RIZKNOWS is the quintessential entrepreneur success story. Jeff Rizzo founded the business in his parents’ garage after leaving a highly-sought-after job in finance. The entire concept of the business was focused on providing helpful, but engaging content—in other words, to put the viewer first. It took Rizzo several years to refine the business model. “There was no script. We were in the middle of a big shift in the way the entire internet functioned, and we didn’t even know it,” says Jeff Rizzo, Founder & CEO of RIZKNOWS. What Rizzo didn’t know was that video—their core competency—would consume 85% of all internet traffic by 2019.
In 2016, RIZKNOWS raised a seed round from Haney Business Ventures, an early-stage investment fund out of Rocklin, California. Since then, the company has seen tremendous growth. So much so, that RIZKNOWS needed to go on a major hiring spree and upgrade its facility. The company waited nearly a year to make significant investments until it could move and find a new corporate headquarters.
Between taxes, regulations and cost of living, RIZKNOWS was not long for California. The company explored moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Austin, Nashville, Las Vegas, but ultimately decided to relocate to Reno in May of 2018.
“Reno is the perfect amalgam of low taxes and a reasonable cost of living, not to mention the fact that it’s a metropolitan area with a burgeoning entrepreneurial community and a large university in which to recruit talent,” says Rizzo. In fact, the media program, in particular, at UNR was a major factor in getting RIZKNOWS to move to Reno over the other cities. Reno also has the added benefit of being closer to California where the company’s primary investor is located.
“The combination of those factors made our decision easy,” says Rizzo, “we have a highly scalable business, but needed a new home—we are thrilled to be in Reno.”
RIZKNOWS operates consumer review websites that collectively attract more than four million views per month. The company produces helpful, entertaining, and personable reviews of popular consumer products such as smart watches, fitness equipment, headphones, speakers, home goods, and more. So far, the company’s two brands (RIZKNOWS and The Slumber Yard) have helped over 70 million people with difficult purchase decisions.
In the past few months, RIZKNOWS has already hired six new full-time employees—several from UNR. The company is now located in a 6,000 sq. ft. facility in Startup Row off Washington Street in downtown Reno.
“The company is growing like a weed,” says Rizzo, “we are incredibly proud of the work that we’re doing and we look forward to becoming an increasingly larger part of the business community here in Reno.”