By Mark Tullis | Posted - Oct 16th, 2023

 

 

 

 

Pageport Raises $1.2 Million Pre-Seed Investment by 2048 Ventures and Boost VC

Lehi, Utah-based Pageport recently received a $1.2 million pre-seed investment led by 2048 Ventures. Boost VC also participated in the investment.

“We're genuinely thrilled about our investment in Pageport,” said Zann Ali, Principal at 2048 Ventures. “Their unique insight to build 'websites for one' resonates because it feels personalized and authentic. With vertical video—a format that people naturally love—front and center, Pageport's product effortlessly bridges the gap between businesses and their prospective customers, making interactions feel genuine, tailored, and fresh. Not least, the product has a cult-like following of early customers, from financial advisors to photographers, who rely on Pageport daily to help them convert prospects into paying customers. 

Ali continued, “At 2048 Ventures, what drew us to Max and Thomas wasn't just their product instinct, but their palpable passion and customer obsession. It's this rare combination that we look for in founding teams, and we're excited to be a small part in this journey.”

2048 Ventures is a New York-based pre-seed venture capital firm, currently investing out of its $65M Fund II. It is a thesis-driven investment firm investing in next generation platforms — APIs, data, infrastructure, marketplaces, and specific types of vertical SaaS. 2048 consists of “founders, experienced operators, nerds and dreamers obsessed with the future,” says Ali. The firm has backed over 200 startups and has the experience and conviction to lead pre-seed rounds.

Boost VC is similarly enthusiastic about the Pageport investment. "Websites have always been one size fits all regardless of who showed up,” said Brayton Williams, Co-Founder of Boost VC. “Pageport is changing that by giving every person their own personalized site for businesses to make that customer and business relationship that much more special. Max and Thomas have an incredible background helping grow some of the fastest growing tech companies and we know they are the right team to make the web much more personalized at a massive scale."

Brayton continued, "Boost VC has invested in hundreds of early stage startups over our decade of investing and it is always rare yet amazing to see a product so well received right at launch. Max and Thomas had paying customers day one, with revenue growing very quickly which is a testament to how valuable Pageport is to their customers. We are so happy to be working with them! Boost VC wants to invest in great people who want to build companies that make a dent on the universe. Max and Thomas are doing just that with Pageport!”

Clawson and Metcalf sat down with TechBuzz and shared the story of how they came together as co-founders and how they came up with the idea to create Pageport.

Thomas Clawson and his co-founder, Max Metcalf, met a decade ago while they were LDS missionaries serving in Denmark together. After their missionary service they attended BYU and worked on business ideas together: a music festival, and a technology startup. 

After BYU Clawson, a marketer, worked for Podium and then moved to Whatnot. Max, an engineer, worked at Orca Health and then moved to SimpleNexus. 

“About a year and a half ago I was looking for a house and filled out an online Realtor form. I got called like five thousand times by 5 different realtors, as my lead was sold to multiple people. I texted them all asking them if they had anything good to send me showing why they're a good Realtor. The only thing anyone could send me was a forty page PDF about Utah housing.. I was not impressed.”

He continued. “They all wanted to just get on a call with me, but as a classic late-stage Millennial, I don’t answer the phone.”

By this time Clawson had left Podium as was working at Whatnot, a video powered marketplace. “We thought, ‘what if we could arm people with a tool to reply to leads more effectively by sending a video with more information about what they actually do?’”

Metcalf created a working MVP in February 2023. It had basic functionality and the ability for anyone to create pages and put up videos. They both started validating it in March with people in their network who ran early SaaS companies. 

They quit their jobs in May 2023 to focus on Pageport full time.

“I knew from my last job that video converts super well,” said Clawson. “People love receiving and watching videos.”

He continued. “We had this hypothesis…what if you made websites for one person? Every website is meant for a big audience, but if you made a website specifically targeted to one person, and included things that only that one person wants to see? What happens when you make the site specific to that person and their needs? That’s what we wanted to test.”

Of the first four people they showed it to, two became customers, reports Clawson. “People got excited about the initial idea. We thought we're onto something here, which was a great feeling.”

Clawson and Metcalf found their product idea was being pulled into a few industries: early stage SaaS companies, financial advisors and photographers.

Metcalf explained that the companies that resonate with Pageport are those that get a lot of leads, “...But they're not really that good at replying to them. They need to be able to show what they do. Personal connection is really important. So they show a video of themselves introducing what they do, say a wedding photographer, and then they show some wedding shoots that they've done that are catered to the prospect. It just increases conversion.”

Pageport allows users to create different templates for different funnels. It encourages vertical video because that’s how most people use their phones to create videos. For instance, a professional photographer might be running Facebook ads to generate leads for her business. She might have her own website, as well, that also generates leads. And she might be exhibiting at a photography conference that could also generate leads. Using Pageport, she could create a template for each of those funnels, each catering to a unique audience. The Pageport app allows her to create a video from within the app and then add 15 different sections, such as a gallery, which would be useful for photography. She could then create the short video and connect it to the gallery section with 10 or 12 photos curated for the particular audience. She then connects Pageport to her preferred CRM, via one of eight CRM integrations that Pageport has created to date. It allows her to track the source of the leads. Finally, Pageport creates a unique URL that is automatically sent via email or text to each of the leads from the various sources. That URL is tied to a personalized video for that specific lead, giving the lead a personalized experience with the photographer’s services.

Users can add attributes of the sales prospect from the CRM into the page, such as business name, location, etc. “The more attributes integrated into the CRM, the more it can be customized and personalized to the prospect,” said Metcalf. For the photography use case, the photographer can create unique templates for weddings, senior class photos, portraits, so that the right lead gets the right template.”

As far as the ideal customer, lead volume tends to make a big difference for Pageport, more so than industry or sector. “What we're learning is it's less about industry and more about lead volume. Companies that get a good number of leads are a really good fit,” explained Metcalf. Clawson added, “We have people using the tool for outbound, too. It is like a voicemail follow up, but with video, and we are finding that this technique converts really well.”

“Customers have changed,” said Metcalf. “They have a lot of different expectations. They want video first. They want things to be asynchronous, and they want it all in one place. The status quo has been just calling the customer a million times or sending them a PDF. We think there's a better thing to send, and that’s a customized video just for that customer.”

“One of our metrics that we’re really excited about is the percentage of people who watch the video after opening the page–58 percent. 

We think that data point indicates that people do want this type of communication,” said Clawson.”

In five months of being full time, the company has brought on over 70 customers, has created over 250,000 custom websites and has exceeded six-figures of ARR, all founder-led sales.

For more information visit pageport.com.

 
Mark Tullis
About the Author

Mark Tullis - Mark is Co-founder and Editor of TechBuzz News. Born and raised in Ogden, Utah, Mark attended Weber State, Brigham Young, and Tufts Universities. He has been involved in tech, media, publishing and education since the 1980s. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, and playing the saxophone.

 

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