Lemonade’s co-founder on the metaverse, web3, and new tech collaboration
From an offline events company to metaverse trailblazers, whilst successful in every iteration of its existence, there is no doubt that Lemonade has had the definition of a post-pandemic glow up. We chatted with the company’s chief business officer and co-founder Ipshita Kumar, about launching into web 3, a typical day to day working in new tech, and collaborating with Outlier, Basecamp and soon hundo!
Tell me a little bit about the company.
We are a web3 based events platform that harmonises all collaboration and monetization tools for creators and community builders. Lemonade is reimagining how creators create, collaborate, monetize and own their data in the metaverse.
Lots of people only know the story about Lemonade post pandemic but we go way back when we started out as an offline events platform and creators can host experiences in Lemonade Stands i.e. verified locations. First Lemonade Stand was my living room in Barcelona, which I was sharing with my co-founders KC, Jakob and Chris. In 3 months we went from 1 Lemonade Stand to 20 Lemonade Stands in Barcelona, New York, New Delhi and London with creators hosting gigs and making 40% more money than they would have at a bar/restaurant.
However, with COVID our team pivoted to an immersive virtual events platform where our web app became the main Lemonade stand for creators all over the world. Our creators and community grew by 11 times and blurred all lines of the time difference when it came to online events, inbound requests to become a verified creator and NGOs reaching out to host social engaging e-fundraisers!
While going virtual completely switched our product focus, our ethos remained the same: Creator Empowerment. So we continued building a web product that makes creating, collaborating and monetizing experiences super seamless. And today we are building #1 creator marketplace for the metaverse!
What was your career experience before becoming a co-founder?
Academically I studied hospitality and tourism,so kickstarted my career in B2B events marketing for some of the most luxurious hotels in the world like Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, Renaissance Barcelona, Ritz Carlton Barcelona to name a few. Worked on a few exciting events and openings with Gordon Ramsay, Khloe Kardashian, Victoria’s Secret, Barcelona Football Club and more! Very soon I was no longer motivated by the slow environment and was looking for something fast paced - super super fast paced. So I joined Hosco, a hospitality recruitment startup heading in New Business for North Europe!
What does your day to day look like?
The beauty of being a founder is that your day to day never looks the same! I would say 30% of my everyday life goes into speaking to creators. Here is a fun fact, our team has met or “e-met” every single verified creator on Lemonade! We take our onboarding calls very seriously and although it can be extended to the new teams, one of the co-founders is always involved in these calls.
If I am not speaking to creators, I am looking for creators, because they are the north star of the platform! We often receive special requests from creative agencies, organisations to work with them on exciting events. The rest of my time goes into ensuring we are delivering value as a team and product to our clients as maintaining the health of the business is one of my core functions at Lemonade.
I will be honest, in the initial first 18 months of building Lemonade, I would not dedicate much time to my physical and emotional wellbeing - I think it's a common hiccup most 1st time entrepreneurs go through. So off-late that has changed - hahah! And I take time out for morning runs, weekly meditations, quality time with family and friends. As you can see my background comes from hospitality, so I enjoy spending some time growing indoor herbs and experimenting in the kitchen.
Can you tell us a little bit about the work you do with Outlier and Basecamp?
When you think of accelerating in the metaverse, you think of no one except Outlier! They are the leading accelerator with one of the best teams that I have worked with thus far. Being at Outlier helps us bridge the knowledge gap that we need to be ready for our journey into the metaverse. We are excited to be a part of the cohort at Basecamp & it is our pleasure to partner with Outlier on their annual event: Diffusion as the technology and audience engagement partner.
What is a personal career highlight?
I believe the period I am in right now is the best part of my career. The last 6 months accelerating knowledge and performance in all things metaverse/ web3 has been so exciting! For someone who comes from a non - tech background (especially hospitality) to grow into a role within tech and now the web3 space is going to be my career highlight for a very long time! This is such an exciting time!
What piece of career advice would you give your younger self?
I would give 2 pieces of advice to my younger self. Firstly, never limit yourself to one line of work/industry: If an opportunity presents itself, take a leap of faith and try it! If you think you can’t successfully launch a tech startup because you don't have a background in tech - think again! Believe in your strengths and surround yourself with colleagues who compensate for your knowledge shortcomings - and together you can build anything!
Have a personal advisory board: I wish I did this early on! When I say personal advisory board - I don’t mean suited up Monday morning meetings. Find yourself a group of mentors, advisors, past employers, counsellors to whom you can go to for work and personal related challenges. Make sure you change this circle of people dynamically with every new role you take on in your career.
Getting valuable advice from professionals is priceless and it always comes in handy. In 2022, there are several unbiased (free) resources like mentoring-club.com that allow you to find mentors in your field of interest. Speak to them - get new perspectives into your life! Find people who know the things you don’t know, or people who may think differently about the things you think you have mastered, and ask for their feedback
Hundo are collaborating with Lemonade for the launch of CareerCon22, how are you feeling about the collab?
By 2030, 85% of today's college students will have jobs that don't currently exist. The future of work and income is exciting! I'm very bullish on what is being built with hundo and here at Lemonade are extremely excited to be a part of the journey.
Find out more about Careercon22 here!