Over $750K of Founder Freebies and Deals Discovered!

BUT which are deals and which are duds?

I recently discovered two sites that offers freebies, deals and discounts to founders and startups. FS6.com and FoundersKit.co

FS6.com is a UK based portal for founders and startups where founders can apply to accelerators, pitch investment funds, post/apply for jobs, and offer their products to the community as free or discounted deals.

There are almost 500K startups, 100K jobs and close to ~450 free deals listed, ranging from advertising to design, CRM, social media marketing, web analytics etc.

F6S.com claims to have delivered over $613M of free benefits to members in total, with $750K of freebies available to each member.   Signing up was easy and I did not have to prove that I was a startup or a founder.  After “claiming” the profile for Digital Discovery, I was officially a F6S member.

F6S Deals

Notable Deals that you should explore:

  • Expensify free for 2016
  • Social CRM from Nimble free for 2 months (14 days free trial extended to 60 days for Business PRO plan)
  • Salesforce for Startups
  • Segment free for 3 months ($99/month for startup tier, 14 days free trial)
  • Octopost free for 2 months
  • Infogram PRO free for 3 months
  • Olark free for 4 months
  • Livechat free for 2 months  (See below for a better deal)

Deals can be searched by category,  popularity, date of addition  and “value of savings”, though the last metric should be taken with a pinch of salt as the value of these deals can be grossly overstated ranging from less than $100 to $30,000.

What I like best about F6S’s deals is that below each deal, other members who have claimed the deal can add their reviews or complaints and it quickly becomes apparent which are real deals and which are just delusional.

You can see the full list here.

Deal or Dud?

For example, I was extremely excited when I saw Expensify free for 2016 on the deals list as I have been using Expensify for more than 2 years now (their smart scan allows you to take a photo of your receipt with your mobile, and Expensify will categorize the expense as reimbursable, tax-deductible, billable based on merchant name / expense category.  Expense Reports are a breeze to prepare and Expensify integrates with Xero, Freshbooks, Quickbooks, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics and many more.)

I always judge a product by the quality of its customers and Expensify is no exception: it’s customer list includes Github, Uber, Pinterest, Evernote, Kayak, Square, Everbrite and of course, me ?.

This deal is not exclusive to F6S and any member of the public can benefit if they sign-up before 31 May by visiting this link (the deal is to celebrate the opening of Expensify’s UK office).   A Personal plan costs $5 / month and Corporate one $9 per team member.  So for Expensify to be worth $5,000, you must have 46 team members on the Corporate plan.  See what I mean by grossly overstated? Unfortunately for me, deals are only offered to new customers so I do not qualify for the Expensify deal. However I am a big fan so if you’re not already using it, you should definitely check it out by clicking on this link. After all, it’s free.

F6s Deals examples

Another example of overstated deal value is Sniply – 90% of 2 months at the most expensive pricing tier ($149/month) is  $268.20. How one gets to $3,600 of value is beyond my simple calculation skills. 

Having said that, there is very little not to like about F6S.  It is free to join, and for most part, the deals bring legitimate benefits even if value is overstated.  With over 400+ deals to explore, I’m confident that you will find at least one or two deals that your startup can benefit from.  Just remember that you have to be a new customer / new account and you have to sign up from the F6S website to benefit from the deal.

2. FoundersKit ($59 to join)

FoundersKit is another site offering “the best resources and tools to help founders launch and build startups”.

I discovered FoundersKit on Product Hunt on 22 March 2016 as it was the most upvoted founders / startup bundle with great reviews.  At that time, the FoundersKit bundle consists of 63 deals (valued at $6,103) and membership cost $59 (Product Hunters could get it for $39 with Product Hunt’s promo code).

Founders Kit on Product Hunt

On their site, they state that they are not a deals aggregator and that each one is exclusive and personally negotiated. Membership includes any deals they add for the next 12 months.  This is indeed true, as about 10 days ago, they announced an additional 38 deals, bringing the total “value” of FoundersKit deals to over $12.2K.

FoundersKit Deals

However, the claim that each deal is personally negotiated is questionable, especially when the exact same deal is offered by F6S (which does not have a membership fee).

Similar / Identical Deals offered by F6S

  • Segment – Founderskit offers 2 months free, F6S offers 3 months free
  • Olark – both offer 4 months free
  • Crazyegg – both offer 3 months free

Note: This is meant to be illustrative and is not a comprehensive list of duplicate deals.

Deals not exclusive to FoundersKit

Another example of a non-exclusive deal is the “12 months free Zendesk subscription”.  On the surface, that looks like a no-brainer, but dig deeper and you’ll see that the deal requires your startup to be funded by one of Zendesk’s 200 approved accelerator or incubators , have less than $1M in funding and  are new Zendesk customers.  Not exclusive to FoundersKit, more like free-riding on Zendesk’s Founders’ offer.

However, there are still many deals that make FoundersKit worth paying for

  • Rescuetime Premium Membership – 30% discount for life.  (Instead of paying $108 ($9/month) or $72 (30% off for annual plan), Founders Kit ?members pay $50.40 / year or $4.20/month. This represents $57.60 of marginal value, almost enough to justify the $59 marginal cost.
  • Weebly – 12 months off PRO subscription (at $12/month, this is worth $144)
  • Moo – 20% off printing – I’m a big fan of Moo and this deal applies to new as well as existing customers
  • 99designs – $20 off
  • Tuts+ 3 Months Subscription Free  (at $15/month, this is worth $45)
  • Keen.io – 6 months free web analytics for their Startup plan  (worth $120).
  • Quuu  – 3 months free (at $10/month, this is worth $30)
  • ContentMarketer.io for life (25% off $9, $17 and $49/month plans)
  • Freshbooks – 10% off  for life

If any one of these deals are ones that you would benefit from and value adds up to more than $59, then I would go for it and sign up for FoundersKit membership as you may find more deals that I have not profiled, or added over the next 12 months.

If I were one of the founders of FoundersKit, I would remove all the deals that were not exclusive – it might make the total deal amount look smaller, but it would inspire more confidence in the “value” generated by FoundersKit.  Alternatively, throw in all the deals that F6S offers and inflate the value up – if you want to go down that path, might as well capture all the “value”.

But I am not, so all I can do is advise my readers to go ahead and sign up for both as there are loads of great deals and freebies on offer, but to be aware of the true value of what both sites offer.

Which ones were your favourite deals? Would love to hear your thoughts on how each site represents “value”? Leave your comments below!

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