A copy of a successful Y Combinator application from Simple Habit


Simple Habit is Yunha Kim’s second startup, and it grew out of private expertise.

Kim additionally constructed a startup known as Locket, raised $three.2 million, and offered it to a high e-commerce firm. The course of left her pressured and burned out, she beforehand informed Business Insider, and meditation was the one treatment that appeared to assist.

While a pupil on the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Kim labored on constructing Simple Habit, an app that provides busy professionals entry to fast guided meditations. Kim wrote to Business Insider that for the primary yr of Simple Habit’s existence, she bootstrapped so she may “prove the business model first and see a product-market fit.”

Then, Kim stated, “we started receiving user emails and testimonials saying Simple Habit was a life-changing product.” She dropped out of Stanford to give attention to Simple Habit full-time and rework it into “THE destination people trust for their mental wellness.”

Read extra: A former Y Combinator companion realized essentially the most successful founders do not all the time look good on paper — there’s a way more dependable signal they’re destined for greatness

simple habit app



Simple Habit


Kim utilized to Y Combinator — the famed startup accelerator that is launched the likes of Dropbox, Airbnb, and Stripe — and was accepted into the winter 2017 batch.

Afterward, she appeared on “Shark Tank,” the place Mark Cuban known as her a “gold digger” after which walked again the remark. Kim did not land an funding, however she hardly let that deter her.

So far, Simple Habit has raised $12.eight million, from traders together with New Enterprise Associates, Dropbox CEO Drew Houston, and Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves. In November 2018, Simple Habit closed a $10 million Series A spherical led by Foundation Capital.

Here’s Simple Habit’s authentic application to Y Combinator. (Some information concerning the firm has been redacted, per Kim’s request.) The deadline to submit functions for Y Combinator’s winter 2021 batch is September 23 at eight pm PT.

Describe your organization in 50 characters or much less.

5-minute meditation app. Spotify for meditation.

What is your organization going to make?

We constructed an iOS app that provides 5-minute meditations for all times conditions all through the day. For instance, meditations to scale back nervousness earlier than a assembly, enhance focus at work, and sleep higher.

Meditations are recorded by high meditation academics from everywhere in the world — we at present have over 100 academics on our platform and are listened to by [redacted].

Our purpose is to construct the world’s main platform for mindfulness and meditation content material. We wish to assist hundreds of thousands of individuals be taught to stay extra mindfully and be extra resilient.

Please enter the url of a 1 minute unlisted (not personal) YouTube video introducing the founders.

How far alongside are you?

I began the corporate in Feb 2016 and launched the iOS app in June 2016. In simply three months, we’re reaching near 100Okay downloads on our iPhone app. 5% of sign-ups find yourself paying for a subscription that prices about $12 a month. [Redacted.] Our week-over-week progress fee is [redacted]. We are at present growing Android — anticipated launch date for November.

Simple Habit has already been featured by Apple 5 occasions and written about by media extensively.

If you have already began engaged on it, how lengthy have you ever been working and what number of traces of code (if relevant) have you ever written?

We’ve been engaged on the corporate for eight months (since February 2016). We have ~40okay traces of code for all our platforms mixed.

How many customers do you will have?

Since our launch in June 2016, we have had 85okay signal ups. Our weekly [redacted].

How a lot income?

We made [redacted] final month in September. We make [redacted] as of as we speak, so we’re anticipating to make [redacted] in October.

What is your month-to-month progress fee?

User progress fee was 95% final month ([redacted] MRR progress fee was [redacted]).

Why did you choose this concept to work on? Do you will have area experience on this space? How have you learnt individuals want what you make?

After graduating from Duke in 2011, I labored in funding banking and later based my first startup, Locket (ultimately I offered Locket to Wish). I raised $3m+ for the corporate and I grew to become extra pressured than ever. I attempted tons of stress-relief merchandise on the time: massages, lavender pillows, silent retreats and different meditation apps. Meditation labored finest for me, and whereas I preferred the meditation apps at present available on the market, I did not like how most apps had been one trainer/character primarily based. I wished to have the ability to flick thru differing kinds of academics and teachings and make meditations bite-sized so busy professionals may use it. I constructed Simple Habit to actually serve my wants.

Since launch, we had 1000’s of customers that suffer from stress, nervousness, despair inform us how our app has modified their lives. Check out our app retailer to see their raving opinions! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simple-habit-mindfulness- meditations/id1093360165

What’s new about what you make? What substitutes do individuals resort to as a result of it does not exist but (or they do not know about it)?

In contract to Headspace and Calm who’ve launched a single ‘channel,’ we’re launching a market — a platform for mindfulness, providing a repeatedly up to date stream of meditation content material from a selection of academics.

We’re the primary to create a meditation platform that curates content material from a whole lot of high-quality mindfulness professionals and cost subscriptions for entry.

We’re additionally the primary to introduce a Spotify-like enterprise mannequin to the meditation area. Mindfulness academics are paid a portion of our subscription income commensurate to the quantity of occasions their content material is listened to. Users get entry to meditation content material that’s various in character and subjects.

Silent retreats and in-person meditation studios are different options, however they don’t seem to be accessible to all busy working professionals financially or temporally.

What do you perceive about your enterprise that different firms in it simply do not get?

There are two issues that firms in our area do not get:

1) Our rivals do not get that customers expertise meditation fatigue from listening to the identical voice/character over and over. In different phrases, they begin to tune out. Imagine if Spotify or iTunes solely carried one band. One’s enjoyment of music would diminish over time. Similarly, the effectiveness of meditation on a listener diminishes over time as they get accustomed to the strategies and character of the identical meditation trainer.

2) Our rivals additionally do not perceive that academics might be a highly effective channel for consumer acquisition. The key to growing this channel is to give attention to creating a nice expertise for meditation academics. This consists of organising the appropriate monetary incentive construction for academics and constructing them instruments that allow and encourage them to be an evangelist of Simple Habit.

How do or will you earn money? How a lot may you make?

In the US alone, 18M persons are meditating (reported by Forbes), and this quantity retains rising yearly. Capturing [redacted] of these customers is a [redacted] enterprise at our present subscription pricing. However, we take into account this simply the beginning of what we will do.

According to analysis by IBISWorld, the meditation and mindfulness trade ranked [sic] in practically $1 billion in 2015. The area is rising very quickly. More than 22% of employers at present supply mindfulness coaching for his or her workforce. However, meditation and mindfulness is simply the tip of an iceberg. We imagine there are a LOT of methods to monetize a giant viewers of individuals who belief our firm to information their actions round their well being. We’d prefer to tackle bigger market of psychological well being, stress reduction and well being & wellness which is a trillion greenback trade.

List any investments your organization has obtained. Include the title of the investor, the quantity invested, the pre-money valuation / valuation cap, and the kind of safety offered (convertible notes, safes or inventory).

After launch, I’ve taken on [redacted] extra investments into the corporate as a convertible be aware at a [redacted].

What satisfied you to use to Y Combinator?

Y Combinator has an unbelievable community of entrepreneurs and mentors – many of whom have used Simple Habit and straight fall into our audience. Being half of YC can be an impetus of progress in phrases of studying from the neighborhood and attracting the most effective expertise. I am at Stanford GSB proper now and I might fortunately take into account dropping out for YC.

How did you hear about Y Combinator?

So many of my buddies have gone by way of Y Combinator and so they rave about it. Founders of Gusto, Flexport, Weave, Muse, Experiment, Tenjin, Innerspace, ProductHunt, Memebox…



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