How I Built Resilience: Daniela Corrente of Reel


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How built this airs on hundreds of stations across the us and those stations need your help to continue to provide great content for free. And so if you are able. I hope you can contribute to the work that they do. You can go to donate dot. Npr dot org slash built and give directly to a local npr station. That's donate that. Npr dot org slash built. And thank you. Hey everyone welcome to how. I built this resilience edition from npr on. These episodes were hearing from entrepreneurs and business leaders about how they've been building resilience into their businesses during this very challenging year. And today we're gonna hear from danielle corrientes ceo and co founder of real. It's a digital platform. The makes saving money easier and helps. People make big purchases like furniture or electron or clothing without taking on credit card debt. Think of this as a society. We've been told that shopping is fine right giving your stress you shop when you find your job saving. It's gary right savings. it's people to have money. We haven't been dawn to see the potential of brown cashflows. People are driven by emotion. Right you are nine. We like to relieve. They were rushing beans but when he comes numbers. I love the musicians that we may come from. Unemotional plays and actually were a real came to live. Where using that behavior knowledge to bring unexperienced of savings as relatable or people. So it's a savings platform. But can you explain how it works. Yeah of course. So let's say you want and you microphone this mike for his amazing this one. Not so much great. You know you want on your microphone. And that he's three hundred dollars rising. Come door website and we go. You would find dollars today. You can have adding beast amount of time a new play with it. Connect your bank account and we automatically start. We'll be money from your bank account doors goal. Ask your saving or sending your load of reinforcement. We go you guy. You are amazing. Your grade you're going to achieve your goals without going into that you can share it with your friends. You can boost that if said bill on the microphone. You once you complete sailing. All you have to do is come from your tubing address and we play the order on your behalf. So there's a full circle from the moment that you want in your microphone to the moment that you're interview in your microphone and you guys partner with some big name. Brands businesses like bloomingdale's and some others And is that how it works. You basically go on your website and you identify products on the website that you need or maybe you don't need but you just want and that's that's what you start to save towards so you can come into website and start saving for whatever you want and that's actually connected with the twenty twenty story that i'm sure we'll get too soon. We also aggregate inventory from thousands of stores so we serve us in aggregate are where we you know scrape their web and present it would civilities of items based on what you have like before and we are starting to direct partnerships with retailers. We bought the point of urges instead of putting something on a wishlist and not taking action. I do actually start saving or things as their shopping. How did you come up with the idea. It was born of personal fascination. wait consumer finance. I was the first one family to move to the states. I moved here for college. And you know the early two thousands if you had a bowl you guard and that was the way they was right. We know any better. I go on my credit card was thousand builder guard i loved. I thought it wants two thousand or reacher. I imagine i mean even sponsored. A child right. I thought i had so much money that i went to uni dot com and sponsor a child for eighteen dollars on. I was just like i. I got two thousand dollar limit. And i had no idea what he was right and then really quickly understood what the high interest that had men i. What did he do. Bay laid became fascinated with financial psychology. Why humans we make decisions that we make because we associate happiness. We'd have started on lifestyle on behalf of lifestyle is gonna win one dollars. Assassination that it had for years. But i didn't do anything that on deal in a couple of years ago and that came out of jews working in advertising in new york act breath that was now go founder was working on and we were chatting one day and he told me. Hey do you actually know. That millennials Credit card and obviously these days sporting years after michael thousand builder. The ask and i'm like wait. Hold on what what happened. What happened in these years. That i haven't been paying attention to consumer finance and i put out a survey monkey and Sent questions as a marketer. I'm curious i would venture now starting accompanied with the intention of understanding the market. And you know what really fascinating answers about people telling me look. I don't know how to say. I want to say but it seems to complicate it. It seems to stressful would be years of selling products to consumers worn on retail. I i started really inking about. How can we connect these feeling like seidman with savings and everything started reporting from there. I i had to go to south by south west. For work and mine. Co-founder zoo and rewards via and i was asking every single friend under time. Are you paying for things. What's going on. What has changed. And i remember vividly just having been and thumbing michael funder. Hey it we're going to south by southwest. There are a lot of people there. I can put us worse website and bring business cars and we can go and talk about base and see if people would like it. And that's how. I got my first investor meeting when you started to meet with investors and pitched the idea as every person been high built this as described. I'm sure you've got some pushback. I'm sure people are saying well. Why would somebody do that. and not. just go to a an interest bank account or why would somebody do that and not do layaway. Or why wouldn't somebody just get a low interest credit card right. I mean what kind of push back did you get title of the show. Hasn't resilient and i think every single founder that you've interview fundraising into always full-on story on itself right because you get no more times than you get. Yes but you only need a handful of yes in order to change the trajectory of your story. And you know when especially when it's a product that is not relate elements and sorry investors ride because they don't need to set aside for our butts because they need to set money aside for the microphone or or the your computer so baid hours remaining port ending. These journey has been fundraising right. Bruin pay needing the market. I'm brewing than the gossamer that were after. He's a customer that can span against been highly so we got out of bush back as far as questions of understanding consumer behavior and dots. Actually i'm very passionate about a was very fun him being very fond doom. And all this story over time we've done earnings hour having not only from the hypothesis that we had you buy for our current customers. I know you raised. I think about a million dollars right. Is that right now. We race close to five five. Oh my gosh that was was getting that initial funding. Was that really hard. Yeah i come from a family of interpret worst so these mentality of you adopt and you learn and you get feedback on you. Figure out a way to play on that feedback to make things happen have been really On the way that i'll ever company. And that i have gone about every fundraising round but i do remember right. When at the beginning west i got my goodness if we than thousand dollars this is all that we can do and now it's just like daughters now. We need to keep growing right. I was actually the first money that we came from outside of our own money of gore's of savings freelancing or went gay and just putting our own money and sweating game from an accelerator and we went really accelerators and there was one which than i really really liked. Because of the way they structure their investments. And i remember going to that meeting with one of the managing partners and sitting down and i'm nike weren't talking with all of these Illustrator and these like these one. And if you're gonna make other station we need to work into these pretty fast. Because we have one of these conversations with milton getting to the level of confidence took time right but he was pretty much On the faith and they believe in us and they were i shy and it just got the ball bad growth or us but he took a while. It wasn't a watson something that Today three days not even. It took months because of the beginning. In and i'm sure entrepreneurs listening to this at the beginning of like the chicken. The egg question right well at least the idea that you have shown me prove that the market wants that but in order to show you prove that the market wants it has gallini tsui some level of investment. You're playing with that date. I in order to deliver a high quality story that they can buy eat too. I mean we live in as you know. 'cause i mentioned you were born and raised in venezuela right. Yeah and the united states is like people are constantly in debt. And i don't even know what the numbers are. It's insane and people have multiple credit cards on our show. We interview founders. Who max out their credit cards start their businesses right but the idea behind this to prevent is to essentially. I guess to discourage people from putting things on credit cards when they don't have the cash to pay for it that under his unnecessary and we are highly focused on the debt. That he's on mrs saturday right. You might right away. And why are you gonna get into dead for like i'll give you an example users are i i- moms and when your first on on you're gonna eat stroller. You'll need it for another ten months nine months. Why are you gonna rock on your that. Goal for that ryan when you need a new computer or outdoor furniture or even a trade. We have other customers that have started saving. Why don't you start putting on their money aside every day so then by the time you get there you can achieve your goal. We don't having to go into that. I think you know asset society. The biggest thing is that people do not understand the gatien's that ordinance saudi bed hasn't the long-term the has changed tremendously after you after two thousand underneath and now we're seeing a lot of that to every every financial downturn greens newly hager when we come back in just a moment more of my conversation with danielle corrente in how adding service fee to her free platform actually increased users. Stay with us guy rise. And you're listening to how i built this resilience edition from npr. This message comes from. Npr sponsor western governors university. Ready to earn your degree but need a university that works with your schedule. Wgn news programs were built to be flexible with no set logging. Times and twenty four seven access to most coursework. You can earn a respected bachelor's or master's degree on your schedule listeners. Of this podcast can have the sixty five dollar. Application fee waived learn more w. g. dot edu slash built this and just a reminder. This month is npr's annual end of your fundraising campaign. So please go to donate dot. Npr dot org slash built to support your local station and thanks. Hey welcome back to how. I built this resilience edition and i'm talking with danielle corrientes ceo and co founder of real when real initially launched. It was a free service but danielle family fielding lots of questions from skeptical customers about how. The company made money when we started the product. We were free product. And the reason. I'm bringing this up because i think price and psychologists fascinating and company people would call us emails by. Are you free. where are you free. Where's the gods. nbc's minute. Tom ridge on a lady. Ura what are you doing. And so ma'am i go. Founder sat down Spending a lot of time responding to people and explaining how we make money and doug indoor investors. They were locate. Why don't you charge. These is not what we want for our product so we actually let's ab testy and we did. And we saw higher conversion when we started charging a fee for use the platform which was fascinating though we started charging a fee at us a platform so higher conversion saul hired trust which makes perfect sense because we live in the era of airbnb. Door that ryan on people use the surveys fee. So right now we're growing the ab deaths in removing that fee again because we want to add value for customers over time. And that's something that goes against the believe that we have as a company. We believe that they should be a free product for customers. But it definitely has everything while building i company. It's been a learning curve right. How does real make money. What's your revenue model. Yes we weren't couple of different ways so we monetize obviously on the money that we're holding on behalf of the users right and then we also wanted dies arner shapes with retailers because driving traffic doors their website right driving conversion and so we get paid for that daniela. Let's talk about two thousand and twenty this year's been unlike any year in living memory obviously for some sectors it's been really challenging incredibly challenging the restaurant industry and travel and leisure the service industry even retail apparel. It's been really tough and obviously for small businesses. How how have you guys been doing. This year I know you've got a team of about twenty people. You're working in a distributed way. I mean what are you seeing. What are presumably. People can save more money because they're not traveling. They're not going to restaurants for example. Yes so there are a couple of things right. Twenty twenty has definitely been interesting year. I think i sent for preneurs if every year. We we grow at a five x because of everything that we learned these theories twenty x exponential growth is not only running your business but setting new structures or your team to work remotely to writing for us because saved by the actually everything that has happened with. Common has accelerated. The behavior of people do look for alternatives. Right if you look into data people are seeing now more than ever and of course are saving more because they are not going out the underlying there. It's the behavior over time and you happen. After two thousand and eight you could see how millennials less credit cards than the previous generation. 'cause they so other parents went through now with everything that's happening. We'd caught me. Were seeing that. People are realizing that leaving paycheck to paycheck. It's not the way to go. But at the same time if the era of instagram's and think dogs no there is a lifestyle that you want to achieve so finding that balance. It's something that is playing very nicely in our advanced because of the kind of product that were putting in the market so we've actually seen a tremendous amount of growth this year month over month. Far golden transacted also as a result of us expanding into multiple verticals. We didn't have to necessarily pila company. Acetate our offerings right. When the year started we were offering or have stood three verticals and then when these happen in march we sat down the team and we said they look in. Most of our people are saving for shannon furniture and things that you know might not be needed right now. We need to expand so they wanna save or or electron. They wanna save for tax For other things we need to offer that. And we can't do any hewitt three four. We need to the wet in our leaky to. How are we going to release as a team and so it was a period of being very hands on down. Beat's ness ride developing set of alternatives for people to save and he has paid off over time. I want 'em to question. We got from sundeep via linked in sandy basques. Have you considered offering options for people to save to donate to charity. Actually great question because we just did that last week. People can save for charities that they wanted to and i came out on leave from a partner. She weighed some influencers where they ask. Hey look i wanna share these with my following. But i wanna make sure that the also have the opportunity to save for these charts and we all been that civility so absolutely you can do that. Here's the question from sebastian. I'm special s. What do you see the people who who asked why would open up a savings account instead of using real like he asks. What does real offer that makes it a more viable offering. Yes i look savings accounts. I've been there for ages and ages right. You go do any banking institution and just create a savings account and put up picture of whatever you want. The realities of the younger generation though sent on behalf friction with some financial integrations overtime. But it's looking for ways to sort of optimize their experience right when you if you put money on a savings account you have to track it you have to drag the broader that your savings for you have to make sure that there is enough money on your account every time you make the transfer if you come to us. We facilitate all that for you. I if you come to us to tell us when you want and we have a team that looks for self for you. It's very easy for you to share these with. Your friends is very easy for us of you. Make an extra fifty bucks this weekend. Devoted doors your goal right under the aspect of the some transparency on these. When you have this is where you're heading. If you don't have enough money in your bank we will not make a transaction. So there is a lot of advantages of using nose as is operatives. Because it's not only that we're helping you save where thinking you do a journey to make sure you achieve your goal interesting because You know services like betterment or wealth front these sort of robo advisers. They have a similar model which is goal oriented like. You've got different buckets where you could save for college or a new home or whatever it is do you think that goal oriented saving is the new model for younger consumers think about it reilly s humans we think about the line salah we want to have in the means to went man when you talk about your trip next year with your friends. You're thinking all experiences that you are going to have not perhaps at thousand dollars unique to set aside so get doors. Train ride so Understanding that the majority of consumers resign of customers. I feel very comfortable Vodka gone feel very comfortable with numbers and then they can go on a savings account or a savings account with a product. That is very number. Then if you're talking about massa's ryan masses are used being targeted the lifestyle ride but not on how you achieve that lifestyle and so definitely glorious that it's way to roll when he comes to savings because with the reality of digital world where consuming the lifestyle that we want twenty four seven are devices. You mentioned how you respond to consumer demand by creating new verticals for new categories of products Because obviously people have been saving more this year. What has been the financial impact of the pandemic on your business has it. Have you seen a drop off. Have you seen an increase in revenue. Wh what have you seen so far so we saw a big increase on daughter strength sack that and the reason why that's very interesting to us is because by expanding verticals we started also getting more of this your wallet from the gossamer that we also already had so not owning attracting new costumer race but also in our customers. Hey you know now. You can start saving for your christmas budget. We does not on the you know the the. Dvd are not on the computer so we started seeing one of three sixty in Costumer as far as purchase as very interesting for us in march. Which was something that made us sort of rethink the way that see the Ways is that when guide happen. Resell people that started the kept waiting but they wanna play the orders right away unless fascinating to us because we sell dissaving savings ransack than get the same. And then on the contrary they increased tremendously like november twenty percent higher than the previous month. I it's increasing at a very rapid pace. However the cells people are like you know what actually instead of placing that order the shoes. Can i try them for these to a computer. It's gonna take me longer to get there. But i wanna see or those things transfer these two furniture furniture and electronics or something increase tremendously on the platform as well raul. Because obviously it's new ride so that we saw that behavior of people moving money around more than ever in fact over twenty percent of the items that people are safe for They transfer in between items because there is this element of if occasion on your knees that has resonated really good way our demographic we have a couple minutes left and i want to get to at least one more question From our listeners. The this one is from robin davies By facebook robin asks. What's been the biggest driver of awareness for real. What are you. How are you reaching new customers. How are you finding. You know new people to use your service. Because that's the most expensive part of a startup is right as user requisition in a time when we're all kind of stuck at home and everyone's now using digital marketing. How are you reaching customers. Derek different ways. I think one one thing that i would pull out therefore every entrepreneur. it's think about organic loops. How can you leverage your own customers to spread the word to others though. How do you leverage respectively lag. Your brand so they can tell owners and begin having that ripple effect. So we've got your customers find ways. Obviously because of the nature of our savings platform we promoter product instagram we promote product facebook to places where people are looking for aspirated. I in fact we have. Customer is great one of reviews. She called her action put things on my board. Would you guys. I'm actually putting money doors. What i want that. And then besides fade obviously our own channels email. It's a great source of conversion for us. And then all of these organic lubes and then asked we look into twenty twenty one and expanding police solution channels we have a couple of really great partnerships that are coming into play. I cannot say now but then we'll start. Being more of the point of purchase. On that on knox befriend distributor channel for us. That's an excerpt from my live conversation with yellow coronavirus ceo and co founder of real. To see our full live interview you can go to facebook dot com slash. How i built this. And if you wanna see all of our past live interviews you can also find them there or at youtube dot com slash. Npr if you want to find out how to join us live for the how. I built this resilient series or you wanna find out the joint other virtual. Npr events you can go to npr. Presents dot org. This episode was produced by liz metzger with help from farah safari. Jc howard. bruce grant l. Manion jonah cappa dona. John isabella julia. Carney neva grant and jeff rodgers. thanks for listening. Stay safe and i'll see you back here in a few days. I'm garros and you've been listening to how i built this resilience edition from npr support. For how i built this and the following message come from microsoft the engineers and designers working on microsoft teams. No more of us are spending more time on video calls and working to connect in a more meaningful way so after pulling together ideas from microsoft researchers and programmers. They came up with together mode. Together mode transports your meeting to a more inviting and cohesive virtual space. Which looks like you are actually sitting together in person meeting somewhere. That feels more fun and a little more real so no matter where you're coming from. Everyone is all right here. This is just another one of the ways. Microsoft teams is working to make remote work better and more collaborative because when there are more ways to be together there are more ways to be a team. Learn more at microsoft dot com slash teams.

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