How should entrepreneur Amanda Raposo structure ownership and organization to best execute Project Playdate’s transformation from a service provider to a service platform?
On June 12, 2018, 29-year old PlayDate founder and CEO Amanda Raposo and advisor Michael Ryan-Southern considered an offer from “celebrity mom” and founder of a fashion brand Daphne Decoates to combine their independent playdate app start-ups and split the equity 50-50. Raposo, had been running PlayDate in various formats since 2010 but Decoates’ app was still in the conceptual phase. The decision was urgent, as Raposo had committed to investors that she would launch PlayDate’s online application by July 31, in six weeks. Raposo also had internal issues: her lead app developer had been hospitalized the day before, and she needed to finalize the equity split with her co-founder and part-time chief marketing officer, Courtney Bernabei. Lastly, conversations with senior executives in larger parental outsourcing firms brought to light challenges with the complexity and expense of simultaneous vetting of multiple caregivers and multiple families. Raposo considered her best path forward with respect to company ownership, strategic partnerships, and delivering on a compelling, differentiated value proposition. This case asks students to consider the multitude of issues that an entrepreneurial leader must manage as they move towards launching their venture.
Case ID: 190411
Supplemental Materials: Teaching Note
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