Today we’d like to introduce you to Cooper Harris.
Cooper, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a successfully working actor in NY and LA, I eventually fell in love with technology. I built my first company while still on a TV show, and shortly after, competed in a number of Hackathons. After being immersed in tech, I fell in love with it – I really feel tech is the storytelling medium of the future. I started Klickly as a way to increase efficiency in digital … but it’s become so much more.
Through hard work, a great team, and killer product, we’ve grown hugely over the past two years. We now have over 1,000 eCommerce brand customers. We have investors ranging from VCs and execs at Google, Stripe, Amazon, etc. and have grown 100% month over month for more than two quarters!
Klickly is one of the more technologically-advanced companies in LA, and we’re hoping to reframe how people think about both female entrepreneurs AND Los Angeles tech companies. We’re excited to show them that – despite our beautiful weather and relaxed quality of life – we know how to bear down and build serious technology!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I noticed two main challenges in our early days. First, we were cash constrained (like any startup in the beginning), so this made it tricky to hire/grow. But this was easily overcome with scrappy, iterative tactics like building cheap prototypes and getting impressive LOIs from prospective clients. Second, we actually had difficulty raising at first.
Looking back, I can see we struggled with broadcasting the “stereotypical credibility” that investors wanted to see. I was not a Harvard dropout dude in a hoodie. It was a serious sticking point for us, and one I found tough, since this elusive credibility was a box many of my male counterparts easily checked off (being taken seriously as a former actor was a hurdle that I hadn’t expected, and a number of investors had to get over biases to see the value and believe in the vision to the point of investing).
Fortunately, after we got started, raising has been relatively easy for the past few years. We have credibility and traction which has made the sailing much smoother. Some nice awards and accolades have also helped us establish credibility and traction far beyond what we expected.
Please tell us about Klickly.
Klickly is a commerce-engine. We help 1,200 popular eCommerce brands promote products across 25 million sites, in a new, exciting way. Brands only pay when we drive sales for them.
What does all this mean? Klickly has fancy tech like machine-learning to help brands find their best-fit customers online, where we promote a set of products that we can predict will be purchased! We then allow customers to purchase those products seamlessly WITHIN the ad.
I’m excited to work with over 1,000 brands that I love, but it’s also really thrilling to win recognition from Google, LOreal, Cannes Lions, Los Angeles Business Journal and get featured in publications like Forbes, USA Today, Inc, etc.
I’m so proud of my team – we’ve come a long way.
With all your current success, is there anything in your childhood that prepared you for your life as an entrepreneur?
I was struck by lightning as a child. That’s not a warm, fuzzy memory, but it’s a favorite – I learned there are such things as miracles… and I’m really hard to kill. Seriously, I had such a magical childhood – I’ll always be grateful that my parents fostered a wonder, curiosity, and optimism in me that has stuck with me to this day!
I also got lucky going to a Waldorf school until high school. The school is rigorous and requires that kids really, truly understand what they’re learning, not just memorize for tests. As an example, when learning about combustion engines, you build one. 🙂