Xcelerate Financial Blog

Client Spotlight: Ryan Hudson of Honey, Inc.

Posted by Evan Tarver on Aug 4, 2017 1:32:21 PM


If you haven't heard of Honey, you should. The web browser plugin slash money saving machine is growing to be one of the most popular tools on the Internet. 

Do you enjoy saving money? Great! The Honey plugin can help. 

Honey is a technology company that provides greater savings for consumers across the entire web. Their plugin automatically finds and applies coupon codes while you shop online.

It's actually pretty slick. I'm sure you're familiar with the multitude of discount codes that litter the Internet. You know, the ones that rarely work. How can you sift through the outdated and broken deals in order to find the few that actually help? Yup, you said it: Honey.

After you download and install the plugin on either Chrome or Firefox, all you have to do is click the Honey button during an online checkout and the tool will scrape the Internet for all available codes and apply them one-by-one until there's a match. 

Further, you know that you're getting the best discount possible because the Honey technology always goes with the online coupons that give you the greatest deal. Co-founder Ryan Hudson explains it best:

"There are lots of sites with different codes to choose from, some of which are expired, some of which are for products that consumers aren't buying. It takes a lot of legwork to figure out if it works or not. We've taken that whole search process and turned it into one button in your shopping cart." 

And to think, the entire company started because Ryan wanted to save money on a pizza. 

Yes, you read it right. The MIT Sloan and Cornell engineering alum, then a product manager at OpenX, put together the tool because he was hungry. Seems fitting, actually. 

Ryan knew he'd made something special and partnered with co-founder George Ruan to turn his product into a full-blown business. George, also a serial entrepreneur, saw the value in Ryan's tool and decided to make Honey his fifth entrepreneurial endeavor. With 3 exits already under his belt, George made the perfect teammate for Ryan. 

Together, with a team of 40 dedicated people, Ryan and George raised a $1.8 million seed round in November 2014 and closed a full series-A round in January 2016 for $4 million. The overall company growth, Ryan admits, is"hugely organic. It's actual word of mouth marketing."

This organic expansion is just the beginning as Honey continues to grow and take market share. In fact, it's this exact trajectory that's made us such great partners.

You see, whenever a company makes affiliate revenue, and especially when it's growing, it's important to keep track of each revenue stream on a per-vendor basis. From there, affiliate earnings can be broken down by niche, industry, sector, time period, and more. 

Looking at your affiliate revenue this way gives deep insight into sales. You can see which revenue streams are getting tired and need a refresh and which ones remain strong and growing. Your total affiliate earnings may be increasing, sure, but which vendors are driving the growth, and what affiliate partners are dragging it down?

With the proper sales data, you can make important business decisions that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your company. 

However, many companies who earn affiliate revenue don't drill this deep. They look at the sales figure as an all-inclusive revenue stream when in reality it's many individual streams coming together as one. It's impossible to adequately understand your affiliate business without understanding each affiliate partner. 

As Ryan says, Honey sources coupon deals from "assorted places online where a consumer might go to search manually, only we're doing the searching for them."It's essentially an affiliate relationship. 

This is why we teamed up with Honey to adequately track, audit, and analyze their affiliate numbers, among other finance and accounting needs. Looking at the data and providing our own CFO insights allows Ryan and his business to focus on building the best organization possible. 

Xcelerate Your Business

Our mission is to help startups and mature companies thrive through insight and actionable steps, which in turn Xcelerate a business's performance.

Xcelerate Financial offers companies a full spectrum of accounting and financial outsourcing services which help increase productivity and profitability.

We currently serve clients from many industries, including internet start-ups, established traditional companies, and software/technology companies. 

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