4:45 - Film directors and entrepreneurs
9:03 - Studying and bootstrapping a company
20:45 - Pabio, or renting your furniture
32:10 - Giving up recurring revenue opportunities
51:17 - Y Combinator
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Carlo Badini is a co-founder and CEO at Pabio, the startup which allows you to decorate your apartment with high-quality furniture through a monthly subscription. He studied Business Administration and Psychology at the Universität Bern.
Back in high school, he wanted to be a movie director, and so borrowed money from his parents to buy an expensive DSLR camera. To pay back his loan, he began producing short explainer videos for companies around Bern — and so Cleverclip was born. After graduating, Carlo took a gap year to focus on Cleverclip and travel, and it was by traveling that Carlo realized his privilege as a middle class Swiss person, and decided to put his “luck” to good use. While at university, he bootstrapped Cleverclip as a solo founder, which he nowadays does not recommend.
In 2020 he decided to step down from his role as CEO at Cleverclip to start a new venture: Pabio. The idea for Pabio is based on the premise that it’s cheaper to rent high-quality furniture than to periodically replace “fast” (= low-quality) furniture. In case a customer really likes a piece, they can eventually buy it out. Carlo says that this is obviously the best option for the customer, and that Pabio can afford to lose out on that recurring revenue.
In 2021 Pabio got accepted into Y Combinator’s Summer Batch. Carlo relates that though very expensive (Y Combinator takes 7% for a post-valuation of 2.1M), it was a really great experience: in 3 months Pabio tripled its sales and learned how to grow fast while still focusing on market fit; afterwards they raised a great seed round from both European and US investors.
"Entrepreneurship is one of the most efficient ways to change the world."
"Usually the problems you don't anticipate are the ones that actually end up making your life more difficult."