Rishi Mandal knows how to take a startup all the way from being birthed in the garage to being acquired for billions of dollars. The venture, Future, has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Fitt Insider, Optum Ventures, Caffeinated Capital, and Trustbridge Partners.
In this episode, you will learn:
- Funding from a VC’s perspective
- Building a company that gets acquired
- Healthcare and health tech
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About Rishi Mandal:
Rishi Mandal is the CEO and Co-Founder of Future. Rishi has an extensive background in product management and development, as well as experience in the tech industry.
Prior to Future, Rishi was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Khosla Ventures, working with Keith Rabois and the KV team. Rishi also served as the Director of Product at Postmates Inc., overseeing consumer products.
Postmates acquired Sosh in 2015. Prior to their time at Postmates, Rishi co-founded and served as the CEO of Sosh, a company that used human curation and machine learning to recommend local experiences.
Sosh was backed by Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures, Battery Ventures, and more. Rishi also spent time at Google as a Senior Product Manager and at Slide as a Senior Product Manager.
Most recently, they worked at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory as a High-Energy Astrophysicist. Rishi has a wealth of experience in various industries and is now using their skills to help grow Future into a successful company.
Rishi Mandal has a B.S. in Physics from Stanford University and attended The Harker School.
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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
Alejandro Cremades: Alright, hello everyone and welcome to the dealmakerr show. So today. We have a very exciting guest. You know I guess that has done it. You know a few times you know that grew up you know in the whole entrepreneurial. You know, environment and I think that we’re going to be learning quite a bit you know and that you’re going to find his story quite inspiring. So without further ado. Let’s welcome our guest today Rihi Mandal welcome to the show.
Rishi Mandal: Alejandro Awesome to be here. Thanks for thanks for having me.
Alejandro Cremades: So obviously you didn’t go that far away from where you were born. You know in the Bay area. But you know I’m sure that they have an immigrant parents. You know that where they are fighting to give you guys a better future I’m sure that that was quite inspiring so give us a little walk through memory LaneRishi How was life growing up.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah, you’re right I grew up here in the bay and I’m still here you know building things now. Um my parents came over from India and um, you know, really fun story. My dad you know, worked at seven eleven at night you know at the the desk there. Um. To pay for his education during the day and kind of finally got that to happen. Um, and as we grew up. We grew up with just a really um you know regular childhood and then one day when I was 12 my dad came home and said um so I quit my job and I’m starting a company you know and we’re going to do that in the garage here. Of the house and we didn’t even actually know that that was a crazy thing to do. We’re like okay is that a thing people do sure. Um, but then I got you know a front row seat and this is in the mid 90 s to see um to see them quit their jobs and come in with. All the excitement picnic tables laptops in the in the garage to to build a company and then you see that nonlinear journey. Actually it’s unusual to see your own parent kind of become in over their head like what the heck did I get myself into and then they started figuring things out and hiring people. And I got to as a nerdy little kid be their I t guy so I would set up and configure laptops for new hires and fix the broken fax machine which just gave me an excuse to to be around that process. Um I remember in ah in the 90 s one day I come home from school and there is an.
Rishi Mandal: Eggplant purple um porsche nine eleven turbo parked diagonally in our driveway and I was like this is unusual like who does that and you know walk into the I’m coming home from school or something and I see. Like my dad and his cofounders are all really buttoned up like dressed up in a awkward way and there was a Vc there and my dad was like you know this is the first investor in Hotmail and so from an early age I got to you know I got introduced to this idea that you could invent stuff.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, yeah.
Rishi Mandal: Out of thin air in your garage. You know if you if you wanted to and and ultimately they built something you know that was big. They scaled it and got a building a campus of buildings and um and built a big company but that obviously for me was foundational and like you said both physically but also. Spiritually I guess like I haven’t gone very far from that. Um, from that origin. So my childhood was um, patenting random ideas and building things out of that garage. You know once they left and they left us a t 1 line and a bunch of laptops in the garage. Um, and. And then you know the rest is history I’ve been here ever since.
Alejandro Cremades: And I obviously you know for you I mean that that first row seat that you got to to experience that year with your dad. You know that’s that’s how lucky were you to really experience that because I mean obviously that company ended up doing very well you got acquired for a couple of billion down the line. So I guess. What were some of the patterns that you saw there you know perhaps like the 3 patterns that you saw that really were clicking to really make such a successful company because I mean you saw that all the way from the garage into you know, finally being acquired for a couple of billion. So I’m sure that you were able to really you know, put certain things together. And that you know you were like okay you know what? you know one day when I start my company I’ll make sure that I have you know those 3 things you know in mind. So.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah I mean I think the the biggest thing that ah that whole experience communicated to me with something that I was saying earlier which is I mean imagine seeing that when you’re a kid. Your brain is still forming at some low level. You take for granted that it’s possible to change the world or to build something big out of nothing and it’s not insane or crazy or unusual. Um, certainly you don’t think of it as a high percentage odds but you you take for granted that it’s possible and I think that. Ah, yeah I think that really for me um, makes any challenge something that you feel like if I can build the right you know framework and and do the work I could I could scale that mountain so that there was something that is magical there and I actually remember that hilariously so this is our garage at home and they set up a. Bunch of picnic tables and laptops. But they also felt the need for whatever reason to set up soft seating so they had a little couch and a like crappy little table you know and they would um they would subscribe to these business magazines and at the time in the 90 s there was like these these. Very specific tech magazines business 2.0 red herring I mean these are gone 2025 to thirty years ago now um but I remember they never looked at these things right? They’re running a company their hair was on fire. They were hiring firing and you know trying to scrounge for capital but I would sit there at nighttime in the garage and just like leaf through these things and it would be like.
Rishi Mandal: Young person starts a business. You know, um and it becomes this like multi-hundred million dollar enterprise and so I think just getting a view early in life into these are regular people who combined with an idea and a team and working hard. Could actually build something big that was powerful really brought it down to size I think that was the first thing the second was that consistency is everything like you know you got to keep doing the work and I think just for me watching that be a very nonlinear process where it was um. Existential at points in their their you know journey that this company could completely unwind breakup not get funding and so on and then they would hit you know as stride and just keep pushing through consistency is everything. That’s another thing that you know I took away this is probably the 2 biggest um, anything is possible and it takes just. An insane amount of one foot in front of the other for a long time.
Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case I mean you also had the competitiveness in you I mean not only on when it came to sports. But then also when it came to studies I mean you went to Stanford you know on one of the top schools and then also you I mean to study like crazy stuff like physics. But then also you were playing.
Rishi Mandal: Um, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: Competitive soccer I mean I mean it’s a like you were competitive on every single angle that you could think of.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah, and yeah, yeah, you know for me I like to run to a challenge you know and you can’t probably get a sense of me but I’m not the biggest most physically gifted person and so soccer for me was um. A life lesson in I’ve got to out hustle. Everyone just to be on their level you know and that was a gift to to have that experience. Um, and then I remember I went to Stanford thinking I wanted to do computer science and economics I wanted to build businesses. This is what I thought. And took those classes and was bored because I had been doing it for years at least the the coding side of things and I took this class with um Lenny Suskin he’s ah he’s a legendary physicist and it was an intro physics class. He didn’t use a textbook. He wrote some stuff and basically communicated his disappointment that most of us would never understand this stuff and I did horribly in the class and for me, my reaction was I want more of this this is it’s lighting me up you know and um. And the best way I can describe it is I like to put myself in a position where I feel engaged and you know whether it’s running a company or running down the field or you know doing you know astrophysics research you get this feeling that like you feel your heart pumping your brain moving. You’re sweating because you’re stressed like you’re using.
Rishi Mandal: All of your physicality which is ah it’s kind of the mode that I like to be in.
Alejandro Cremades: Now now in this case, you know you were in this mode and and ultimately 1 thing that you did is eventually you know you went to startup into startup land. You know? So so you connected with Max Lehan and then also with. Keith Rob you know we’re talking about people coming out of Paypal. Um, you know max say lefthan one of the one of the founders there Keith Rawa you know, also part of the Paypal mafia as they call it so how do you connect with this guys and and how was that decision of all of us having drop drop dropping out you know and leaving the studies behind. So.
Rishi Mandal: You know I was doing research in an incredibly esoteric corner of astrophysics inside of astrophysics I was focused on high-energ energy astrophysics of gamma ray spectrum and this one particular phenomenon and I would write it would take me 3 years I would write this paper with some you know a group of. Ah, coauthors and then you could see the online view counts and it’s like 2 people viewed it like fewer than the number of authors on the paper you know and it’s like what am I doing you know so I think for me meanwhile my friends are starting companies and I had this you know inherent passion for this. Um. It became clear to me as I started down the path of academia that actually what I want to do is go and build things and I started to spend some time with startups and frankly was just unimpressed. You know with the level of thought and rigor you know coming from academia and um, actually my.
Rishi Mandal: Physics ta at Stanford had just joined max and Keith I think he had um I don’t know how he did it but he ended up like building some little product that got acquired by Microsoft or something and so he had kind of felt and dipped his toe into tech. So he ended up working for them on the data science side and and so I kind of you know, waltzed in and said hey I want meet these guys and the the interview process was it blew me away. I mean I think they were asking me to write proofs of like the you know law of large numbers or something and I was like these are people I could spend time with so. Ended up joining as the low man on the totem pole. The rest of them had built. You know a lot of them were at paypal other people had been in tech and I was this weird academic and um and then raised my hand over and over to. You know do the projects that people didn’t want and and then just grew from there from data science into product and then ran product for our largest property and you know, um, kept kept pulling on that thread. Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: For that companys light ended up getting a acquired by Google so while you know quite ah quite the right because you were there for a little bit over 2 years So I’m sure that those 2 years were unbelievable I guess what? what kind of disability did that give you into. 2 things come to mind what kind of visibility did that give you into the acquisition ah process. Also the integration process because then you were at Google for even though it was shortlived you know it was a little bit so you were able to really see what it looks like when doing the integration with an acquirer.
Rishi Mandal: Um, yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: But really on the on the on the acquisition and on the full cycle of a business. What kind of disability did that give you so.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah, it’s a great question so we weren’t a massive company and I think you know like I said the thing that I was working on was our largest property and and most of our revenues. So um, so definitely got a view into um, the acquisition a lotrtyty of that was. It was kind of 2 principles. You know, working things out. Um, but then in terms of integration that’s where you know I did get a lot of interaction and you know the thing is Google is probably the best. Right? when it comes to being thoughtful about integration youtube is a chief example is it is it possibly the best acquisition ever at least that’s on the table. Um, but it’s always hard. You know and I think for us we got to Google at a time of intense change. This is like 2010 so a little over a decade ago. You know Larry’s taking over as Ceo from Eric and we bought Motorola um to try to scale up the efforts in Android and so the company goes in doubles in size new leadership. Um, and so I think for me, it was um, it was. Actually the biggest gift of it all was to be able to get a close view of Larry and Sergey and how much how genius they were and the people around them were and you know we came in feeling like we were the rebels. We were smart. We got acquired and then we meet you know these these guys and realize there’s a.
Rishi Mandal: A lot more to go in terms of understanding how technology can impact the world and they had been. They had it humongious head start in thinking about those things.
Alejandro Cremades: So I mean it took no time for you to say hey it’s my time to shine now. So why you know what? what? what got you to that point with your company with sosh because that was your first rodeo and team. You know I’m sure that taking that leap of faith you know was quite a interesting moment in your career. So.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah I mean everybody told me I was crazy. You know we were acquired by Google and we had a really particularly interesting perch there um working ah you know on some pretty interesting things. But um, but it was ah like I said 100000 person plus company and it moved at a measured pace as it should. Um, meanwhile I’m in my twenty s and I want to take risks learn things and like I think we were talking about before I want to be maximally engaged and and so I was doing my job during the day and at night ah was just just had a thousand ideas running through my head. Um, a group of us who had been at slide together and built a lot of things together. We left to start this company sosh and the interesting pattern recognition now you know you don’t even realize this going forward but looking backwards. There’s a saying that like to a hammer. Everything is a nail is that the same. Um, that sometimes you have a particular insight or a tool in your tool belt that you use over and over and for me I think looking backwards what that is is I am intensely interested in in human augmentation not replacing humans with technology but using technology to take unique human. Things like good taste or empathy or um, you know intimacy and to use technology to try to amplify those things and so the the company so she was all about this challenge of finding interesting things to do in any city.
Rishi Mandal: Whether that city is madrid or New York city there’s such a humongous amount of interesting things and not just you know what is a quite a solved problem is what are all the places here. What are the pins on maps but actually within those places there might be a dish that’s particularly amazing or a dish this week that’s particularly amazing, right um. Or there might be these temporal things that are happening events and a wine tasting and ah you know so on and these are really hard. In fact, it’s still quite an unsolved problem to figure out what is interesting who would care about that and temporally when should this person hear about this and what we had our basic insight with that company was we wanted to scale good taste. We could recognize that in any market or metro or city or community. There is someone who has like amazing taste to intuitively ask hey what what should I do? Where should I go? What should I eat and the basic inside of this company was let’s take a person like that with great taste. And use technology to increase the throughput of things that they could look at or evaluate by like a thousand x so we would do everything from you know, ingest lots of information from the internet ocr menus to text we would look at social media and so on and like bring. You know, distill all of these things down into in a discrete number of categories in a market here. Are these things to do and you’d take this human who would tell you that looks interesting that doesn’t on a rainy day. That’s cool but on a sunny day I wouldn’t do that and you know you have you get these reactions and you learn and it’s very recursive.
Rishi Mandal: Um, and so we built that we started to scale it up and what we realized we were doing. We were actually mapping markets without having to physically be on the ground and at the same time There was a whole host of of tech companies that were launching. Physical businesses in a bunch of new markets think of Uber and lyft and ah doordash and postmates and you know on and on and on there were so many different companies that were moving market by Market. And they would deploy these huge teams you know months before opening a market to like basically walk around and figure out like what what are the businesses that matter here and what are the neighborhoods and we could do that from Hq So we ended up getting acquired at soche by by postmates where we powered a lot of that you know thinking of how do you go and understand a market from afar.
Alejandro Cremades: An amazing investors that you got in social I mean you got seoia you got costla, you got battery What about what about fundraising there I mean especially on getting investors of that caliber I mean what? what? what were what was like the takeaway you know after you guys did the acquisition and.
Rishi Mandal: Um, and that’s what then ended up taking me there.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: You were looking back. You know on the transactional side and also as the journey with a company or is that lesson that you needed to take with you from that experience with source.
Rishi Mandal: Well, you know we started that company. What did I say Twenty Eleven that was like dead in the middle now we can see of this really long 2 decades long bull run right? and so lesson. If. That’s what you’re thinking about ah that was the peak of probably or and then maybe not the peak but that was really the beginning of some bad habits and we were thinking about building a wonderful consumer product but we were not. We had lost the lesson which I should have had right because I was around in the 90 s I was around in. Ah, even in 2008 we was building companies and the you know ah the great recession but we we had sort of lot or um, we lost that thread that we should be concepting this as a whole you know business and we had. We had some thoughts there but we weren’t. As disciplined about that so lessons certainly that we had built wonderful technology. Great consumer use case. Um and then like I said luck of the draw There was so many companies that needed what we did which was wonderful. Um, but you said what are the takeaways one of the takeaways I’ll tell you that I took away. It was so striking to me was that. Um I think I really understood Silicon Valley after building and selling that company and 1 of the like principal memories that I have was walking into one of these incredible investors. We had no business. You know like working with.
Rishi Mandal: And it was a Friday evening was the only time they could squeeze us in I think this was like a series a investment at the time so we were I think I don’t know if we had even shipped a product. Maybe it was early. It was Friday at six Zero P M I drive down from San Francisco to you know, sandhill thinking. You know it’s like the end of the day. Maybe I’ll have a chat with a partner. And I walk in and the entire partnership is in there. You know it’s like full of legendary investors and they’re all totally studied on who we are. They’re attentive. In fact, you know, incredibly successful investor pulling out a chair for me, welcoming me and grabbing me water.
Alejandro Cremades: So.
Rishi Mandal: And they’re listening to my little idea I felt so embarrassed that I had dragged all these people out Friday you know 6 seven p M talking about my idea to find cool things to do you know in your city. But the the genuine interest in who is this young person. What is this idea. How can we wrap our heads around it and challenge it and have a great conversation. We ended up they ended up doing the investment but I remember walking away saying you know on a rational basis or any other person would not take the time to do this and yet that’s the work they’re doing it was so inspiring to to. Try to understand that like here’s a place and and there is an insidery issue that Silicon Valley has always had and you know increasingly is sort of breaking but um, but if you can spend some time with these people. They are truly generous and thoughtful with their their thinking. Um, they want to hear your idea and. Um I remember being blown away that that was how things worked here and and then resolved that I would do the highest quality work I could and try to bring that you know back to these these types of folks to to be challenged and to build some great things.
Alejandro Cremades: That’s amazing now in your case you know obviously the acquisition happened you know then you join postmates as the director of product. You know, helping there with the integration tool and in your case you know you decided to go into Kosla ventures to do their entrepreneur entrepreneur inresidence program. And you did that for a little bit over a year so obviously an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur entrepreneur so you knew that you wanted to lounge something else. So why doing it be a you know a Vc.
Rishi Mandal: Um, the thinking there was um, you know it’s funny. You say that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to start a company or join a company. Um, yeah, that’s what I told myself at the time it turns out I wanted to start a company and. I felt more dangerous than ever I had built several things built teams raised capital and wanted to find a problem that was deeply meaningful to me. Um, why did I do it that way. Um, what I needed was a chance to not be. Fully occupied doing something and I basically have the you know speed of it’s like you know it’s it’s on or it’s off and so if I if it’s on I’m like highly engaged and and thinking about it all day all night um so I stepped away from operating for a year and the thinking there was. A I will be able to see a lot of smart people and ideas and um and that can spark some ah some inspiration and then b there’s always this thinking of like should I invest in other people’s companies is that like an interesting path for me and maybe I’ll you know have this chance to see that here. And I did I wrote some checks into people’s companies and and looked at that turned out I hated that that was not ah where my skillset lies generating deal flow and and running a portfolio managing a portfolio is not my thing I like to go deep on things so pretty quickly learned that um, but what was hugely beneficial.
Rishi Mandal: About having had that experience was quote unquote sitting on the other side of the table and I remember a company in local. You know came up at this fund and they were like well hey you built a you know pretty interesting company in local. You know, whatever um consumer businesses should we invest in this company. And this is like a month one that I showed up there and I’m like oh absolutely this founder’s high quality I like the general idea and they were like well if the check has your name on it. Are you signing it and was like well hold on if I’m going to sign the check I have a 5 questions I need to ask we ended up not doing that investment. Um, and it was a great lesson for me in. Thinking through what is business. What are the type of bets we want to place and you know also what are the motivations of a portfolio manager like a Vc and they’re not always the same as a founder where you are in 1 venture you know, pretty much entirely. Um, so so that was a great. Um, experience as a founder to have the perspective of this is a huge part of the ecosystem that I work with in terms of you know venture funding to really understand how that works it was was a gift the second amazing thing that happened was was exposure to huge ideas. And the fund I was at did about I would guess a third of its investments in healthcare and probably more now and this was a lot of it was clinical healthcare. It was you know drug discovery algorithms and software for our doctors and medical devices. Um, and so I became really intensely interested.
Rishi Mandal: In in this because as a matter of course these entrepreneurs would walk in and they would want to talk about their yeah, usually clinical healthcare company and they would to set context say well you know, um, 75% of americans are obese or overweight and they’re 1 in the room would say yep yep, that’s that’s right and I was like what that’s. Insane is that true. You know it’s the Cdc stat it turns out and 60% of americans have chronic conditions and 80% of us going to die of one of these things and the big kind of trend takeaway was we spend an incredible amount of not only dollars 20% of gdp but also time and energy. On this problem of human health in this country. Let’s just take this country as an example and yet by many measurable ah indicators quality of life is decreasing year- on-year you know life expectancy is decreasing year on-year compared to our peer nations. We have unremarkable life expectancy and and quality of life. How could that be and as you start to pull on that thread I think you find a lot of things but 1 of the things that you find is that um there are this the modern expectation of the american consumer at least I think this does ah convey you know, even more broadly. Is that you and I alejandro will manage our day-to-day health on our own. It’s sort of the expectation of you as an adult that you’re eating right and figuring out what that means that you’re moving enough that you’re sleeping 8 hours that you’re dealing if you’re stressed you should deal with it. You should meditate you should breathe I don’t know what you should do. But the expectation is that you will take those things on and figure them out.
Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, so.
Rishi Mandal: And it turns out that that’s a completely losing proposition. You know your average american is so overburdened they’ve got a job or 2 and they’ve got a partner or a family or they’re dating. They have social obligations and bills to pay and student debt There’s so much on their plate already that the idea that they will take on. Complicated domains like nutrition which frankly we don’t understand that well and kinesiology physiology and sleep and stress is actually a completely absurd idea and and so I think that the. Focus of the firm on healthcare gave me exposure to that. It also gave me exposure to other big big ideas in housing and education and and other domains and a lot of times I’m sure you’ve seen with entrepreneurs you spent time on you learn lessons from one area to apply to another. Um. And when you can kind of start to really understand commonalities. You can say this company has done something very well in a completely separate domain I wonder if some of those principles will apply here and that’s what being an eir really did for me is it introduced me to this particular problem and we talked about being a lifelong athlete and being the recipient of coaching and having performed at a high level. So there was an inherent interest. My wife is a physician and a med school professor. There was I was dangerous just just had enough knowledge about healthcare to kind of have um, ah a working you know conversational knowledge and then to see all these brilliant people working on these things.
Rishi Mandal: It started to congeal pretty quickly that this is where I wanted to spend the next ten twenty years of my life and um and then you know, ended up starting that company future out of there. Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: So then let’s say talk about future so you meet your you. Obviously you you talk with Justin you guys say you now become co-founders on on future. What.
Rishi Mandal: Yeah.
Alejandro Cremades: What is future I mean give us the ah what is the business model of future for the people that are listening to get it. How do you guys make money there. Yeah.
Rishi Mandal: It is the easiest most simple idea in the world and the idea here is take something like exercise everybody tries american consumers spend 50 or one $100000000000 a year trying to get fit and they will fail at massive rates 80% of americans don’t move enough. And what we like what we talked about here was the expectation is that you’re on your own managing it and that you we expected to do it. Future was just designed to be the exact polar opposite of that and what we do is we put someone helpful a coach in your life every single day to help you manage your health. Not. Episodically, every day you’re gonna touch base with this person over text message and that is the radical opposite of being on your own and so what the form is is here. It’s a personal trainer who you don’t actually meet in person right? They’ll train. You remotely. And what we pattern recognized was when I said 80% of americans don’t work out enough and everybody fails. There’s a huge churn curve here of exercise. It’s become the great american experience to join a gym and in January and fall off by March and you know want to try it again. You know the next january um, what we found um, was. You know we aren’t already described how we said it feels quite understandable. Your average person can’t sustain all these healthy behaviors. We instead wanted to study the inverse and we said where are there groups of people who can maintain a high performance or healthy living for extended periods of time. Not three or six months at a time.
Rishi Mandal: Ten years twenty years on end who can do that and what do they? What solutions are they employing and what we found was a niche populations like pro athletes or a fortune 100 execs or you know these like little tiny groups of people who you can say perform at a high level for extended periods of time. What we found is they all do the same thing which is they get help. And now these are people who have the means to get help they part of an organization that’s investing or they themselves can invest in this but what they typically do is they get a personal trainer who tells them exactly what to do with their fitness. They get a chef who stocks a fridge of 12 meals a week all these pro athletes we work with now have a sports psychologist who they can text or touch you know anytime they they need something. Which is really just a therapist to be very honest and and on and on what they were doing was surrounding themselves with a constellation of experts to make it possible to perform at a high level when you are also otherwise very occupied and um and when we studied in a word what they were all reaching for was coaching. We studied coaching we were like why fundamentally is coaching so effective what we found and just think about a fitness coach. A personal trainer is we found that they do really do 3 things that are ah amazing gift for any person and the first is they tell you exactly what to do no matter the constraints of your day. Right? You’re running 30 minutes late because a meeting ran late or your right shoulder hurts or you took a red eyee and you slept horribly last night. Whatever your constraints are you can communicate them to this human coach and they’ll take that into account and now off you go with a safe and adapted and effective plan effective plan.
Rishi Mandal: And the gift there is you no longer ever have to think am I doing enough am I doing the right things you can turn your brain off and just follow so that’s the first thing that a coach does for you. The second thing that we saw them do was by dint of being another person who’s investing in your you know fitness success is they keep you accountable right. And it turns out this one to one accountability of another human is this very special and acute form of accountability and the reason is physiologically. We are wired to want to mirror the person we’re dealing with. And so if you have a coach who’s invested hey I’ve built you a plant I’m excited or I’m intense. Whatever they’re whatever they’re displaying. We have a physiological need to want to mirror that intensity or excitement or investment and that mechanism of having another person who’s there for you picks you up when you’re down pushes you when you need to be. Is um, it’s an incredible form of accountability. That’s the second thing the coach does so telling what to do they keep you accountable, but the third thing we saw people who coaches do with people and this third thing was when we actually decided there’s something to build here was if you ever watch a coach and a a trainer and a client on a gym floor. ll notice they spend a lot of their time just chopping it up talking about nonfitness things. The vacation they’re taking or the talking trash about the knicks or you know that type of thing and most technologists I think look at this and say okay, um, that’s etc. So when I automate this or whatever I build something here I’m going to deliver your training plan every day.
Rishi Mandal: And we felt like that was super interesting that as somebody gets to know you. It allows them to anticipate your hurdles your needs better than you could articulate and it allows them to push you harder than they could otherwise and so long way around a coach tells you what to do keeps you cannibal and gets to know you. And Justin my cofounder you talked about he built the first version of imesage and ran the team that did communications for 10 years built Facetime. You know he had spent 15 years thinking about how to connect people from afar to build intimacy and connection and trust at airbnb to build enough trust to have a transaction between 2 strangers right. Um, and we felt like maybe this coach doesn’t have to be standing next to you to tell you what to do keep you canable and to get to know you perhaps in this day and age they could use technology to build a plan for you every day we could strap an Apple watch to you and out they’re a thousand miles away from you. They can see if you’re doing it or not and would connect you over text message every day. And now you have that bridge to get to know one another and the end result has been remarkable. We’re the largest full-time employer of coaches in America today are customers are all types of people on average. They trade 4 text messages every day with their coach meaning they’ll talk 1500 times a year um this is the radical opposite of trying to tackle your health on your own and they will double the amount of exercise they do on average. So our our members work out every other day for 40 minutes and and this nothing looks like this in consumer fitness.
Alejandro Cremades: Well hey, that’s amazing because I’m definitely one of those that they got the gym membership you know and that every year you know is saying you know I try to give myself a push to make it happen but it doesn’t happen. So ah, yeah, so it’s just Tom Bolio now now.
Rishi Mandal: Um, if you and everyone it’s not looking to feel better about in that.
Alejandro Cremades: For for this company for future. How much capital have you guys raised to date and obviously you know great investors that you have there too now obviously part of the investment too is the vision. So there’s the go the vision.
Rishi Mandal: We raised over $100000000
Alejandro Cremades: If you were to go to sleep tonight and you wake up in a world where the vision of future is fully realized what does that world look like.
Rishi Mandal: That’s a world where people can focus on reaching their personal potential in their personal professional lives and not be expending a ton of energy wondering. What should I be doing for exercise. How much should I be eating did I sleep enough. But rather they have access to a group of people who care for them and imagine somebody who is battling um, diabetes and obesity and needs to walk 30 minutes a day but doesn’t have the muscle memory of the infrastructure to do that to wake up and get a text from that partner to say hey I know we didn’t get that walking yesterday. But. It’s okay, I’ve been there and we’re gonna get it in tomorrow or today or you know we’re gonna let’s do 6 minutes today um to have that kind of hand to reach out to you on a proactive level with somebody thinking about you overnight you know, thinking about how do I set rati up for success. That’s the world. We hope. Um, which then actually abstracts away a lot of the worrying about health and actually puts your brain power and focus back on being a great mother or student or both if that’s what life is all about but feeling physically capable to pick up your kids and put them in the crib and you’re not super forward rotated because you and your coach. In the background have thought about that you know, um, so that’s the world that we hope for where people can reach their personal potential because they’re cared for not just when they get a catastrophic you know, um diagnosis but all every day continuously and we don’t see that happening if we don’t go in effect that.
Rishi Mandal: Um I talked about human augmentation. That’s the investment here that ultimately the job of care and empathy and accountability. Those are human um human traits human jobs and our goal is to use technology to take 1 expert. And um, on the iq of being your coach give them access to the best of the best the latest and greatest and to give them a lot of leverage doing that and on the eq of being your coach to give them a lot of assistance to say you haven’t heard you haven’t touched base with Reishi today or usually he’s most responsive at. You know six zero p m pacific because that’s when he usually wraps up this day so don’t text him at two p m he’s he’s doing something you know, um and to put that coach in a position to be successful to be your partner to remember the name of your kid or to see that your team got blown out yesterday and to make a joke about that. You know. Um, that’s the work is human augmentation and to take 1 expert scale them to many more people they could reach in in real life. You know driving around town being your personal trainer for 1 hour being my personal trainer for 1 hour that is a very restricting ah activity because you you have a very lumpy demand curve. It’s haphazard matching of supply and demand locally. And here now we can give you the best most wonderful coach for you who might be a thousand miles away but can be actually quite connected to you.
Alejandro Cremades: So now let’s talk about the past but doing it with a lens of reflection I bring you back in time to that moment where you were at Google and you were sitting down there and you were just like wondering what was next for you and you have the opportunity of sitting right next to that younger hRishi
Rishi Mandal: The fifth.
And you’re able to give that younger Richie one piece of advice before launching a business. What would that be and why give me what you know now.
Rishi Mandal: Um, you know the advice I would give that person because he hadn’t yet crystallized it but he had learned it already is that consistency is everything that if you want to big build. Build big things change the world be successful in some regard. Um, it’s a lot of work over a long period of time. A career is a long period of time you know I was thinking about Steve Jobs launch the iphone 2007 right? Who’s 52 when you made that announcement. That didn’t happen overnight. It was the culmination of decades of work and thought and it was all compounding and I think that as a young person you want results now, especially if you were if you got results early you know I walked in the first company I walked into we had you know a great great outcome. Um, you start to expect that things will happen quickly. Um, and I think instead it’s over the course of a career you keep moving forward keeping thoughtful, continuously integrate new information. The only advantage you have over the established. You know, geniuses and and um incumbents. Agility so constantly learn and constantly move you know and and just doing that over and over over a long period of time will pay huge dividends I’d probably tell him a couple of other things. You know that build over bus framework and.
Alejandro Cremades: Ah, yeah I hear you.
Rishi Mandal: Ah, you know find the points of differentiation and lean hard into those you know lots of different little you know lessons. But um, but the biggest one is is to keep going.
Alejandro Cremades: So for the people that are listening that will love to reach out and say Hi HRishi What is the best way for them to do so okay.
Rishi Mandal: Ah, you know on Twitter I’m at armandel and my emails rihi at future.co I am always there and very responsive.
Alejandro Cremades: Hey well li you know Richhi thank you so much for being on the deal maker show. It has been an honor to have you with us today.
Rishi Mandal: Alejandro. Thanks so much enjoyed it.
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