RYZ Labs, a startup studio and human capital agency based in Santa Monica, officially launched on August 17 to incubate new companies and to help existing ones scale fast and spend less.
Jordan Metzner and Sam Nadler, who founded the company last year, bring together their years of entrepreneurial experience. In 2006, their first venture was building California Burrito Co., a chain of restaurants that started in Argentina and expanded to six countries across Latin America. It still has locations in Latin America.
Later, the two built an on-demand laundry service, Washio, described as the “Uber for Laundry.”
Most recently, Metzner and Nadler spent five years as a senior manager of product management at Amazon.com Inc. and a regional director at Lyft, respectively, before deciding to return to their entrepreneurial roots.
RYZ’s team incubates ideas and builds minimum viable products before recruiting leadership and preparing revenue-generating businesses for outside investment. The company makes money by taking founder equity in the companies it helps create.
“We’re really focused on building out and creating new startups,” Metzner said. “And we’re still working on our next idea and hope to help not only develop more ideas over time but also help support these startups with the agency side of our business, so helping them with developers, designers, product managers, program managers and whatever they need to do to help sustain the ecosystem that we’re building.”
RYZ Labs has been working in stealth mode for the past year and has helped launch two startups – HipTrain, a marketplace for wellness coaching, and Offsiteio, a booking site for corporate offsites. According to RYZ Labs, both companies have grown considerably in less than one year, with HipTrain having facilitated more than 15,000 fitness training sessions and Offsiteio on track to surpass $1 million in revenue this year.
“Working with RYZ has been game-changing for HipTrain. Our partnership allowed us to launch quickly and develop our product in a cost-effective and timely way,” said Joshua Ford, chief executive of HipTrain.
Metzner said RYZ is a combination of his two passions: Latin America and business creation. Having lived and worked in Latin America for many years, he fell in love with the people there and said he believes in the region’s tech potential. The partners’ shared expertise in the region’s market, coupled with their early-stage startup knowledge, allows them to identify and engage with the best engineers in the region, he added.