Every Startup Needs an In-House Senate
Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.
For this week’s deep dive, Natasha and Danny unpacked the Expensify EC-1, which includes a ton of surprises, building tips, and, as we discuss in the show, some life lessons as well. This is our largest EC-1 to date and is the result of six months of prodigious work from the inimitable Anna Heim. Of course, we had to add our Equity spin on the feature and boiled down our favorite musings into a succinct episode.
Here’s what we got into:
- Expensify’s silent period was a fun dynamic to deal with as reporters
- There’s always an Uber angle, and Expensify is no different when you realize its early roots are tied to entrepreneur Travis Kalanick’s persuasion
- How Expensify manages to stay slim, focus on a rural town in Michigan, and achieve profitability
- Natasha asked if lack of structure negatively or positively impacts minorities and underrepresented folks, while Danny explained a nifty way that the company deals with promotions and raises
- Danny explained how re-writing the playbook might positively impact recruitment, and how joining Expensify doesn’t come with your classic SaaS pitch
- And we end with a meta-conversation on how society views work, and why neither of us wants to spend the next 50 years with predictability
Once you’re done listening to the episode, make sure to check out Heim’s EC-1 below:
- Part 1: Origin story “How a band of P2P hackers planted the seeds of a unique expense management giant” (2,400 words/10 minutes
- Part 2: Culture: “How Expensify got to $100M in revenue by hiring ‘stem cells’ and not ‘cogs in a wheel’” (3,120 words/12.5 minutes)
- Part 3: Expansion and remote work: “How Expensify shed Silicon Valley arrogance to realize its global ambitions” (3,250 words/13 minutes)
- Part 4: Engineering and technology: “How Expensify hacked its way to a robust, scalable tech stack” (3,300 words/13 minutes)
- Part 5: Business model: “How bottom-up sales helped Expensify blaze the path for SaaS” (4,200 words/17 minutes)