[Inspiring study] How this self funded startup grew to $1.3B

How familiar are you with Grammarly?

They were valued at $1.3 billion eight years after their birth. (unicorn!) The best part? You probably have no idea. They were able to accomplish this without receiving any outside funding.

Their amazing journey to success is detailed here.

MyDropbox, a commercial plagiarism detecting programme, was developed in 2002 by two Ukrainian lads named Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn.

From day one, they marketed their product directly to academic institutions in the hope of solving a very specific problem. They doubled in size to 800 institutions by 2008.

They left their specialised field in 2008 and expanded. Released Grammarly, a simple, premium WYSIWYG editor that checks spelling and grammar as you type or copy and paste.

They were trying to upsell to their existing market of educational institutions and solicited comments from buyers in an effort to make the product better.

In 2010, the service had 300,000 active students and 250+ university clients. ten million dollars in annual revenue by 2012. In 2013, the company decided to pivot, shifting its focus from attracting users to expanding its presence wherever people write.

Presented add-ons for the popular word processor and email client.

Grammarly took care of everything, from contextual spelling to style, whereas Microsoft Word’s spell checker just checked for apparent spelling and grammar problems.

The end result was a 2,326% increase in revenue over 2009, with more than 3 million new users signing up. They released their Chrome and Safari add-ons for free in 2015. A freemium business model was adopted. In 2016, they released a no-cost add-on for the Firefox web browser.

More than 8 million people used the free Chrome extension for Grammarly in 2017. For its initial round of fundraising, they accepted $110M at a valuation of $1.3B.

Source: producthabits.com

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