and commercializing data products at Skyscanner. When it came to building the company’s first SaaS analytics tool, it took ~6 months to design and develop the product. Not only did this impact our engineering bandwidth (needing to build and maintain) but it had affected our go-to-market as well.
After speaking with a number of companies who have in-app analytics, it was clear the problem was a common theme; development cycles are long and resource intensive.
James is also incredibly well positioned having spent a number of years designing, implementing and integrating with APIs that handle large volumes of traffic and complex data structures whilst at the BBC and Duffel. With James’ technical expertise and my domain understanding, I strongly believe we are the right team to tackle this problem.
What's new about what you're making? What substitutes do people resort to because it doesn't exist yet (or they don't know about it)?
Many companies choose to build their own solutions instead of buying off-the-shelf options due to the limitations of market alternatives. These alternatives often lack flexibility, extensibility, and suffer from sluggish performance. Consequently, companies find themselves tackling API development, performance optimization, and all the frontend work required to create even the simplest dashboards.
Interestingly, some companies we’ve spoken to have resorted to integrating Tableau dashboards in an iFrame on their website to bypass the technical difficulties that come with building in-house. Not only is this an awful developer experience, but it can cause a range of usability and security issues.
Each option here comes with its own trade-offs - neither is ideal.
Vizzly is simple, developer-friendly and highly performative. Developers can connect, design, embed and deploy the dashboard component the same day they create it. We mitigate the complexity that comes with building and maintaining the backend services whilst offering companies maximum flexibility on the frontend.
What do you understand about your business that other companies in it just don't get?
Developer experience is paramount to product adoption. Everything we do is geared towards helping product and engineering teams deploy as quickly as possible without sacrificing key elements such as performance or UI design. The company who can offer a frictionless workflow for developers, will win the embedded analytics market.
How do or will you make money? How much could you make?
Our pricing strategy will be centered around a value-based approach, incorporating a combination of platform and usage-based fees. Based on feedback, we believe we can price between $10,000-$75,000 per annum. The specific price will depend on factors such as the number of user accounts and the features adopted by our customers.
Today, every company is a data company. Companies in SaaS, IoT, crypto and many other sectors embed analytics in their website or app. Currently valued at ~$37B, the embedded analytics market is forecast to reach ~$105B by 2027. We want to be the go-to provider as more companies look to data and analytics to enhance their customer experience.
How will you get users?
We will adopt a product-led growth strategy, building a self-serve sign up process to maximize scalability. Implementation of the UI components will be simple with minimal technical understanding required - for this reason, we don’t expect to make significant investment into sales or customer success teams. Acquisition will be driven by organic channels and we will also invest in paid channels in developer communities.
That being said, we understand this is a medium to long-term ambition and the immediate term will require a hands-on / sales-led approach to drive traction.
Is there anything else we should know about your company?
Building dashboard components for customer-facing apps is just the beginning. There is opportunity to expand beyond this. For example, there’s opportunity for Vizzly to offer a standalone API for companies to interact with their data through a standard SQL protocol.
If you had any other ideas you considered applying with, please list them.
Although we are focused on this product idea, we will pivot if customer feedback is strong enough to suggest that is the right thing to do.
Please tell us something surprising or amusing that you have discovered.
The fact some of the largest market players offer a rudimentary option for embedding dashboards into web apps. The industry still leverages iFrames and rigid UIs to this day.
What convinced you to apply to Y Combinator?
We want to be a part of a programme and community where people are equally as passionate about building market leading companies.
Having come from a YC alum company, we understand how beneficial the platform can be from a learning and development point of view. We have a deep understanding of the subject matter and the requisite technical expertise, but we are not naive to the fact there will be blind spots as first time founders. We believe the caliber of mentorship offered by YC will help us address areas of weakness and capitalize on areas of strength.
We've got your back when it comes to preparing your YC application. If you're in the midst of applying and looking for some advice, here's a few pointers:
- Founder-market-fit: why are you the right team to do what you're doing?
- Have you tried to validate (or devalidate) your idea? If so, how?
- Be yourself; authenticity is key
Best of luck ✌️