December 7, 2021
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Unusual

New Year, New Calendar: Introducing Arrange

Rachel Star
New Year, New Calendar: Introducing ArrangeNew Year, New Calendar: Introducing Arrange
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Editor's note: 

In modern times, being busy is often worn as a badge. Everyone is just SO busy. But as our commitments, to-dos, and zoom calls pile up, it can be overwhelming. Like many, my calendar is the first app I look at when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I check before going to sleep. Despite this, the calendar is still the last remaining piece of digital real estate untouched by advertising. 

Bridgette Farrer Muir and a screenshot of the Arrange beta


But this isn’t where the Arrange story starts. Staying true to Unusual’s people-first investment strategy, I initially connected with Bridgette Farrer Muir when Arrange was only a glimmer. Bridgette had just left Common, a successful co-living start-up, where she was an early employee. In our initial call, we got to know each other and shared our trials and tribulations with staying organized. She had an idea for a product that might help people like us manage it all. 


Over the next few months, I’d occasionally get product updates from Bridgette and provide feedback as she honed in on the initial concept for Arrange. As it turned out, I was the perfect target user - a young professional juggling meetings, to-dos, and personal commitments through my iPhone calendar. I also looped in Sarah Leary, whose experience building Nextdoor was highly relevant. 


As the initial vision for Arrange took shape, we were hooked. Bridgette described a “Pinterest for your calendar” that helped busy people manage their to-dos. In many ways, she said, the calendar was the last frontier of untouched digital real estate. In the initial alpha product, Bridgette put together calendar suggestions and reminders based on an initial interview with each user. In the calendar reminder, she included links that might be helpful to complete the task, like discount codes and product recommendations. Because the users had already indicated their intent to complete a task, the engagement with the reminders was very high. This was a critical insight. 


Most social companies, like Pinterest & Facebook, thrive on funneling user data into ad revenue. Despite their complex algorithms, Bridgette was much better at matching users with relevant links simply because she asked what they needed. 


Are you planning to send out holiday cards? Bam. Here is a link to Minted. 

Are you looking for an oil change? Great. Here is the closest Jiffy Lube. 


With that in mind, it’s no surprise that engagement was off the charts. 


But it goes deeper than that. Most retargeting platforms are built to continually funnel more content for topics based on your demographic profiles and browsing history. Without explicit feedback from a user, these systems don’t factor in when a task is complete or when circumstances have changed. Bridgette sent me an article from Wired, “I Called off My Wedding. The Internet Will Never Forget,” and I immediately understood. There was something here — one could call it a “spark” — and we decided to invest. 


For Bridgette, it was a no-brainer too. As she put it, “working with Rachel and the Unusual team was an easy decision. The firm’s commitment to supporting founders at the earliest stages -- and their collective experience building companies from 0-1 and beyond -- makes them the ideal partner for me and for Arrange.” 


While it’s still early days, Arrange just launched their beta in November and is an excellent example of what the Unusual Spark program is all about: backing talented pre-seed founders with unique insights into real problems. 


I’m so thrilled to be on this journey with Bridgette, the Arrange team, and our awesome co-investors at Flybridge and XFactor. Interested in joining us? Arrange is hiring! Check out open positions here


Cheers to a more manageable & better organized 2022!


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