Two and a half years ago, we quit our jobs, had some wine, and sat down on our couch to write our first Daily Skimm. It was terrifying. But we could not ignore a huge void in the market — we saw that our friends, who are very smart and very busy, were not engaging with news in a way they enjoyed, that fit into their routine, or made them keep coming back for more. So we created something different.
One year ago, we announced we took in $1.3mm in seed funding. It was the biggest day of theSkimm’s young life. We even took a picture of our bank account. We took in capital because wanted to get off the couch (We did). We wanted to scale ourselves (We did and built a team). And we wanted to scale our user base (We did…in a big way).
In the last year, theSkimm has grown over 10x. We are so excited to announce for the first time that a few months ago, we surpassed 1 million active readers.
What we are most proud of though is something you can’t quantify–it is our community. It is the passion and engagement with which people have welcomed theSkimm Life into their morning routines–post snooze button, pre coffee, and sometimes without pants (no judgement.) It’s when you forward that day’s email to a friend, or tell your coworker at the copy machine, or bring it up at dinner that night. It’s the Instagram picture you post to show where you are Skimm'ng that morning. It’s the fact you want to wear a Skimm T-shirt and ask how to become a Skimm'bassador. Our program has grown from 80 Skimm'bassadors 6 months ago to a program made up of thousands across the country today. You have helped us grow and grow organically. Thank you.
Now, on to the big questions…
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS theSKIMM?
It’s much more than a newsletter. theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter.
WHERE ARE WE GOING?
In 2015, we will be doubling down on our greatest assets – our voice and our community. We will continue to make the Daily Skimm your favorite part of the morning and will continue to work with partners we love and know you will too. But we will also be working to bring the voice and community to other platforms and focusing on other areas of your life where we can make it easier to be smarter.
C’MON, TELL ME…WHAT’S THE BIG VISION?
Our audience has time to wake up, check their phones, get to work, and grab some coffee along the way. And somewhere in there, they fit in theSkimm. theSkimm is recreating what morning television means for this audience. We will take this concept, deconstruct it and put it into the palm of your hand to become the first company to turn news and information into a lifestyle brand.
SO WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?
That our ideas are expensive…So we raised a new round of funding.
We’re going to take theSkimm Life to the next level with the help of a $6.25 million Series A financing led by Steve Schlafman at RRE Ventures and supported by our original backers at Homebrew Ventures. We are also so excited and honored to have support from Greycroft Partners, Irving Azoff, and Chelsea Handler (yes, insert AHHHHH! here).
We are so grateful to have the continued support from our earliest backers: Troy Carter of Atom Factory, Bob Pittman, Gordon Crawford, Richard Greenfield, SherpaVentures, and our angel supporters, including Lizzie & Jonathan Tisch, Nancy & Jeffrey B. Lane, Five Island Ventures, and advisors like Jon Steinberg, CEO Daily Mail North America, Betsy Morgan, President of The Blaze, Jenny Meyer of Jennifer Bett Communications, and Laurie Racine, founder of Startl.
Working with Homebrew has been an invaluable experience for us as first time founders. We chose to work with Satya Patel and Hunter Walk for their product experience, but they have become irreplaceable sounding boards for us and have made us better thinkers and better founders. We are so excited to continue this next phase of the journey with them.
We are thrilled for RRE to take a more active role in theSkimm family, as they have a track record of transforming industries with love. Working with Steve brings this full circle for us–he knew us way before theSkimm was born, was one of the first people we went to during launch week, and the person we called to tell what theSkimm community had become.
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
We are hiring. We listened to you and are bringing you more of theSkimm Life.
There are no words to adequately thank you or explain how humbled and overcome we are by the reaction to theSkimm. We started this on a couch in a tiny apartment with no business or tech background but with a love for news and an idea of how we could make information consumption easier for our friends who were short on time. You, our Skimm'rs, taught us what it means to create a community, and created it for us.
To our team–thank you for taking the leap and jumping into theSkimm with us. And for loving champagne as much we do.
And to our friends, our mentors, and our family, thank you for believing in us, understanding why we cancel plans a lot, and why we need to sleep in on the weekends.
To everyone else– Sign up. Hurry.