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Startup with only one employee sells for $54 million

Bonus: Sugar consumption on a big downward trend

Hey all,

Matthias here, creator of the Founder Finds newsletter. Every week, I spend hours researching business opportunities and trends and summarise my findings in this short-form newsletter.

With that, let’s get started with this week’s finds.

💎 Free music app with over 60 million users

Google search interest for the keyword “BandLab”

I came across BandLab this week, a free mobile music-making app with more than 60 million registered users, and it’s growing rapidly. BandLab makes it super easy to create music with your smartphone and helps creators get onto streaming services. The app has launched in 2016, but really took off in the past 2 years thanks to TikTok where #bandlab goes viral. Nowadays, many artists find record deals through TikTok, and BandLab seems to be a big enabler in this phenomenon.


When platforms or apps take off like BandLab currently does, there usually are great opportunities for piggybacking on their success:

  • Artist Development & Promotion Agency: This is an obvious one. You could establish a boutique agency that identifies talented musicians from BandLab, helps them develop their skills, and promotes their work across platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. You could sell services such as A&R consulting, career management, branding, and marketing.

  • Educational Content: While Google search traffic for “BandLab” is exploding, the same is true for search traffic on YouTube. One could create a YouTube channel specializing in BandLab tutorials and upsell workshops and courses on how to maximize the use of BandLab. This could range from basics for beginners, to advanced techniques for experienced users. You could also offer music theory classes, songwriting workshops, and marketing strategies for indie artists.

  • Merchandise Creation and Distribution: Merchandise is one of the top income streams for artists nowadays. With the explosion of BrandLab artists, you could help them capitalize on their fanbase by creating and selling merchandise like t-shirts, hats, vinyl records, etc. There already are lots of businesses offering similar services, but by tailoring your service exclusively to BrandLab creators, you could have an unfair advantage in this niche.

💡 Interesting things I found this week

These marketing examples tap into our cognitive biases.

This thread explains why more and more tech companies buy media companies.

Tim Ferriss’ approach to coming up with good ideas. (For example, asking questions such as: What are the nerds doing on nights and weekends?)

Crowdsourced startup ideas in this Twitter thread. Some great ideas ended up in this spreadsheet.

💎 Sugar is on a downfall

Per-capita sugar consumption in the US, per year, in pounds

This is an interesting downward trend I’ve also noticed anecdotally: people are increasingly avoiding sugar. The general population is getting more conscious about their health, and multiple scientific studies over the past decades have highlighted the risks associated with high sugar intake.

However, I didn’t expect this trend to be as strong as the data shows. According to the data, since the 1999 peak of sugar consumption in the US, it has fallen ~17%. I guess this is largely due to the rise of diet drinks, which include artificial sweeteners like Aspartame (which the WHO labeled as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”)


  • Sugar-free drinks that are healthy and taste good. I myself am in the camp of avoiding sugary drinks as much as I can, but the truth is, there are not many great alternatives out there. Sure, you have all the diet options, but 99% of them include Aspartame. I’d love to have diet drinks with other artificial sweeteners (like Stevia), or simply sugar-free drinks that taste good and are not tea, water, or black coffee.

  • Sugar-free, sweet snacks. Similar to drinks, I find it impossible to buy sugar-free, sweet snacks. I’d love to have sugar-free (or low-sugar) alternatives to pretty much any sweet snack you can imagine — Haribo, Snickers, etc. I even go so far as to order such snacks on Amazon, but have to say, they’re mediocre at best. Yes, this is anecdotal from my personal experience, but looking at the data above, I can imagine there are many others facing the same problem.

💎 One-man-band startup sells for $54 million

Wargraphs is another tiny company that made it big. It’s a one-man startup that piggybacked its way to success on League of Legends. They built Porofessor, an app that lets League of Legends player track and improve their in-game stats. Wargraphs was recently acquired for $54M by MOBA Networks, a Swedish company.

Despite it being tiny in terms of headcount, Wargraphs managed to carve out a profitable niche for itself. Jean-Nicholas, the sole employee and founder of the company, bootstrapped the business entirely on his own. Wargraphs expanded its analytics offerings beyond League of Legends to include Legends of Runeterra and Teamfight Tactics. But Porofessor has been by far the biggest success, with 10 million app downloads on Overwolf and over 1.25 million daily active users across platforms.

What I love about this story, as well as the Gym Streak story from last week, is the debunking of the conventional Silicon Valley startup narrative. They show that the path to success doesn't always require raising venture capital. Sure, these stories are outliers, but they are reminders that while VC-funded success stories may dominate the headlines, they are not the only path to financial independence.

That’s it for today! If you like what you read, I’d love for you to share the newsletter with anyone you think would enjoy it. They can subscribe here.