Momentum

east_bay, sf, silicon_valley
< 10 Employees
< 10 Engineers
$2M - $5M Funding
Pre-Series A

We build SaaS donation pages that help nonprofits get a higher volume of subscription giving, by tying donations to events in your life. For example, every time you buy gas you can give to carbon offsets, or every time there's a police shooting you can donate to BLM. We recently turned Trump tweets into $5m to stop his election.

Momentum photo 1 Momentum photo 2
Active Roles

Why join us?

  • We raised a $3m seed round from angel investors and VCs such as:

    • Mark Cuban
    • Eric Ries
    • Elizabeth Yin
    • Jaan Tallinn (founder of Skype)
    • Tim Kendall (president of Pinterest)
    • Michael Vaughan (COO of Venmo)
    • Mark Pincus (founder of Zinga)
    • OnDeck runway fund
    • Betaworks Ventures
    • Contrary Capital
    • Shrug Capital
    • Adjacent
  • We make $50k a month in MRR by moving $500k a month in donations

  • Our work has been promoted by people like John Legend, Olivia Wilde, Peter Singer, Alicia Garza, Mark Ruffalo, Ron Conway, and MLK III, and has been covered in NYT, BBC, MSNBC, NPR, and Quartz.

  • We've launched campaigns with organizations like Sierra Club and Defeat by Tweet and have raised over $10m from 40,000 donors supporting amazing nonprofits working on everything from civil rights and voter suppression to global health and climate change.


Engineering at Momentum

Engineering team and processes

We just went through a roadmap planning process, which involved product, growth, and engineering all working together to suggest and prioritize the most important product features for engineering to build over the next few months. At the end of each week the engineering team meets with our co-founder and head of product, Ari, to decide what our goals for the next week will be - this is generally a mix of important features from the roadmap, and technical and infrastructure improvements the engineering team suggests. Our goal is to have enough of a planning process to make sure we have an overall direction, but not a rigid one that’s too difficult to deviate from as situations change.

On a technical level, we use Merge Requests on GitLab to do code review, and have a continuous integration system that allows us to push new changes to production several times a day.

We’re still in the early days of building out our engineering team, so our structure and processes are bound to change as we grow from two engineers to six and beyond.

Technical Challenges

One class of challenges we have has to do with scale, along a few different dimensions.

For example, Momentum is in part a “micro donations” platform, allowing people to donate small amounts of money when certain triggers happen. This means we actually have to deal with a quite large amount of data even at a relatively small scale - hundreds of millions of individual donations at this point. We’ve been working on a lot of changes to our data storage and analysis infrastructure to make sure it can scale well to handle current data and future growth.

Another example of scale is that we’re onboarding more and more partner charities, which means this process needs to be fast and reliable, and not involve a lot of manual work for each new charity. So, there’s an interesting technical challenge to design reusable frontend infrastructure that can be used for many different charity sites.

Projects you might work on
  • Our backend engineer, Torin, is currently working on migrating to a new system for storing and analyzing donation logs - these are the records we keep of every individual pledge and donation happening on the platform. Currently they’re stored in our main Postgres database, but they account for over 95% of the data in the system, and querying the donation logs to compute analytics and statistics (like how much money has been donated to each charity) is slow and can even cause outages by overloading the DB. He’s working on migrating to storing donation logs in Bigtable, a NoSQL database on Google cloud, and using Bigquery for data analytics. This has involved designing a schema for Bigtable, writing new Javascript and Python server-side code to store and load logs in the new system, and figuring out how to migrate our existing data from Postgres into Bigtable.

  • The whole team is also working on a gradual migration of our API server from NodeJS to Django. Before settling on doing this migration, we actually spent a week implementing prototypes in several different languages and frameworks to see which would be the best fit for our server. Now, our plan is to gradually move functionality over to the new server as we work on our feature roadmap, with the goal being to decommission the NodeJS server entirely in the next few months. This has also been a good opportunity to set up good engineering practices on the new server, like having good unit test coverage, automated continuous integration, and more.

Tech stack
React
Node.js
Express.js
Python
Django
postr
Aw

Working at Momentum

We're trying to create a culture where we move quickly, everyone feels empowered to do their job, and everyone is passionate about what we're doing. You should be excited to come to work each morning and should work in an environment that makes that easy. To that end, we have a set of core values to foster this culture:

Impact: We're not here to make fidget spinners, we're here to make a difference. That permeates everything we do, giving it a sense of purpose. At Momentum you can wake up proud each morning knowing that you are saving lives every day.

Ownership: We don't like hierarchy, so don't do something just because you were told to. We try to understand the why behind a task, which lets you find creative solutions and empowers you to take risks.

Collaboration: We also don't want isolated autonomy. We think of ourselves like a sports team, working towards a shared goal, leaning on each of our strengths to get there together.

Idea meritocracy: No matter how an idea comes to the table or who it comes from, we give it equal weight in consideration. And we believe in testing our ideas to learn the right answer! It’s okay to be wrong and it’s okay to make mistakes.

Honesty: we value transparency and being straightforward, whether in brainstorming ideas, speaking up, or giving feedback. We deeply value a growth mindset and try to use that to facilitate greater honesty.

Psychological safety: To truly feel comfortable speaking up and being honest requires a high level of trust. You should feel comfortable bringing your entire self to work and feel safe expressing who you are and what you think.

Extraordinary results: together these values create an environment where we can work productively and passionately. We each put in an incredible effort to succeed and expect ourselves to achieve extraordinary things.

Diversity and Inclusion

We're actively focused on recruiting candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds. We're painfully aware of how insular the bay area tech community can be and how many of the candidates within this network come from a small range of backgrounds. As a result, we try to avoid placing too heavy of an emphasis on the inbound applications we receive, and instead try to be proactive about reaching out to and getting involved with a wide range of communities focused on POC, women, LBTQ+, and more.

We know that some candidates are less likely to apply if there are unnecessarily strict criteria in the job description, so we are careful to avoid unintentional filtering of this nature. We also work hard to create an inclusive culture at Momentum so that every employee feels welcome.

We care deeply about everyone bringing their full self to work, whoever that might be. Since we build software to serve a wide range of diverse populations and communities, we want our team to reflect that same diversity. One of our core values is Psychological Safety - the idea that everyone should feel comfortable and safe expressing who they are and honestly saying what they think. We also care a lot about creating a close-knit team, and spend a lot of energy working to foster those close relationships.

Connect with our team during your hiring process

As part of our commitment to an inclusive workplace, we are happy to offer prospective engineers the chance to connect with our engineering employees who come from underrepresented backgrounds. It’s a way to get a better sense of our team and what it might be like to work with us.

If you’re interested in connecting with our team, be sure to bring this up during one of our introductory calls!

Perks & benefits
  • Generous Vacation

    We have 15 days of vacation (research shows that, in practice, offering unlimited vacation days actually results in employees taking no vacation days)

  • Pet Friendly
  • Workshops/Conferences
  • Flexible Hours

    We have some shared hours when everyone is working to facilitate coordination and collaboration, but we otherwise encourage people to work whenever they feel most comfortable. Some people start at 7am, others start at noon! We're focused on helping you be happy and productive and providing you with the environment you need to make that possible.

  • Maternal/Paternal Leave
  • Health Insurance
  • 401(k) Contribution
  • Team Activities
  • Dedicated Human Resources team
  • Prioritizes diversity in hiring

    Momentum is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against candidates on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status, or veteran status.

  • Serves underrepresented populations

    Most of our work is working with nonprofits that serve underrepresented communities. We care about doing our part to help those who need it most, and often times that means people who don't have access to resources or have faced extreme adversity. We hope that by serving these populations we can help uplift people and create a more equitable world.


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