This is what “Hockey Stick” growth looks like

Sourabh Mittal
Nov 28, 2016 · 3 min read

Hockey stick growth is a common term in the startup world. The idea is that initially startups grow at a linear pace and after reaching an inflection point they see exponential growth. This exponential growth can be through word of mouth, organic growth or through aggressive marketing. Below are two startups which are displaying this kind of growth (one early stages and another at a more mature stage)

Doordash: It’s an on-demand restaurant delivery service founded in 2013 and has attracted $186MM of funding till now. Their most recent and biggest funding of $127MM came in March 2016 and that’s the time when they started seeing massive growth in their user base and a massive improvement in the reviews.

Below is how their android and iOS app performed in 2016.

Source: http://startupnps.com/startup/doordash
Source: http://startupnps.com/startup/doordash

So we can see that both Android and iOS app started seeing an exponential growth since April. The app rankings also jumped a lot(both Android and iOS apps are ranked in top 10 as of November 2016 while it was nowhere near that mark in March). We also noticed a significant improvement in the rating of the apps. Below is Android app review distribution. Currently both the apps are rated 4.5, a great lift from a rating of 3 in the beginning of the year

Source: http://startupnps.com/startup/doordash

Since the inflection point and their latest funding round coincide, one can assume that marketing should have played a major role in this.

Remind: Remind is a messaging app for teachers, students, and parents to safely and easily communicate with each other. It was founded in 2011 and has attracted $59.5MM of funding till now. This startup is starting to see an inflection point since September 2016.

Below is how their android and iOS app performed in 2016.

We can see that remind was already a pretty popular and thus its hockey stick won’t look as drastic. In August, Remind announced entry into the payment space by letting parents pay for field trips via their app. It looks like this organic growth move is working well for them.

Please note that hockey stick growth in users/revenue doesn’t guarantee same profitability. We focused on finding the hockey stick growth in traction using signals from publicly available data sources.

The source of all this data is http://startupnps.com.

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Sourabh Mittal

Written by

@DataScientist Capital One. @Founder startupnps.com

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