Introducing Prologue

A Venture and Media Flywheel for the Next Generation of Startups

Today we are unveiling Prologue, a flywheel of tech and media brands that will help founders navigate a world where capital is abundant, attention is scarce, and Silicon Valley is decentralizing. Our vision is to bring the culture, community, and collaboration that happens in Silicon Valley to founders globally, and we’re ready to get to work.

To help us propel the next generation of entrepreneurs, we’re also excited to announce that Prologue has raised $23 million from Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) and Sequoia Capital.

What is Prologue, you ask?

Prologue is a holding company that today brings together two brands: Hyper, a $60 million early-stage venture firm, and Product Hunt, the longtime home to early-stage innovation in tech.

Hyper focuses on funding a small group of high-quality founders a few times a year, and helping them "stage up." The team and their strong networks help with two of the biggest pain points founders face today: distribution and hiring.

Meanwhile, Product Hunt is a millions-strong global community for early-stage entrepreneurs, making it the perfect place for us to identify, fund, and amplify anomalous talent. Over $100B in start-up value has been launched on Product Hunt since its start in 2013, including the likes of Stripe, Airtable, Zoom, and Robinhood, and every day future unicorns come to the site in search of their first true fans.

Having Hyper and Product Hunt operate within this new parent company gives us strong competitive advantages to identify and fund the best founders, and provide them with high-quality distribution and a world-class tech community. As we add more brands within this structure, it increases the network effects of the flywheel, resulting in stronger distribution and an increasingly powerful business model.

While it’s still early days for Prologue, we’re excited about the opportunities ahead. It will allow both Hyper and Product Hunt to make an even greater impact for the entrepreneurs and makers we serve. We’ll also be looking for new ways to add other companies and brands to Prologue that share our view that the best entrepreneurs will be found worldwide.

Our partnership with a16z and Sequoia

Since Hyper’s start, we’ve been lucky to work alongside some of the best in the industry. Sriram Krishnan at a16z and Alfred Lin at Sequoia have been partners to us, and Marc Andreessen, Chris Dixon and Alfred invested in the Hyper fund earlier this year. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that a16z and Sequoia have come on board as lead investors in Prologue.

With this financing, we’re glad to welcome Sriram to the Prologue Board, where his expertise as both an operator and investor at some of the world's largest social and community driven platforms will prove valuable to both our team and our founders. Alfred will advise on Prologue's strategy as well as host office hours with Hyper companies. His experience building companies like Zappos, Airbnb, and many others, along with the impact he has made as an investor will provide incredible value to Prologue and our founders. Both firms will participate in our Prologue Summit, coming up in Spring 2022, and we could not be more humbled to have them on board.

The Prologue team: Experienced founders who understand the pain points of recruiting and distribution

In our lives before Prologue, Josh, Ashley, and I have started companies, worked inside some of the world’s fastest growing startups, and walked the halls of the VCs funding them.

Across all of these experiences there is one thing we all agree on: the hardest parts about building a company today are impactful distribution and quality recruiting.

For instance, I previously co-founded and ran Loom. In our first year, we iterated on our product constantly. On the third or fourth attempt, the product resonated with the Product Hunt community and it propelled us to the #1 spot on the site. This drove over 3,000 users within the first few days and allowed us to retain users as they spilled in many weeks and months later.

Ashley Higgins, CEO of Product Hunt, brings deep community, operational, and product expertise from a decade of building products and new lines of business at fast-growing startups. In her time at Reddit, she learned the importance of harnessing the passion and power of the community to evolve the product for the better.

Previously as founder of Mino Games, Josh Buckley witnessed how video game companies are at the forefront of new business models, especially in reaching new customers and engaging them at scale. As an investor in companies like Figma, Retool, and Rippling, Josh works with some of the best entrepreneurs in the world.

Looking to the future

Every great company’s story has a Prologue—and we are honored to help write them. More specifically, we have a few exciting things coming up:

  • Hyper is currently taking applications for the Spring Season. Apply now to work alongside Hyper’s team of world-class operators and advisors to bring your startup to the next level.
  • On January 27, Product Hunt will host the beloved Golden Kitty Awards: a virtual awards ceremony celebrating the best products of 2021 and the makers behind them. RSVP here!
  • Later this year, we will hold the inaugural Prologue Summit, an invite-only technology and media conference. Look out for more information in the coming weeks.

We’ll be sharing more news from Prologue along the way. To keep up with the latest, follow me, Ashley and Josh on Twitter.