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Nikos Kakavoulis

Daily Secret

Nikos Kakavoulis Nikos Kakavoulis
“I saw an opportunity to create the first major daily email newsletter outside the U.S.”
Year selected
Phaedra Chrousos

Company Snapshot

Want to know a secret? Around the world, trendsetters are turning to Athens-based Daily Secret, a daily email newsletter created to unlock the relationships between booming and underserved cities and the people who love them. Daily Secret cuts through the noise of lifestyle content in today’s media-saturated world to deliver members one unique, local discovery a day in an elegant, free email newsletter. In the global online display advertising industry, worth an estimated US$12 billion, Daily Secret is set to make its mark as the first major daily email newsletter outside the US. Founded in 2011 by serial entrepreneurs Nikos Kakavoulis and Phaedra Chrousos, Daily Secret targets a dream demographic—young, urban, affluent influencers—and has built a subscriber base of over 400,000 members across 15 cities and six languages in less than two years.

Serial entrepreneurs, Nikos and Phaedra are teaming up on their second venture together. They met in 2006 while pursuing their MBAs at Columbia Business School, and bonded over their shared Greek backgrounds. The pair first worked together in 2009 to launch HealthLeap, an online health startup that was acquired by Vitals.com in March 2010. Complementary skill sets make Nikos and Phaedra a formidable team. Nikos boasts a strong background in digital media strategy. As Head of Digital for Liberis, the publishing house responsible for Condé Nast’s magazines in Southeast Europe, he launched the local online editions of Vogue, Glamour, and Men’s Health after the sale of HealthLeap. Phaedra complements Nikos with considerable strategy and operational experience. Along with earning a BA in economics and sociology from Georgetown University in 2002 and an MSc from the London School of Economics in 2005, she has five years of experience at Boston Consulting Group and the World Bank.

Daily Secret began as a ‘good karma’ project in June 2010—Nikos started it not as a business but as a part-time gig to remind friends that recession-era Athens was still an amazing place to live. From a base of a few dozen friends, Athens Daily Secret grew to over 30,000 members in just three months. With this traction, Nikos enlisted Phaedra for her operational expertise and recruited former colleagues, designer Spiros Martzoukos and developer Savvas Georgiou, to round out the founding team. By January 2011, Daily Secret had launched its second edition in Istanbul and has launched in a new city each month since.

Daily Secret is introducing global audiences and advertisers to a popular US media format—the curated email newsletter. Every day, Daily Secret delivers one ultra-local tip in a short, visually stunning email. Secrets can be anything from a tucked-away restaurant to swing dance lessons in a local square. Key social and cultural trendsetters, known as Daily Secret “Insiders”, curate and promote local editions.

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