Matter startup Huzza is acquired by Kickstarter

Livestreaming company now part of the world’s biggest crowdfunding platform for creative projects.

Rebecca Radnaev
Feb 1, 2017 · 6 min read
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Justin Womersley and Nick Smit of Huzza built and launched Kickstarter Live, a livestreaming feature based on Huzza
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User-centered design and rapid iteration

The co-founders say Kickstarter loved not only Huzza’s product, but their approach to product development. As a founder who knew the hustle it took to get Kickstarter going, CEO Yancey Strickler was impressed with the energy of the pair, how quickly they could move, and with the quality of what they’d built. He also liked how much Nick and Justin talked to customers and incorporated their feedback into the development process — both core tenets of the design thinking methodology we teach. “We always tell people that what we learned at Matter is how to really talk to users, and learn from them and build products the users want, not what we think they want,” says Justin.

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Justin (l) and Nick (r) pitch Huzza at the Matter Five Demo Day in NYC in December, 2015
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Amanda Palmer’s Vancouver concert livestreamed on Huzza

Amanda Palmer: Matchmaker

Alt-rock icon Amanda Palmer is central to the story of the Huzza-Kickstarter relationship. She was an early adopter of the Huzza platform for her gigs, and the first artist to use it for a live Q&A session. This event, explains Justin, was their most engaging livestream at the time, and led to the realization that it wasn’t live performance that was important, per se, but interaction. Over time, Huzza began being used almost exclusively for informational, chat-oriented broadcasts, rather than for live music events.

Huzza >>> Kickstarter Live

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An on-mission acquisition

Huzza’s original goal was to help musicians and other creators to build an audience, connect with their followers, and establish a sustainable income. For Nick and Justin, Kickstarter is the embodiment of that mission, being the best place on the internet for creative crowdfunding campaigns. “It’s such a massive community. What we were doing with Huzza is now amplified many times,” says Justin. “It’s just so exciting to be able to help thousands of creators, and hundreds and thousands, even millions, of backers.” “There’s no one who does it better,” Nick adds. “Kickstarter has attracted such incredibly talented people. It’s a privilege to have those types of people use our product.”


A Matter-Driven Narrative

This is where the Matter community gathers to tell stories…

Thanks to Corey Ford and Nick Smit

Rebecca Radnaev

Written by

UX designer / Welsh globetrotter / Francophone swing dancer / former Beijing-dweller / honorary Siberian. Previously: TV news journalist & Storyteller @mattervc

A Matter-Driven Narrative

This is where the Matter community gathers to tell stories on their journey to building the future of media using a human-centered, prototype-driven process. You'll hear from our entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, and us. Learn more about Matter Ventures at www.matter.vc.

Rebecca Radnaev

Written by

UX designer / Welsh globetrotter / Francophone swing dancer / former Beijing-dweller / honorary Siberian. Previously: TV news journalist & Storyteller @mattervc

A Matter-Driven Narrative

This is where the Matter community gathers to tell stories on their journey to building the future of media using a human-centered, prototype-driven process. You'll hear from our entrepreneurs, mentors, partners, and us. Learn more about Matter Ventures at www.matter.vc.

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