UPDATE: Product Hunt received the Crunchie award for best new startup at the 2015 Crunchies Awards, the annual competition hosted by influential Silicon Valley web publications TechCrunch and VentureBeat. Big congrats and Go Ducks to Ryan!
Ryan Hoover ’09 launched Product Hunt in November 2013. Since then, it has become an essential tool for technology developers, angel investors, and venture capitalists throughout Silicon Valley and beyond.
Born from Hoover’s own passion for seeking out and trying new tech products, Product Hunt started out as a daily email and grew into a suite of services—all dedicated to the information hunger of those who live and breathe new technology.
Central to Product Hunt’s model is a Reddit-like website (also available as an iPhone app, of course, with an app for the Android in development) that features 20 to 40 new products each day and draws more than 150,000 visitors a month. Community members are able to discuss these products and provide feedback to their developers, as well as cast “upvotes” for their favorites. Hoover also hosts a weekly podcast, Product Hunt Radio, in which he chats with investors, startup founders, and product developers.
Venture capitalists scout the site for new investment possibilities, tech reporters use it as a tip sheet, and technology developers use it as a way to get feedback about their creations. For up-and-coming product developers, becoming a favorite on Product Hunt can be a gamechanger in terms of exposure and potential investments. Each month the site drives approximately 2 million visits to featured products.
Hoover grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and received a degree in business—with a concentration in entrepreneurship—from the Lundquist College. Even during his undergraduate years, Hoover’s flair for entrepreneurship was in evidence. As a participant in the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship’s undergraduate Venture Quest business plan competition, Hoover received first place for his executive summary and was runnerup in the overall competition.
In October, Product Hunt announced it raised $6.1 million in a Series A, led by well-known Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Backers also include Google Ventures, Greylock Partners, and Y Combinator, among many others.
What’s next for Hoover and Product Hunt? Hoover plans to take the Product Hunt model and apply it to other categories—starting with video games in the upcoming year. If Hoover has his way, in the years to come there will be a Product Hunt for anything people are interested in.
Visit the Product Hunt website and read about Hoover and Product Hunt in Forbes, Business Insider, The Next Web, Mashable.com, and Venture Beat News.