For the past 3 months, I've been closely tracking Product Hunt and BetaList. I looked at literally every single company that was hunted / posted on these platforms, I categorised them and enriched the data with additional variables. Below you can find some of my findings.
**Perk Alert** At the end of this post, I will also share some thoughts on how VCs use Product Hunt to source interesting startups.
#1 How many startups get hunted
Let's start with the basics; how many startups get posted on Product Hunt and BetaList?
Product Hunt = 2024 startups in the last 3 months, that is 22 startups per day or 0.92 per hour.
BetaList = 588 startups in the last 3 months, that is 6.4 startups per day or 0.27 per hour.
#2 When are most startups hunted
On Product Hunt most startups are hunted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Those two days amount for over 40% of posts.
As you might have expected, weekends are the weakest with less than 18% of startups hunted on Saturday and Sunday (8.3%).
Due to PH voting system, almost 70% of startups are hunted between 9AM and 12PM (CET) | 12AM to 3AM (PT).
BetaList (by design) features roughly the same amount of startups every day.
#3 What startups get hunted
Now we are getting to the most interesting bit of this post. I will split up this analysis into 4 parts: links, keywords, metrics and other data.
PART 1 — Links
Most Product Hunt posts are Websites / Web apps which form 77.5% of all posts. Mobile apps amount for ~12% (with iOS = 10.1% and Android 2%).
Interestingly, crowdfunding campaigns amount for 4.5% of PH posts (Kickstarter = 3.8%).
Other interesting categories; Messenger Bots (1.1%), Browser Extensions (1.8%), and Github (1.9%).
PART 2.1 — Product Hunt Keywords
Keywords are typically a good indicator of current tech trends. So it comes as no surprise that almost 3% of the last 2000 hunted startups are related to Cryptocurrencies or Bitcoin, 3.6% are related to Bots, and 1% to AR/VR.
Other notable verticals; Design (3.5%), Video (3.3%), Music (2.4%), and Travel (1.2%).
PART 2.2 — BetaList Keywords
Startups featured on BetaList are more related to team-management, tools, analytics and marketing. The only resemblance with PH are Bots which (again) account for around 3.5% of the featured startups.
(All sorts of different SaaS tools amount for over 1/3 of the featured startups. )
PART 3.1 — Startup Metrics: Traffic
Almost 25% of hunted startups have either very high or relatively high monthly traffic. If we look at Alexa Global Rank — the average rank is around 1.6M, with the lowest rank 97 and highest 19.7M. Interestingly, over 35% of the hunted startups can be labeled as somewhat established companies based on their Traffic Estimate and Alexa Rank.
In addition, more than 15.6% of the hunted startups have a monthly traffic of more than 200.000 visitors.
PART 3.2 — Startup Metrics: Social Data
If we look at the distribution of Twitter followers, we can see that more than 40% of the analysed startups have more than 1.000 followers. While 50% have less than 500 followers.
If we remove the really popular startups (100K+ followers), the average follower base would still remain relatively high at over 4.200 followers.
Please note: The sample is somewhat limited.
We can spot a similar trend in FB fans distribution with more than 55% of the analysed startups enjoying a fanbase of more than 1.000 users.
If we (again) remove the really popular startups, the average fanbase would still remain high at over 7.100 fans.
Please note: The sample is somewhat limited.
PART 4.1— Other Data: Tech Stack
Here you can see a summary of most used tools among the hunted startups. Not too many surprises here.
Two interesting findings; Intercom is used by twice as many startups as Zendesk. And over 15% of the analysed startups use some sort of session recording software.
PART 4.2 — Other Data: Location
As you might have expected, most of the analysed companies are based in the US (with SF leading the city-list). UK and France are leading the EU country list. Please note: The analysed sample is very limited.
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How VCs use Product Hunt and BetaList?
I know quite a few fellow VCs who use Product Hunt and BetaList for sourcing interesting startups. There are multiple underlying reasons for this:
a. Both are somewhat curated = the quality of posted startups is on average relatively high compared to other sources
b. Upvotes are an easy way to see which startups and trends resonate with the (startup) community
c. There are not too many other sources that provide almost a thousand relatively interesting startups on a monthly basis
d. Product Hunt discussions / comments are a good way to pre-screen startups, as you can see how founder(s) react to tough questions
e. (occasionally) You can spot a truly disruptive concept which can help you form a new thesis about a certain space or vertical
However, it's good to note that both Product Hunt and BetaList are somewhat limited when it comes to deal sourcing.
For example, from the 2.024 startups that were posted on Product Hunt in the last 3 months, only 14 (0.7%) actually passed my initial screening and got into my deal flow. For BetaList this figure is even lower.
And that's completely fine, as neither of them was made for VCs. First and foremost, they (should) help users find interesting products and software.
Thanks for reading.
Written by Dominik Vacikar.
Views are my own and don’t reflect the views of my employer.
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