The founder of one of Silicon Valley’s most famous flameouts, anonymous social app Secret, is the new product lead for Postmates’ app. After Secret shut down and gave investors back their money, David Byttow went on to raise a $1 million seed round from Index to launch a blog publishing tool for enterprises called Bold.
Today Bold was acqhired by Postmates, Byttow confirmed to TechCrunch, with he and co-founder Ben South Lee (also formerly of Secret) joining the delivery startup. Bold will shut down, killing off its enterprise blogging tool and writing assistant, plus the anonymous publishing space IO.
Byttow will lead product for Postmates’ customer-facing app, while Lee leads design for it. “Postmates is gonna slay” Byttow DMed me, elaborating that “I think Postmates is in a very unique position to leapfrog itself and continue be the leader in the on-demand delivery space. That’s why Ben and I joined!” Postmates confirmed the acquisition to us, and pointed to CEO Bastian Lehmann’s tweet above welcoming Byttow and Lee to the team.
In Secret’s hyped-up heyday, it raised a $25 million Series B. Byttow notoriously took $3 million off the table during the round and convinced co-founder Chrys Bader-Wechsler to do the same. The idea was that the cash would make Secret’s founders less likely to sell the company early. Instead, less than a year later, Secret had imploded, raising questions about the practice of founders cashing out early.
But clearly Silicon Valley is willing to forgive such behavior if someone has the necessary skills in today’s competitive recruiting market. Postmates is trusting Byttow and Lee at a critical time for the company. Having raised a $160 million Series D last year, Postmates must prove it can build a sustainable business despite the on-demand delivery space’s tough unit economics.
Once upon a time, Byttow convinced 15 million to use a controversial app in another risky market. Postmates will have to hope Byttow can similarly drive traction of its app while letting someone else handle the business.