This NYC Startup Just Raised $1.2M to Liberate You From Automatic Payments



The internet has assured us that payments for your bills and subscriptions are just a few clicks away. Enter in your banking or credit details and you’ve seemingly made your life more efficient. However, you may end up paying for services, products, and trials that you don’t use and it’s often difficult and time consuming to part to ways. Thankfully, Hiatus has made this a non-issue. It’s an newly-funded app that consolidates and manages your subscriptions allowing you to unsubscribe and cancel without having to figure out each company’s process for cancelling, which can be intentionally very convoluted.

AlleyWatch chatted with cofounder David Callis about the app and their experience raising their first round of funding.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

We raised $1.2M in a Seed round.

Tell us about your product or service.

Hiatus is an app that finds (and can help cancel) your subscriptions, bills and forgotten free trials. Hiatus now offers a One-Tap Bill Negotiation service within the app.

What inspired you to start the company?

All of my subscriptions and auto-pay accounts were starting to stress me out. I didn’t know who was auto-charging me, much less whether I was paying a good price. I did know these charges were buried within my bank statement but found it inconvenient to sift through all of my transactions and then set calendar reminders for when I would be auto-charged. Todd and I basically treated this a design problem.

How is it different?

With regard to functionality, Hiatus alerts you before auto-payments occur.

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

Subscribers to digital services like CBS All Access, Netflix; anyone who pays for their cell phone service, Comcast, DirecTV, etc.

What’s your business model?

We are becoming an automated financial assistant that sits between consumers and financial service providers. Our software is essentially identifying and suggesting relevant, unbiased ways for our users to have more money in the bank account. When you follow a recommendation, a financial service provider involved in the recommendation may pay us.

What are some underrated subscriptions we are missing out on?

For the dog owners: The Farmer’s Dog. For quick breakfasts Soylent. Lastly, even with all the love it gets, I still think Spotify is underrated.

What was the funding process like?

We bootstrapped as long as possible before opening the round. We used this time to develop the product, test different models and optimize cost inputs. We were then able to just show the product and our metrics to investors. This made the funding process quicker than we initially expected.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Shifting focus away from users to investors negatively affected how we responded to user feedback. The process was relatively quick so we fortunately did not have too many setbacks.

David Callis

David Callis

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

In addition to several of our investors having subscription problems themselves, they were most attracted to the fact our business model is based on saving money for our users. The more money consumers keep in their bank accounts, the more Hiatus grows.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

We think we can reduce subscription and bill waste by $25M between now and September.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Keep costs low and continue being resourceful.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

Just keep tracking consumer finance problems and then evaluate whether our company is in a good position to solve these problems. Right now, we’re taking a close look at an in-app bill pay feature.

Where is your favorite bar in the city for an after work drink?

Pete’s Tavern

About the author: AlleyWatch

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