Creative who needs work? Try Zooppa with $8m Raised and $4m+ In Creative Projects in 2016 with CEO Alessandro Biggi

Alessandro Biggi

In Episode #678, Nathan interviews Alessandro Biggi. He’s the CEO at Zooppa, the first open-source creative agency. Previously, he was the CEO and founder of a company called 20lines, an app to share leading short stories acquired by HarperCollins Publisher, in January 2016. He’s also worked for JP Morgan, The Boston Consulting Group, and as an adjunct professor in Venice.

Famous Five:

  • Favorite Book? – Zero to One
  • What CEO do you follow? – Ricardo Donadon
  • Favorite online tool? — Slack
  • How many hours of sleep do you get?— 6
  • If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – Alessandro wished he would have studied some hard skills like engineering

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:46 – Nathan introduces Alessandro to the show
  • 01:22 – Zooppa relies on technology to engage with over 400K creatives around the world
  • 01:58 – Zooppa is like a marketplace, connecting creatives to people who need a project done
  • 02:02 – Zooppa has 2 models in creating content
    • 02:07 – First is the open model which is open to everyone to show their creativity
    • 02:18 – The second one is the VIP which is only offered to top producers on the platform to participate and win the project
  • 02:46 – Average project size depends on the creation needed
    • 02:56 – An open model can go from $50K-150K
    • 03:12 – Average can be $40K
  • 03:18 – Zooppa was launched 10 years ago, in Italy
    • 03:25 – Zooppa expanded to New York, Seattle, Venice, Milan and London
  • 03:42 – Alessandro just joined Zooppa 1 month ago after selling 20lines
    • 03:50 – Alessandro was also an investor in Zooppa
  • 04:20 – Zooppa was founded by H-Farm’s founders
  • 04:41 – Zooppa has raised around $8M
  • 04:50 – Alessandro joined Zooppa after the last round
  • 04:57 – There’s a plan to develop more revenue streams for Zooppa
  • 05:21 – Zooppa’s vision is to inspire people use their creativity for a purpose
  • 06:00 – Alessandro accepted Zooppa as a challenge
    • 06:07 – Alessandro feels that there’s more that he can do
  • 06:48 – Zooppa is now planning to distribute a big part of their equity to new and old employees
  • 07:07 – Alessandro does other things aside from Zooppa like investing in a restaurant
  • 07:36 – Alessandro’s first company was inspired by Zooppa
  • 08:05 – Zooppa’s average total transaction volume is $4-5M
  • 08:14 – Zooppa usually runs 50-60 projects a year
  • 08:28 – Zooppa takes care all of the projects and campaigns
  • 09:15 – Zooppa takes a percentage for every project
    • 09:43 – It is 50%
  • 10:09 – Zooppa just opened their New York office
    • 10:15 – Zooppa still continues to expand
  • 10:48 – Creatives can go to Zooppa’s website and see if there are projects that they can take on
  • 11:17 – Zooppa works with big brands
  • 11:39 – Zooppa has 25 people on the team
  • 11:46 – Zooppa is cash-flow positive
  • 12:00 – Zooppa currently focuses on sustaining themselves on their own
  • 12:30 – Alessandro is now 29 and he was 27 and a half when he sold 20lines
  • 12:50 – Alessandro was working at 20lines for a couple of years
    • 13:02 – The publishing space is a hard space to be in
    • 13:05 – The team decided that they’d grow better with a bigger group
    • 13:10 – They had a talk with HarperCollins for about a year
    • 13:33 – It was a soft landing
  • 14:54 – The Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. Don’t stick with a company where you don’t see growth happening—sell it and move on.
  2. You can always learn something from someone who is older much more experienced.
  3. If you can sustain your company on what you currently have, don’t raise a round.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Top Inbox – The site Nathan uses to schedule emails to be sent later, set reminders in inbox, track opens, and follow-up with email sequences
  • Hotjar – Gives Nathan a recording of what is happening on a website or where are people clicking and scrolling on the website
  • Organifi – The juice was Nathan’s life saver during his trip in Southeast Asia
  • Klipfolio – Track your business performance across all departments for FREE
  • Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments
  • Host Gator– The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible
  • Audible– Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books
  • Freshbooks – Nathan doesn’t waste time so he uses Freshbooks to send out invoices and collect his money. Get your free month NOW
  • Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives