In a big, grey townhouse in the beautiful neighbourhood of Noe Valley in San Francisco, four startup founders live, work, eat, and exercise together.
The team from Goldbely, which was part of Y Combinator’s winter class, moved to San Francisco about a few months ago after finishing up the program.
Goldbely is a gourmet food delivery startup that lets mum and pop stores to reach a big, national audience.
During Y Combinator, living and working together worked really well for them, Goldbely co-founder and CEO Joe Ariel tells Business Insider.
So once the program ended, they decided to do it again.
“The interesting thing about the live/work house is, it’s not a dumpy startup thing that you might picture,” Ariel says. “Part of the reason for why we continue to do this is because we wanted a really zen, calming, comfortable spot with an amazing kitchen full of Viking appliances. It’s a cool, zen, comfortable town house in Noe Valley.”
But there’s one major difference between living together now and living together during Y Combinator. Ariel and his co-founder Vanessa Torrivilla are engaged. Ariel proposed to her just a few days after Demo Day.
“It becomes a little tough at times,” Ariel says. “It’s getting to a point where we may have to make a change at some point to have some privacy for more couple time.”
But that’s not the only tough part about the situation. Living and working with the vast majority of your team could be a recipe for burning out.
“We’ve always been sort of on the same page,” Ariel says. “We’re all workaholics but at the end of the day, you know you’ll burn out come Friday or Saturday if you don’t have relaxation time. Yes, we’re all putting in 12 hour days. But come the weekend, it’s time to relax and unwind.”
Now that we’ve got past the cons, a great perk of living in the Goldbely house is that you get unlimited free food from the purveyors listed on the site.
“The kitchen is the epicentre of everything we do,” Ariel says. “From taste tests to meetings, to events with the press, we wanted the kitchen to be the epicentre of everything going on. If an office space, you can’t really get that.”
Goldbely connects customers with unique foods found all over the country because, in a way, Ariel says, the Internet “de-localizes” local.
“We’re empowering wonderful local and regional merchants from all around the country to have a national audience, and a megaphone bigger than what they already have,” Ariel says.
The Winter months are a bit slower, but overall, Goldbely has seen revenue grow about 70% month-over-month. Some months, Goldbely sees over $US100,000 in revenue.
Goldbely currently has over 100 food purveyors on board, all of which collectively provide a variety of foods to order from the site, like burgers, ice cream, fresh bread, and more. When Goldbely first launched, it had to reach out to merchants. But now there’s actually a backlog of merchants waiting to get into the system.
“We used to have to beg merchants,” Ariel says. “But now merchants are essentially begging us.”
Even though each merchant is responsible for shipping their own goods, Goldbely ensures that everything will ship well. Otherwise, Goldbely will refund the customer.