Five years of searching, emailing and waiting brought Carrot LLC to a $600,000 decision at a critical point in the business’s timeline.
On Thursday, the Carrot team — and anyone wanting to join — will celebrate International Carrot Day, the company’s five-year anniversary, a new vice president of marketing, and the purchase of the carrot.com domain name at The Loft in downtown Roseburg.
“With a software business like this, usually around that five to seven year mark, you have a great chance to scale more or go backward and become irrelevant because of innovation,” company CEO and founder Trevor Mauch said. “We’re really doubling down on building our team more and doubling down on our mission. If we’re going to do this thing, we’re going all in on this brand.”
Mauch said even he and his team thought $600,000 was a “crazy” price for a domain, but it was worth it to commit to growing the brand and the company. The payments will be split up over four years. According to Inc. 5000, the company made $3.5 million in revenue in 2017.
The software as a service company started in 2014 and has a growth rate of about 185%, according to the Portland Business Journal, which ranked the company as the 19th fastest-growing company in Portland. Inc. 5000 ranked the company as the fastest growing software company in Oregon.
The Roseburg-based software company designs websites and marketing strategies for real estate investors and agents.
“We want to be a good example, we want to be that beacon of positivity and possibility for rural Oregon companies,” Mauch said. “We want to show we didn’t take venture capitalist money like a lot of other software startups, we are based in rural Oregon, over half of our team is from rural Oregon, and there’s all these things stacked against us. Can we double down right now on our brand of Carrot, and just see if we can make this thing really, really big and hopefully impact downtown in a big way.”
Also being celebrated is the hiring of Kiley Newbold, who was the vice president of marketing for the Color Run for almost four years during a period of growth to 50 countries. He started in January and is working remotely from Salt Lake City.
Mauch said when he founded the company, he wanted carrot.com, but the domain name was taken by an artist who bought the domain “at the beginning of the internet.” Mauch sent over 30 emails to the Toronto-based artist with offers he thought were ridiculously high at the time, only to find one day someone else had purchased it.
After much searching and waiting, Mauch got in contact with the family of the artist who had passed away. He offered to buy the website again and told the family he wanted to include bits of the artist’s work throughout the website and dedicate a special page to his work.
Mauch said buying the site for $600,000 was in line with the company’s core value of genuinely caring because when the domain disappeared, it took all of the art on the site with it. Mauch said knowing it was gone made him sad and he wanted to give back to the family with the section of the website.
“During that time when I was reaching out to the artist, I dove into the website and learned about his art and he’s a pioneer in this certain kind of art and it’s really, really cool stuff,” Mauch said. “I really love it when people create whatever it is they create in the world. I love the act of creation, so I appreciated that especially since he was a pioneer in his field.”
The celebration will feature all things orange, including carrot juice, carrot cake, a logo refresh and a fun moment show the change for the new site. Mauch and his team will start the party at 4 p.m.