Eager to throw its product development into high gear, Postmates snagged the team from Hey, Inc. to boost its engineering bandwidth. Hey is best known for its ludicrously viral game Stolen, which was shut down and later reborn as Famous.
“The Hey team was introduced to us by Nabeel, who’s an investor in Postmates,” says Sean Plaice, CTO and co-founder at Postmates. “He brought to our attention that the Hey team might be looking for a new home.”
Hey was founded and headed up by Siqi Chen. He tells me that the company has been struggling over the past four years, trying — and never quite succeeding — to find a product/market fit. At Postmates, Chen takes the mantle as Senior Director of Product.
Neither company is eager to discuss the exact terms of the deal.
Loading up on engineering firepower
“The main thing we add to the mix is engineering firepower,” Chen says, especially highlighting his skills as a growth-stage engineer. “I was the head of product management at Zynga China for a couple of years. Postmates is just starting to scale aggressively and it feels as if the timing is perfect for us to join.”
The process went at breakneck speed, with just about a month passing from the start of the conversation until the team had a new home under Postmates’ roof.
“We started talking with Postmates late June,” laughs Chen, so it all happened very quickly.”
“We already had a great team, but we wanted someone who can raise the bar and take our growth and product to the next level,” said Plaice. “Siqi and the team he brings with him make this decision a no-brainer.”
Famous looking for a new home
The Hey team are taking on their new roles effective immediately. Postmates, continuing its focus on delivery services rather than branching out into gaming, decided to not take on any of the IP.
“We will continue to operate Famous, but we’re looking for a good home for it as we speak,” says Chen, eager to not let the company’s creation die an untimely death. “We are talking to a number of interested parties.”
Postmates today operates in 40 U.S. markets and has a fleet of over 25,000 Postmates delivery staff making deliveries on the platform. The company launched an unlimited deliveries subscription plan at the end of March.