Announcing WPBeginner Growth Accelerator Fund (Round 2)

Announcing WPBeginner Growth Accelerator Fund (Round 2)


Last year, I decided to do something that was never done before in the WordPress community. I created the WPBeginner Growth Accelerator, first-ever growth fund focused entirely on WordPress businesses. Today, I want to take the exciting steps and open up the second round of applications as well as share the results from last year.

Introducing WPBeginner Growth Fund Round 2

Note: Applications will be closed on September 30, 2019

What is the WPBeginner Growth Accelerator Fund?

WPBeginner Growth Accelerator Fund is the first-ever growth fund focused entirely on WordPress focused businesses.

As part of this accelerator, we will invest between $100k to $2M in a small group of WordPress focused businesses. Along with the investment, we will work intensively with founders to refine and optimize their existing product / processes by using the Awesome Motive playbook.

Companies will also get to benefit from our vast media resources and the business network that we have built over the last decade.

The Story Behind WPBeginner Growth Accelerator

Over the last decade, we have spent a lot of time talking to users and figuring out how to make things people want. Usually we can see fairly quickly the direction in which an idea should be expanded to make the biggest impact.

It took us a long time to get to this level, and I would have never been here without the help of my mentors and other amazing entrepreneurs who were kind enough to share their wisdom with me.

This kind of mentorship is available in a lot of other verticals, but it’s not openly available in the WordPress business community.

A lot of WordPress entrepreneurs expressed interest in joining the Awesome Motive family, have me join their board, or getting an investment from me to fast-track their business growth. Few also expressed their frustrations about lack of investor interest in the space.

The problem is that the WordPress market is not very well understood by investors. And frankly, majority of WordPress businesses are not large enough to meet their criteria.

But this doesn’t mean that WordPress businesses don’t have the potential. It’s quite the opposite – they have a lot of potential. There are tons of opportunities to grow in the WordPress ecosystem with the right playbook, and I want to help prove that.

After a lot of thought and discussion, I decided to create the first WordPress-focused growth accelerator fund to help boost the WordPress small business community.

Results from Our First Round of Investments

In the first round (last year), I invested in 3 WordPress focused companies that represented 5 WordPress products including MemberPress, Pretty Links, Affiliate Royale, Formidable Forms, and SeedProd.

We worked closely with each founder to unlock tremendous growth in each businesses by optimizing the marketing strategy, improving internal processes, and even launching new products.

SeedProd launched a brand new product, RafflePress, which I can honestly say is the best WordPress giveaway plugin in the market.

MemberPress and Pretty Links saw tremendous growth in all areas including product, operations, and overall revenue. I’m really excited about the new product launches and features they’re going to be releasing (can’t share too much more).

Here’s a quote from Blair Williams, founder of MemberPress about his experience with the accelerator:

I’m so glad we joined the Growth Accelerator — it’s been awesome for our business! Not only have we had direct access to Syed but also the other companies in the Growth Accelerator & Awesome Motive. Having this type of ‘cross-pollination’ with these other companies and their seasoned owners in our industry has helped us take our business to the next level. We now have a clearer vision for the future, are operating much more efficiently, serving our customers better and seeing more success than ever before!

Formidable Forms has seen some amazing growth in both their product as well as business revenue. They released a brand new form building experience and a whole new website design. The new features they’re working on is very exciting because they’re continuing to push the limits of the advanced WordPress form experience.

We made a joint decision to not reveal revenue numbers or exact percentage growth since each company is privately held, but I can truly say that I’m very very happy with the growth.

Here’s a quote from Stephanie Wells, co-founder and lead developer of Formidable Forms:

Before joining up with Syed in the Accelerator program, I was burned out and in need of a change. We were growing slowly, but nothing I did seemed to make a difference. Within a month of working with Syed, we were gaining traction. For the first time, I was learning how to manage my team and company instead of just being the developer.

With an amazing, experienced advisor, I no longer feel like I’m paddling frantically in circles. When I lose focus or get distracted, our retreats and meetings get me back on course. The rest of the Awesome Motive and Accelerator companies have also proven to be an invaluable resource. I’m ridiculously lucky to get a piece of that endless resource of knowledge and experience.

I can proudly say that the last year has been huge success for all accelerator companies, and I’m really excited for our second bi-annual accelerator retreat coming up in two weeks where I get to spend time with these super smart and talented entrepreneurs whom I have an honor of calling my friends.

We’re going to close 2019 with a bang, and I’m really excited to see all the amazing new features and products that are in the pipeline for each accelerator company as well as my Awesome Motive portfolio companies.

Along with that, I’m also excited to open up the second round of the WPBeginner Growth Accelerator Fund for WordPress focused companies who’re looking to take their business to the next level.

How Does the Accelerator Work (Format and Philosophy)

One of the questions I get asked a lot is how does the Growth Accelerator work? The best way to answer that is by sharing our philosophy as well as the format we use.

Our Philosophy

We know that independence is one of the main reasons why people want to create a business in the first place, and it’s also one of the reasons why businesses succeed. Our goal is to interfere as little as possible with the day to day.

We believe that founders of WordPress-focused companies are great at hacking. We want to empower them with our framework and resources to do just that.

Most investors offer a combination of money and help. In our case, money is by far the smaller component. We want to share our experience, knowledge, and resources (collectively “needle-movers”) to help founders unlock extreme revenue growth.

We will offer a lot of advice, but we will never force anyone to take it.

The kind of advice that we will give literally can’t be bought because very few companies have the WordPress-specific insights like we do. And those that do are not in the business of consulting.

Format

Me along with other Awesome Motive partners will hand-pick a small group of WordPress companies to invest and work with. And no, we won’t ask you to move to the Bay Area or another big city.

If you have an existing WordPress focused business, then you can apply here.

We will review your application and invite the most promising companies to have a series of conversations with us. We will make our funding decision shortly after that.

Once funded, we will work closely with you to identify the growth levers in your business and help you implement the right processes to take your business to the next level.

Below are some of the benefits that you will have access to:

  • Our playbooks for product development, growth, and operations.
  • Office Hours with Awesome Motive Partners (including me)
  • Office Hours with Other Industry Experts
  • Bi-Annual Mastermind Meetings
  • Exposure on our media properties and access to our PR team
  • Private Founders Slack

How to Apply

If you already have a WordPress-focused business, then you can fill out the application below.

Important Note: this fund is for existing WordPress-focused businesses (i.e WordPress plugins, themes, and services) that have been around for at least six months.

Deadline: Applications will be closed on September 30th, 2019

All information you submit below are confidential. We are also open to signing a NDA if that helps – simply ask in the request below :)

Final Thoughts

I am committed to the WordPress ecosystem, and I have two main goals with this fund:

  1. Help WordPress-focused companies succeed
  2. Help introduce more user-focused WordPress products

If you like a specific WordPress products that you think we should invest in, then please reach out to them and let them know about the growth accelerator fund.

Yours Truly,
Syed Balkhi
Founder of WPBeginner



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