A Q&A with GreenStack co-founder and CEO David Hehman. The San Francisco–based company was founded in late 2011 and launched its mobile app earlier this month at TechCrunch Disrupt.
SUB: Please describe GreenStack, and the value proposition you offer to consumers.
Hehman: The GreenStack mobile app makes discount shopping fun and easy. We help consumers aggregate all their deals such as AAA, Amex, Alumni, etc., and where possible help them combine savings opportunities. We help people stretch their purchasing power and avoid paying full price.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Hehman: Everyone loves to save money. Our initial customer is a money-saving mom.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Hehman: Vidappe was a direct competitor and we joined forces in May 2012. Most other competitors are selling their own deals; we are not.
SUB: What differentiates GreenStack from the competition?
Hehman: Most competitors offer their own deals. We are an open platform and do not seek deals from merchants directly. Our very unique goal is that we help the consumer combine their discount offers. We call that stacking the deals.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Hehman: We incorporated in late 2011 and initially looked at making mobile membership cards for groups. Early in 2012, we switched focus to creating a great consumer app since that’s our real end-user, and they are looking to save money.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for GreenStack? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Hehman: I’ve always had a passion for saving money. Anytime that I combine offers it is like winning a game, so I wanted to help people do the same, but without it being a time consuming and complex process. Computers are very good at this type of work—think about booking a flight and hotel. It is basically lots of data crunching.
SUB: How did you come up with the name? What is the story behind it?
Hehman: We were considering GreenBack, but it didn’t seem to offer any trademark protection. We came up with GreenStack as a unique name and encapsulated our goal to help users stack their deals and save their valuable greenbacks.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Hehman: We made a mistake outsourcing our initial app and we had to recover from this misstep. Bringing everything in-house helped us create a much better product.
SUB: You just launched at TechCrunch Disrupt. Why was this a particularly good time to launch?
Hehman: It served as a motivating force for our team and we could leverage the event for press.
SUB: What were your impressions of Disrupt as a place to launch?
Hehman: The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. I’d highly recommend setting up press and investor meetings in advance.
SUB: Have you raised outside funding to this point?
Hehman: Yes, $600K Seed round from Angels
SUB: How does the company generate revenue or plan to generate revenue?
Hehman: We will generate revenue when people join other memberships, download apps and join other money saving programs. Additional revenue will come from affiliate partners listing their offers in the app.
SUB: What are your goals for GreenStack over the next year or so?
Hehman: Become the number money saving app and help people stretch their budgets.
Greenstack – www.greenstack.com