Honest Dollar launced at SXSW in 2015 and a year later, at SXSW, William Hurley, known as Whurley, the company’s cofounder, announced Goldman Sachs had acquired the company.
This year, a different Hurley is in the spotlight.
It’s Brooks Hurley, the 20-year-old son of Whurley. About seven months ago, he cofounded a financial technology startup with Mark Lesney. It’s called Chilligence, a platform bringing investors and startups together to assist with due diligence.
“A very little talked about part of startups and investing is the diligence that takes place at various phases, seed funding, series A, B etc. and acquisition,” Hurley wrote in an email. “Investors, venture capitalists and companies require certain information (diligence) from startups/founders. Often times these startups are not focused on compiling or retaining this information, instead focused on the pitching or day to day operations of their companies. This leaves them in a stressful situation often times scrambling and hiring attorneys at great expense to compile this information. In some cases the lack of proper and complete diligence cause missed opportunities for both investors and startups.”
Chilligence is a platform that solves that problem, he said.
“I have witnessed this first hand and thought why don’t I make a platform saving time, stress and unnecessary expense,” he said. “During my transition to the Chilligence team I spent two days doing research and was shocked that no one was addressing this critical business need. Chilligence allows BOTH investors and startups to make a profile, picking a custom or standard set of diligence questions, uploading documents and even create a link that can be sent to potential investment opportunities or to multiple investors.”
The company with five employees is based at WeWork, in the original offices of Honest Dollar. The company bootstrapped its operations initially but has recently raised $500,000 in seed stage funding from angel investors, Hurley said.
The motivation behind the company is to make sure that every startup has the opportunity to become a unicorn (a startup with a $1 billion valuation), Hurley said.
“We also want to see investors have all of the tools in their toolbox to make a educated and sound investment, and frankly because we have a awesome team,” he said. “Our grand ambitions are to become the standard for diligence, for every startup and investor/VC to have their profile with us. We also have some exciting top secret ideas on where else the platform could take us and the industry.”
Chilligence held a launch party Saturday night at TenOak: Bourbon House. It featured performances by Los Coast, Peelander-Z!, a Japanese Action Comic Punk, and Thievery Corporation’s Rob Garza.