Money

In its first year, social platform GirlCrew spent only $60 — here’s how they did it

GirlCrew cofounders Pamela Newenham, Aine Mulloy, and Elva Carri.
Courtesy of GirlCrew
GirlCrew cofounders Pamela Newenham, Aine Mulloy, and Elva Carri.

Setting up a company is no walk in the park: A lot has to be taken into consideration and a lot of money is required. But, when it comes to the latter — this may not always be the case.

Take social platform GirlCrew for example. In its first year the founders state that they used no more than $60.

How, you might ask? Simply, "We didn't have to pay for office space, as the work we did was mainly from the living room of my apartment," Pamela Newenham, founder and co-CEO at GirlCrew, told CNBC Make It via email.

Founded in 2014, GirlCrew's platform helps women find new friends in their local area, whether that's participating in group chats online or setting up events offline.

Starting off in the Irish capital of Dublin, the platform now has more than 100,000 members in over 45 cities, including New York, Melbourne and Toronto. When it comes to what the group spent the $60 on, Newenham told CNBC that for the most part, the money went towards content creation.

A GirlCrew event
Courtesy of GirlCrew
A GirlCrew event

"We needed help with funny content, that would be shared widely, and drive people to the GirlCrew site," the co-CEO said. According to Newenham, when it began they didn't have the technical knowledge or money to build their own platform — so they learned through other means.

"We learned that we could utilize other platforms to build out an idea, and test if it could be a business, before we began developing our own platform."

'We all kept our full-time jobs'

In fact, until the management team knew that they "were onto something," they decided not to quit their day jobs — to make sure they had a backup plan.

"We all kept our full-time jobs and worked on GirlCrew part-time, trying out various revenue streams, growing the groups (and) launching in new cities."

GirlCrew cofounders Pamela Newenham, Elva Carri, and Aine Mulloy.
Courtesy of GirlCrew
GirlCrew cofounders Pamela Newenham, Elva Carri, and Aine Mulloy.

From starting off on $60 to becoming an internationally-recognized platform — the founders learned a lot during GirlCrew's evolution. Even though GirlCrew spent a small amount in its first year, that wasn't always the case.

"It is very expensive to run a company," said Newenham. "We had no idea how much experienced software engineers were to hire, nor how much money gets spent on things like employment contracts (and) intellectual property agreements."

There were also technological hurdles the leaders had to face — such as the importance of coding.

"We initially outsourced the development of our app which was a big mistake. After losing money outsourcing, we decided to bring development in-house."

"We got an amazing technical advisor on board, who was able to guide us through everything. We had to start over from scratch again, but we did it," said Newenham. Without a tech advisor, they wouldn't have known if the developers they interviewed were experienced enough for the project — which could have been costly, the co-CEO added.

After launching an app in 2017 and expanding their platform worldwide, it seems like GirlCrew has done a considerable amount since 2014. So, what's next? According to Newenham, the group hope that in five years' time they can join other platforms by listing on a stock exchange.

"We would love to IPO!" she concluded.

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