WithMe: A Startup Growth Story Fueled by Profits

  • Rob Weber

    Mar 12 2024

Profitable growth is pretty rare to come by in the early stage startup world. This is the story of our portfolio company WithMe which provides printing and coffee amenity solutions to the multi-family real estate market.

I first met WithMe Founder & CEO Jonathan Treble while visiting Chicago in April of 2019. During our initial meeting, I immediately knew I wanted to invest in the founder and vision. I then spoke with one of their earliest customers based in Chicago CA Ventures, who confirmed my initial interest when they explained their decision to replace all printers across their student housing locations with WithMe’s kiosk solution. We closed our investment not too long after this initial meeting alongside other notable VCs which had previously invested such as M25, Network Ventures, and New Stack Ventures…

Here is what WithMe looked like back in April 2019-

  • Product- The initial product, PrintWithMe, was a self-service printing kiosk.You could describe the model as ‘RedBox for printing’ where individuals could handle their own printing needs.
  • Traction-
    • PrintWithMe was installed in approximately 700 locations, primarily in independent coffee shops with a handful of early multi-family customers. 
    • WithMe was losing money.
  • Team Size- 15 employees

In 2020, WithMe started turning a profit, using their cash flow to fund continued growth since then.

Now let’s look at where WithMe is at today, March 2024-

  • Product- In addition to the original PrintWithMe product, WithMe has successfully launched a new product, SipWithMe, a coffee self-service kiosk.
  • Traction-
    • WithMe’s products are now installed at 4,200 locations
    • Revenue is 15 times greater than back in 2019.
    • WithMe is profitable.
  • Team Size- 70 employees

How has Jonathan and the WithMe team been able to achieve capital efficient growth? Three takeaways from my podcast interview with Jonathan from back in 2021- Execution is King: Jonathan Treble, PrintWithMe (libsyn.com)

  • Adaptability in Ideal Customer Profile- WithMe initially partnered with a few hundred independent coffee shops to place their PrintWithMe kiosks in. Although this segment was performing okay, the multi-family apartment segment turned out to be a much better segment to target. Jonathan and the early WithMe team had the foresight to change market segments when their initial beachhead market was turning out to not be an ideal fit. This turned out to be a key factor contributing to their success.
  • Past Experience Scaling At GrubHub- Back in 2013, Jonathan was in the 50-100 person product & tech team at the pre-IPO GrubHub. Jonathan credits part of WithMe’s success to him having seen what scale looks like across different functional areas from his time at GrubHub.
  • Recruitment Process- It’s pretty clear in talking with Jonathan that once he found product-market fit within the multi-family market, he became deeply focused on scaling his team efficiently. This as it turns out, it is quite challenging for many startups to consistently recruit and retain top talent at the pace needed to support the growth of their business. Jonathan developed WithMe’s recruitment processes after melding ideas he captured from books like Recruit Rockstars. Jonathan and the team at WithMe have not been willing to settle when it comes to adding new team members.

Congrats to Jonathan and the whole WithMe team on their amazing, capital efficient growth! The WithMe story is far from being complete, yet it is already truly an inspiring one.