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Partnership with a vendor
Marek Sotak, a founder and CEO of Kairo — a time and habit tracking dashboard — made the product popular in a very crowded space mostly due to the partnership.
— I started building Kairo in public in the beginning of 2020— recalls Marek. — I always thought entering a crowded market was challenging. It turned out it was easier than being one of the three first companies in the space and developing something new and innovative. Being very distinctive from other competitors (Toggl, Clockify) and playful, Kairo attracted 20k+ unique visitors each month for the last six months.
Marek used Build In Public framework a lot. Shared his work in a few subreddits where he had been active before and which were relevant. That got him feedback from early users and motivation to keep on building.
However, the point where Kairo skyrocketed was an introduction of support for Notion - as soon as Marek introduced an option to embed Kairo blocks into user’s Notion file, the app took off really fast. People got excited as it was something unique and it was fairly easy to market on social than just Time and Habit tracking app. The audience was easy to pin point.
Notion users piped in and started sharing the app on Facebook groups and in Slack channels. As soon as Marek noticed it he switch on “the product-led growth mode” — opened the embedded block for free tiers, limited the features and added Kairo branding to them. Creators who were building and selling Notion templates picked up and started adding free Kairo blocks to their projects. Marek explains that it brought lots of traffic and brand awareness.
In 12 month after the idea first came to Marek’s mind Kairo grew into 7-figure ARR project. Mostly — due to smart partnership with a bigger brand (Notion).