• SaaS Strats
  • Posts
  • 🔗 The $1.3B Link Sharing Marvel Born in 6 Hours

🔗 The $1.3B Link Sharing Marvel Born in 6 Hours

“You don’t become rich overnight” apparently doesn’t apply to Linktree

SaaS Strategists,

The last edition of SaaS Strats was a huge success & you all loved Notion breakdowns!

You can expect further breakdowns of strategies big SaaS-es use in the future. 🚀 

However, it was much longer than I expected & some email providers clipped the email in half 😠 

So this one will be a bit on the shorter side to let you cool off & catch up with last week’s issue.

Let’s dive in & discover some interesting facts about Linktree’s growth over the years 👇️ 

Today’s issue of SaaS Strats is brought to you by Nortik Software Solutions

Are you looking to onboard pre-interviewed senior software engineers into your team or build your SaaS startup from scratch?

Nortik has a proven track record of helping their clients build SaaS startups that have raised over $150m+ combined.

4 of them ended up being featured in Tech Crunch.

If you’re looking to expand your software development team with high-performing engineers in less than 4 weeks, book a FREE discovery call here:

The $1.3B Link Sharing Marvel Born in 6 Hours

Reading time: 3 minutes

I know.

It’s obviously clickbait.

Or is it?

Well, apparently it took only 6 hours to build Linktree’s prototype in 2016.

During that time, the platform obviously only performed basic tasks but the core of the platform was there — one link to rule them all. 💍 

Here are some other lesser-known but very interesting facts about Linktree & how it grew over the years.

Started As a Side Project

Brothers Alex and Anthony Zaccaria and their business partner Nick Humphreys first started running a marketing agency back in 2016.

They faced a common painpoint while managing their social media accounts for their clients.

Endlessly updating singular bio links felt like a waste of time, so they got to building & built the initial prototype of the app in just 6 hours.

They didn’t even think the platform will become a huge success and open up new opportunities for individuals all over the world.

Zero Marketing Budget

Linktree is the Deadpool of SaaS Startups.

Disrupting all of the rules.

Conventional path:

  • Market first, then launch

  • Have a good launch strategy

  • Know who you’re selling to

Linktree’s path:

  • We have a problem

  • We built a solution

  • Oh cool, everyone needs it

Linktree had a big network effect where more & more people discovered the platform through everyday profile visits and communication with each other.

Obviously, this is a rare scenario, and I don’t advise “winging” your SaaS launch & development.

But this just shows how sometimes building something for literally every person on earth, can also work really well.

With a bit of luck.

A lot of luck.

Grew To 3000 Users Overnight

The word-of-mouth effect took its toll and the platform literally grew to 3k users over a single day.

But with great sign-up numbers comes great responsibility.

The servers crashed. 😵 

This was the first indicator for the team & they knew they were on to something.

Soon after celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr., Selena Gomez, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and companies such as HBO and The Guardian also started using & sharing the links through the platform & it was all history from there.

Banned By Instagram

Soon after first problems started pouring in.

But were soon resolved.

As the platform grew, many influencers & celebrities started to use Linktree in their Instagram bios.

In 2018 Instagram banned the platform from its site, not allowing to share any links that came through Linktree, flagging it as a spam website.

Big mistake.

41,000 unsatisfied Instagram users complained about this move, and Linktree’s management also spoke directly to Instagram about this.

Soon after, the ban was lifted.

Today, 40% of Linktree’s traffic comes from Instagram alone.

Safe to say the community saved them. 😎 

TikTok Partnership

Apart from Instagram, one of the big growth drivers was their partnership with TikTok.

This move placed Linktree as one of TikTok’s Profile Kits for its developer version.

They quickly became Tiktok’s number one link-in-bio partner.

On average, Linktree drives over 5 million TikTok views daily.

$10.7M Series A Funding

After 4 years of bootstrapping, the founders of Linktree decided that it was time to move to another level.

They raised a $10.7M Series A in October 2020 from Insight Partners, one of the primary investors in Shopify and Canva.

Their lean startup approach proved to be a great success, and this investment helped them expand the business further.

Just one year later, they closed another, much larger Series B round of $45M.

“Pay If You Want” Model

Linktree operates on a freemium model.

But, if you’re a bit of a power user, you can switch to their paid plan & receive benefits such as:

  • Link tracking

  • Analytics dashboard

  • Traffic dashboard

  • Profile customization

  • Custom integrations

Today Linktree stands at $33M ARR with ~31M users, growing 27% year over year.

Solid numbers.

Today, Linktree’s top destinations are:

  • OnlyFans (13,63%) (who would’ve guessed)

  • Instagram (10.61%)

  • Google (6.48%)

  • YouTube (5,56%)

  • TikTok (4.27%)

And based on Slintel’s analysis of 54,885 companies using Linktree, the most popular industries that use the platform are:

  • Marketing - 1,082 (2.13%)

  • Social Media - 776 (1.53%)

  • Education - 647 (1.27%)

  • Advertising - 440 (0.87%)

P.S. I also use Linktree & you can find me here:

🔝 Top Tweets

Here are the 2 top tweets from this week..or is it X’s…whatever

🔥 SaaS Fire

SaaS products so good they'll light up your week:

Opus Clip is an AI-powered video repurposing tool aimed to help you streamline your short-form video creation.

Tibo (Founder of Tweet Hunter & Taplio) recently released his Product Hunt launch checklist, you can check it out below.

💡Idea of the Week

Here’s the SaaS idea of the week:

A B2B SaaS platform for healthtech & record management. This cutting-edge solution utilizes AI and blockchain technology to streamline medical records management, improve patient care coordination, and enhance healthcare provider efficiency. By securely centralizing patient data and enabling seamless sharing among authorized providers, the platform ensures accurate diagnoses, reduces administrative burdens, and ultimately elevates the quality of patient outcomes.

Pros

  • Interoperable Records: The platform facilitates interoperability by creating a unified platform for healthcare providers to securely access and update patient records. This reduces duplicate tests, medical errors, and improves care coordination across multiple specialties and facilities.

  • Enhanced Data Security: Leveraging blockchain's immutable ledger, the platform ensures patient data privacy, security, and compliance with HIPAA regulations. This instills trust among patients and providers while mitigating data breaches and unauthorized access risks.

Cons

  • Adoption Challenges: Convincing traditional healthcare systems to transition to a digital, blockchain-enabled platform might face resistance due to established processes and concerns about data migration. Comprehensive onboarding and training strategies will be essential.

  • Regulatory Hurdles: Navigating complex healthcare regulations and ensuring compliance across jurisdictions can be daunting. Addressing legal and regulatory challenges is crucial to gain widespread acceptance and usage of this SaaS platform.

How did you like this week's issue of SaaS Strats?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Hope you enjoyed today’s “fun facts” issue.

If you’re new to SaaS Strats - check out some of the best previous issues here:

I’ll see you next Thursday with a new in-depth SaaS breakdown.

Until then, keep on SaaS’n.

Ognjen Gatalo

Chief SaaS Strategist ☁️ 

Subscribe to keep reading

This content is free, but you must be subscribed to SaaS Strats to continue reading.

Already a subscriber?Sign In.Not now