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INDUSTRY: Business/Productivity tool
FOUNDER: Rohan Parikh, Paolo Fornasini
27 Jun 2023

Setting the Scene

  • Subscriptions for premium tools and content are not cheap. 💳

    • MasterClass costs $120/year.

    • Grammarly costs $180/year.

    • Crunchbase costs $600/year.

    • Don’t even get us started on PitchBook… 💰

  • While some people create dozens of email addresses for free 1-week trials, many consumers, freelancers, and businesses spend thousands per year on productivity tools.

  • This week’s company provides access to premium tools through a single affordable subscription.

In a Sentence

Keye offers access to tools and content through a single subscription.

  • Access: Users are given monthly credits to unlock one-day access to paywalled platforms.

  • Tools and content: Keye offers products across several workflows, including data (Crunchbase), information (TechCrunch, Fortune), productivity (Grammarly, Loom), and learning (MasterClass, Perlego, Codecademy).

Bulleted Version

  • Similar to how ClassPass offers users access to various fitness classes and studios through a single subscription, Keye provides access to a range of business tools through a single subscription. 🏃‍♀️

The Basics:

  • Headquarters: NYC
  • Employee Count: 2 FTEs & 3 independent contractors
  • Investors:

    Plug and Play Ventures, ERA, Commonvest

  • Funding amount: $300k
  • Currently raising: $2m
  • Business model: Tiered subscriptions ($19/mo or $79/mo), revenue share with platforms
  • Early traction: 35 content partners in its first year, 10k users, 4.3 sessions per week, 45-60% profit margin

Due Diligence

  • 👩‍💻 Fueling freelancers: Independent workers make up roughly one-third of the workforce, and they face high enterprise software costs despite using the products less frequently.

    • Keye provides flexible access at an affordable price while offering products that users may never have considered due to costs.

  • 💰 Recovering revenue: Content and enterprise software providers struggle to reach independent users, and Keye supports them through revenue share, usage data, and access to future users.

  • 🏢 Unlocking B2B: While Keye initially targets the 60 million global independent workers, the company plans to sell to enterprise teams underutilizing their software subscriptions.

  • 🌎 Partner dependent: The company must close high-demand partnerships to attract and retain users and cater to a broad end market.

    • Keye may also face long and complicated processes to close partnerships.

  • 🔓 Product usage: The company relies on users consistently engaging with a variety of products to meet partner expectations, maintain power in negotiating contracts, and attract new partners.

  • ⏱ Innovative pricing models: Many SaaS companies are adopting usage-based pricing to offer products at an accessible price, which may challenge Keye’s ability to close some partners and convert customers.


Founder Profile

  • Rohan Parikh, CEO: Recent Wharton MBA graduate and previously worked as a trader at Natixis and a technology consultant at Accenture.

  • Paolo Fornasini, COO: Recent Wharton MBA graduate and previously worked in corporate strategy at McKinsey and Business Development at Google.


Why Keye

With a tool for independent workers and businesses to access a variety of premium content and optimize their subscription spend, we are confident that Keye has unlocked a massive market opportunity. 🔐