House of Pitch Transforms Cold Outreach with Tinder-like Approach

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

House of Pitch Transforms Cold Outreach with Tinder-like Approach
Image Courtesy of House of Pitch

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In 2022, during the 383-mile drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Marusya Glazkova and Ekaterina Romanovskaya, two PR consultants, were discussing the myriad inefficiencies with regard to cold outreach. Glazkova said on average, only 2% of pitches receive a reply. She added that some founders even resort to buying lists of email contacts to increase their chances of hearing back, but even then, the databases they retrieve the lists from are not updated.


With that in mind, a few days later, the two created a 12-page deck and mock-ups for a new platform that hopes to make it easier for founders and VCs to send and receive pitches.

House of Pitch (HoP) is a platform that’s making it easier for founders and VCs to send and receive pitches. The startup launched its application in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“The beauty of the idea was when we showed it to our friends and shared it with our community, people understood from just one glimpse,” Romanovskaya told dot.LA. “The pitch card is a very detailed idea of what you’re pitching and you instantly understand if you’re interested.”

Given the duo's background in press relations and strategic communications, they understood how frustrating it is for founders and entrepreneurs who send pitches via email and only hope to receive an answer, regardless if it’s a yes or a rejection. Oftentimes, Glazkova said founders don’t receive a response whatsoever.

“When pitching a document to the media and when we follow up after eight times only to receive ‘not interested,’ it’s a waste of time,” Glazkova said. “They should be able to do it with zero effort and be able to send you ‘not interested’ with a click of a button.”

Glazkova and Romanovskaya admitted that the inspiration behind the simplicity and design of the platform came from dating apps.

Once users create an account they begin by filling out a pitch card that includes the most important details about their company. After the pitch card is sent to a VC or journalist of their choice, the recipient decides whether or not they’d like to further connect with the founder. If they select ‘nope,’ then the pitch deck will disappear from their feed and the sender is notified. But if the recipient of the pitch selects ‘connect’, then they can chat further.

Ajani Windsor-Areago, a Venture Partner at Los Angeles-based venture capital firm Expert Dojo was the first VC to sign up on the HoP platform. On average, Windsor-Areago said his inbox is flooded with 50 pitches a day, many of which, are overlooked because he doesn’t have the time to get through them.

“But thank God someone thought about this,” Windsor-Areago said. “Since I signed up on the platform, I get a list of 10 to 15 pitches a day. It's amazing. It just streamlines my work and it makes it easier, and I wish more VCs would sign up.”

At Expert Dojo, Windsor-Areago said the firm’s concentration of investments are with women, Black founders and emerging markets like countries in Africa, Nigeria, Ghana Kenya and Uganda.

“A lot of people think in order for them to raise money or penetrate this market, they need to build something very complex,” he said. “I think a lot of founders, anytime they are building something, try to be complex. House of Pitch is simple and sometimes simplicity is the key to unlocking new doors.”

Though sending a pitch through the platform is currently free, Romanovskaya said, they have plans to start charging its users for each pitch sent and are also planning to implement a subscription model in the future. Currently, the platform has over 2,000 active users that include journalists from Forbes, VentureBeat, Bloomberg, The Information and many more.

Another one of HoP’s earliest adopters includes FooDoo founder Kirill Sizyumov who joined the platform because he saw firsthand the difficulty of speaking to investors about his company. As previously reported by dot.LA, FooDoo is a Los Angeles-based startup that is looking to reduce waste in the Grab & Go market with the use of its hardware kit technology that is installed in vending refrigerators.

While Sizyumov was skeptical to test out the platform, he was ecstatic when he received a response from an investor. Even if it was a rejection.

“During the two or three days I've sent pitches to almost everybody who I felt was suitable for us,” Sizyumov said. “In the first hour of sending out a pitch, I got my short answer. It was a rejection and I’m not afraid of sharing this, but it was good because I got some feedback.”

Still, Sizyumov believes improvements will help make the platform better for all founders.

“I’m looking for fundraising and I believe that based on their platform, it's good assistance right now, but it doesn’t help me send out more pitches,” Sizyumov added. “I think in the near future it will be better once they have a lot more startups, journalists and more people from venture funds and analysts on the platform.”

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Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

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Photo taken by Decerry Donato

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