Few people in this world can boast of having two successful products before the age of 25 - Kevin Chandra is one of them. Originally from Indonesia, Kevin was fortunate to study at the University of Southern California, where he connected with an innovative group of young, like-minded Indonesian entrepreneurs. Kevin entered the tech startup industry with a bang and, along with his team of four other co-founders, was recently featured on the prestigious Forbes 2022 "30 Under 30" list.
He Has Arrived!
By the time Chandra's team launched their first startup business, Cotter, they were already a well-oiled machine, experimenting with various projects to finally getting funded by Y Combinator. With the support of the Y Combinator startup accelerator, Cotter gained momentum quickly. Their passwordless authentication platform filled a gap in the sector that was desperately needed, and it was not surprising to see that it was acquired by Stytch at the end of 2021.
After the acquisition, Chandra's team immediately moved on to Typedream. The product emerged through the development of Cotter. As an initial expansion strategy for Cotter, the team built plugins for a variety of no-code website builders that allowed those with no coding knowledge to add passwordless authentication to their site. They were quite surprised when they began receiving requests for a plugin for Cotter on Notion, a note-taking app that had become popular. They learned that Notion's simple interface is similar to Microsoft Word and Google Docs which tens of millions of people around the world are already well-trained to use; thereby, making it an accessible website building option for those with minimal tech knowledge.
Kevin personally interviewed hundreds of people who built websites using Notion and found that many essential website building elements were missing, such as navigation bars, buttons, and SEO. After listening to hundreds of complaints, Kevin saw a big opportunity to build a website builder that caters to this new generation with a simple note-taking interface. After validating the market, the team used their experience and diverse skills and developed Typedream within 3 months.
Typedream is extremely easy to use and makes it possible to create and publish a website - without any coding skills at all - in as little as 10 minutes. With trending design features like gradients, glass morphism, animations, cards, and overlays (texts/buttons) over an asset (video/image), users can build fresh-looking websites quickly and have more time to focus on their content and products.
Chandra led marketing and customer relations, bringing the initial MVP to potential users to gather their feedback, and then onboarding users and converting them to paying clients. His marketing efforts have been highly successful as Typedream emerges as the go-to website builder for the next generation. Kevin explains "We are currently serving a new generation of creators on the internet, especially in Web3. Our users publish NFT minting pages, landing pages, and personal sites." Its success is attributed to Mr. Chandra's ability to build software that is in tune with the current generation.
How Did He Get Here?
Kevin grew up being a fan of Steve Jobs; he recalls Steve Jobs' Stanford graduation speech to be a transformative moment for him personally. In the speech, Steve Jobs said that "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward." That phrase inspired Kevin to take on every opportunity that is presented to him regardless of the outcome or circumstances.
It was this mindset that drove Kevin to start building projects as early as 2015. He started with a crypto arbitrage bot, developed a cryptocurrency exchange, and even worked on a stock trading app. Although those projects were not successful, he credits his failures for teaching him a lot of lessons and allowing him to grow. He hopes that up-and-coming entrepreneurs will follow in his footsteps, and offers these words of advice: "Nobody knows how to succeed, so fail fast, fail cheap, and fail forward. Eventually, you'll learn and head in the right direction."
Looking back on his own journey, Kevin shares that "Today, I am happy to say that I can connect the dots backward." Although he is happy about the success that he and his team have achieved, he is most grateful for the personal growth and evolution that has happened along the way. At 24 years old, Kevin has gotten funded by Y Combinator, sold a company, and he is currently leading a global company. We're confident there's more in the years to come.