Sibling Startups – The Way Forward?

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What does Rocket Internet, Slideshare, DailyDeal and Stripe all have in common? Besides their phenomenal success and collectively securing over millions in funding, each venture was founded by siblings. Are sibling powered startups the way forward?

According to Lithuanian startup Whatagraph, launching a startup amongst three siblings came naturally. A pre-existing bond between siblings beats days if not many months of understanding whether you have the right partner on board.

The three brothers Andrius, Tomas and Justas founded Whatagraph. The startup creates engaging infographics using Google Analytics. In 2016 they joined the renowned Rockstart accelerator. The idea was born to the youngest of the three brothers, Justas Malinauskas. “The idea came to me when I needed to go deep into Google Analytics data, and I found myself struggling. How do people work with this? I started doing some research, learning and I thought to myself ­ it’s been 10 years of Google Analytics and nothing has changed! I wanted to find a product that automatically emails simple reports, and there was nothing out there. So I thought, why not?”, ​explains Justas​.

Swifting through several tabs of Google Analytics at once is no easy feat. Whatagraph fast tracks this process with its mission to create simple and engaging infographics. Justas explains, “our client is our invisible team member, who helps us develop Whatagraph and move into the right direction. After every major update we were seeing 30-­40% growth in conversions and user retention.”

Justas believes Whatagraph will continue its mission to empower businesses, engage users and effortlessly help businesses optimise on channel performance. He says, “In the future we want to provide people with possible solutions to the problems in web performance, and suggest how it can be improved.”

At the beginning, the company was just three people – ­Justas, Andrius and Agne (Head of Design). An MVP with on going traction brought in third brother Tomas. Tomas is responsible for finances and management, Andrius covers business development and sales and Justas is the IT whizz.

With a handful of startups launching every day, looking closer to home to form a great team could be a viable move. Running a business together with close people is convenient – you know what everyone is capable of, and you know what their knowledge and experience boundaries are. However, when you are in a business with siblings, separating family affairs and organisation work is crucial. It is also important to keep to organisational structure, and don’t let family hierarchy interfere. In the case of Whatagraph, it doesn’t matter that Justas is the youngest from the brothers, he has the final word in company decisions as the CEO, and everyone respects that.