They raised millions for their startups... but how?

How do entrepreneurs convince people to give them money? We profile founders who've gone through the fundraising gauntlet in order to get their venture off the ground.

HOSTED BY JASON YEH

They raised millions for their startups... but how?

How do entrepreneurs convince people to give them money? We profile founders who've gone through the fundraising gauntlet in order to get their venture off the ground.

New episodes every week

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The Backchannel
July 18, 2024
12
mins

TBC: 5 Controversial Fundraising Ideas

In this episode of The Back Channel, we dive into five thought-provoking strategies to elevate your fundraising game while challenging existing advice.

In this episode of The Back Channel, we dive into five thought-provoking strategies to elevate your fundraising game while challenging existing advice.

We explore concepts like pitch deck templates, riskiness of your idea, seeking rejection, tiering investors, and fundraising preparation.

Join us as we challenge norms and empower you to refine your fundraising tactics effectively.

Funded
July 16, 2024
57
mins

How Brian Raymond Raised $65 Million in Funding for Unstructured IO (Brian Raymond / Unstructured IO)

A lot of entrepreneurs take risks when they're young and have nothing to lose. For others, it's a different story. Maybe they found their dream job, started a family, bought a house, and then something happens that completely throws them off course. Today's guest was one of those people. After an unexpected situation, he decided to take a chance and start a company he saw an opportunity for back at his previous job in AI. It ended up being a good chance to take. Today we're speaking with Brian Raymond, first time founder and CEO of Unstructured IO, a company that's connecting enterprise data to LLMs. And we have to say... his story is wild. In 2 years, Brian's managed to raise $65 million dollars in venture capital across three rounds. The most recent of those being a $40M Series B led by Menlo Ventures. Brians journey into entrepreneurship was unique, but also one I think a lot of you listening will be able to relate to.
Brian Raymond
Catch+Release
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
July 11, 2024
8
mins

TBC: Why Smart People Struggle With Fundraising

In this episode of The Backchannel, the focus is on why intelligent individuals often struggle with pitching to investors.

In this episode of The Backchannel, the focus is on why intelligent individuals often struggle with pitching to investors.

The discussion includes the common pitfalls such as overemphasizing data, battling imposter syndrome, and the tendency to overcomplicate pitches to prove intelligence.

The importance of simplicity, emotional connection, and embracing rejection as part of the fundraising process is  also highlighted.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights and strategies for intelligent founders to improve their pitching skills.

The Backchannel
July 4, 2024
15
mins

TBC: Answering Founders Questions About Pitch Decks

In this episode of The Backchannel, Jason answers 5 questions submitted by founders about pitch decks and pitching strategies.

In this episode of The Backchannel, Jason answers 5 questions submitted by founders about pitch decks and pitching strategies.

During the episode, he highlights the importance of simplicity and clarity in both deck design and delivery.

Jason also discusses balancing design and content, conveying a compelling vision, and avoiding information overload.

On top of that he also touches on effective communication in short pitches and the strategic use of competition slides.

Make sure to listen to hear his full answers!

Funded
July 2, 2024
57
mins

How Analisa Goodin Raised Over $31 Million in Funding for Catch+Release (Analisa Goodin / Catch+Release)

When all you've ever known is running a bootstrapped startup... the world of venture capital can feel pretty intimidating. Bootstrapping a company is an extreme sport, and so is going down the path of venture capital - but each path is completely different from one another. You might have been able to build an amazing company that you believe can be huge (with the help of venture dollars), but without understanding how the game of venture capital actually works - you're at a huge disadvantage. Today's guest Analisa Goodin, founder and CEO of Catch+Release knew this and decided to be proactive about it. Way before she went out to raise her first of three successful rounds, she became a relentless networker which over time, led her to conversations with VCs getting her to learn the space. Clearly, something clicked because Catch+Release has now raised over $31M in venture capital. Listen to the full episode to hear more details on her most recent rounds as well as advice she has for up-and-coming founders looking to raise capital.
Analisa Goodin
Catch+Release
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
June 27, 2024
9
mins

TBC: Understanding VC Signals

VC signals can be tricky. A lot of them are deeply intertwined with social dynamics and can change investor interest in a matter of seconds.

VC signals can be tricky. A lot of them are deeply intertwined with social dynamics and can change investor interest in a matter of seconds.

In this episode, Jason shares a recent example of how fast negative signaling can impact a deal.

Listen to the full episode to learn about different types of VC signals and how you can use them to help you raise your round!

The Backchannel
June 20, 2024
9
mins

TBC: Answering Your Questions About Getting Passed On

Welcome back to The Backchannel! In this episode, we're trying out a new format where we dive into your burning questions about how founders should navigate investor passes.

Welcome back to The Backchannel! In this episode, we're trying out a new format where we dive into your burning questions about how founders should navigate investor passes. Join Jason as he addresses the following questions:

- Should you send a follow-up email after a pass? How soon is too soon to follow up after an informal meeting?
- Is it appropriate to ask for feedback on why an investor passed?
- How soon do I follow up with an investor who seemed interested?

If you enjoy this format, let us know what other topics you'd like us to cover!

Funded
June 18, 2024
68
mins

The Story Behind Incognia's Pivot & How it Led Them to Raise $45.6M

When life throws you tough times, you only have two options: to give up or find a solution. Today's guest felt slightly differently when they ran into some truly unexpected situations... they decided there was actually only one option: find a solution and move forward. Our guest for this episode is André Ferraz, co-founder and CEO of Incognia, a fast growing leader in the online fraud prevention space. Over the past decade, Incognia has had its fair share of ups, downs and even pivots - ultimately leading them to find the PMF that landed them $45M in venture funding in under 3 years. André's story is wild and super inspiring, and we can't wait for you guys to hear it!
André Ferraz
Incognia
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
June 13, 2024
9
mins

TBC: Why Monthly Investor Newsletters Might Be a Bad Idea for Founders

In this episode of The Backchannel, Jason pushes back at the common practice of founders sending out monthly investor newsletter updates.

In this episode of The Backchannel, we delve into the commonly held belief that founders should send monthly investor newsletters. We revisit the idea from a previous episode focused on personal newsletters for VCs and discuss why monthly updates might not be the most effective way to maintain investor interest. Learn alternatives for more strategic and impactful investor communication techniques. Ideal for startup founders looking to optimize their fundraising strategies.

The Backchannel
June 6, 2024
9
mins

TBC: Is Silicon Valley Still the Place to Be for Startups?

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host Jason dives into an article from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, which talks about Silicon Valley's current state, investment trends, and workforce changes.

Welcome back to the Back Channel! Today, we're mixing things up. My producer Paige read an article from the Bay Area Council Economic Institute and wanted my take. They claim tech workers are flocking back to SF, with major companies still headquartered there, and a big chunk of AI investment dollars staying local. Although there's truth to that, I think the pandemic has opened doors for other cities. San Francisco is still important due to it's history and other specific reasons, but there are other places on the rise. Listen to the full episode to hear my take on the article!

Funded
June 4, 2024
56
mins

The Story Behind Lex's $5.6M Seed Round (Jennifer Lewis / Lex)

In this episode, we dive into the unpredictable world of startups, where the only constant is change. Joining us is Jennifer Lewis, co-founder and CEO of Lex, a pioneering social app for the LGBTQ community. Jennifer shares her rollercoaster journey through the venture-backed startup landscape, a path filled with highs and lows, trials, and significant growth. Despite the notion that startups should be smooth sailing, Jennifer's experience tells a different story—one of persistence and resilience. She recounts the daunting challenges she faced while raising capital, which paradoxically energized her and her team to secure a substantial $5.6 million seed round. This episode reveals how coming close to failure can unveil a newfound strength and determination. We also take a personal look at Jennifer's background, tracing her unlikely path from her early years to becoming a leader in tech innovation. Her story is a testament to the unexpected turns life can take and the transformative power of embracing them. Tune in to gain insights into the gritty realities of startup life and the pivotal moments that can define a company's success.
Jennifer Lewis
Lex
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
May 30, 2024
6
mins

TBC: How Much Should I Raise?

In this episode of The Backchannel, we explore everything you should consider when figuring out how much you need to raise. Jason delves into the common questions founders face regarding fundraising amounts, the importance of being goal-oriented, and the two key goals for raising funds.

In this episode of The Backchannel, we explore everything you should consider when figuring out how much you need to raise.

Jason delves into the common questions founders face regarding fundraising amounts, the importance of being goal-oriented, and the two key goals for raising funds.

Jason also stresses the importance of calculating the necessary funds to hit these milestones, rather than opting for smaller, seemingly easier amounts that could lead to a "bridge to nowhere."

Drawing from his mentor, Alan Patricof, the host underscores that investors seek meaningful progress, not just minimal survival.

The episode provides a clear framework to help founders determine how much they need to raise for their companies.

The Backchannel
May 23, 2024
8
mins

TBC: How I Work - For Easily Distracted Founders

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host launches a new series called "How I Work," exploring strategies for productivity.

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host launches a new series called "How I Work," exploring strategies for productivity.

Jason delves into the challenges faced by founders, such as digital distractions, and shares his personal approach to combatting them.

By disconnecting from the internet during certain periods and utilizing a digital notepad like the remarkable device, he emphasizes the importance of carving out distraction-free time to boost productivity.

Join him as he shares insights and invites feedback on navigating the demands of entrepreneurship.


--

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Funded
May 21, 2024
66
mins

The Journey of Ian Swanson Starting 3 Venture-Backed Successes (Ian Swanson / Protect AI)

What makes someone a successful founder? Is it how much revenue they're able to generate? How well they lead their company and their employees? How many investors they're able to land? Those all play a role ... but the real answer is probably more nuanced and certainly harder to pinpoint. When we look at any successful founder throughout history, it's natural to wonder how they got there. To wonder what made them different from the thousands of others who tried to walk the same path and failed. Today I get to talk to Ian Swanson, 3x venture-backed founder and current CEO of Protect AI. Ian has raised over $82M in venture capital throughout his career with two successful exits . In today's interview, we touch on all three of Ian's companies, sharing the ups, the downs, and the in-betweens of running a venture-backed company. Tune in to uncover the untold stories behind Ian's path to success and discover what sets him apart in the world of entrepreneurship.
Ian Swanson
Protect AI
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
May 16, 2024
4
mins

TBC: Why Every Founder Needs Third-Party Feedback

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host emphasizes the critical role of third-party feedback in the fundraising process for entrepreneurs.

In this episode of The Backchannel, the host emphasizes the critical role of third-party feedback in the fundraising process for entrepreneurs.

Reflecting on a recent interaction with a founder, the host describes how an initially chaotic business pitch was clarified and refined through his outsider's perspective.

This episode underscores the unique advantage of third-party insights, which strip away emotional biases and unnecessary details to highlight the core message that resonates.

The takeaway is clear: seeking external opinions on fundraising materials isn't just helpful; it's essential for success.


--

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The Backchannel
May 9, 2024
9
mins

TBC: Pro Tip for VC's - The Personal Newsletter

In this episode, the host shares the power of personal newsletters for VC's, shedding light on investor psychology and fundraising strategies.

In this episode, the host shares the power of personal newsletters for VC's, shedding light on investor psychology and fundraising strategies.

Drawing from anecdotes from his personal life and interactions with VC's, he highlights the importance of staying top of mind in the competitive landscape of deal flow.

By sharing stories of missed opportunities and the dynamics of VC interactions, he underscores the significance of personal branding through newsletters.

Ultimately, the episode offers a pro tip for VC's to leverage personal newsletters as a means to enhance deal flow and foster lasting connections while simultaneously teaching founders about investor psychology.

Funded
May 7, 2024
54
mins

How Nancy Xu Raised $10M for Moonhub (Nancy Xu / Moonhub)

Join us on a journey through the winding roads of entrepreneurship with our guest, Nancy Xu, the Founder & CEO of Moonhub. From her early days training for the U.S. math and physics team to her academic journey at Stanford and her stint as a software engineer at Facebook, Nancy seemed destined for academia. However, her passion for impactful ideas steered her towards entrepreneurship, leading her to start Moonhub, the pioneering AI-powered recruiter. With over $10 million raised in just two years, we explore how Nancy's background in AI research and building crucial relationships laid the foundation for Moonhub's success. Join us as we unravel the fascinating story of Nancy Xu raising millions from big named venture capitalists like Google Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

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Nancy Xu
Moonhub
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
May 2, 2024
5
mins

TBC: How & Why to Get a Technical Co-founder

In this episode, our host covers the importance of having a technical co-founder for non-technical founders and how to go about finding one.

In this episode, our host covers the importance of having a technical co-founder for non-technical founders and how to go about finding one.

Venture capitalists seek teams with diverse skill sets, understanding that successful companies require both technical and non-technical expertise.

For non-technical founders, making progress and creating value without a technical product is key to attracting top talent.

By understanding the "why" and "how" of finding a technical co-founder, you'll be better equipped to build a strong co-founding team and drive towards success.

Join us as we explore the steps ahead in this journey!

The Backchannel
April 25, 2024
4
mins

TBC: Addressing Competition With Investors

In this episode of the Back Channel, we explore the importance of addressing competition during investor meetings.

In this episode of the Back Channel, we explore the importance of addressing competition during investor meetings.

Drawing on an analogy from the hosts undergrad economics class, he emphasizes the significance of positioning oneself confidently alongside competitors and calmly articulating one's unique value proposition.

Rather than avoiding the conversation, address the competition with calm confidence, focusing on your strengths and differentiation.

It's all about owning your narrative and demonstrating why your direction is superior.

Funded
April 23, 2024
65
mins

The Story Behind SGNL Raising $22M in 2 Years (Scott Kriz / SGNL)

There's a quote from Abraham Lincoln that always really speaks to me: "Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first 4 sharpening my axe." It's become a mantra of sorts for me, especially when it comes to fundraising. I share it with all of the founders I work with because it encapsulates a fundamental truth: the preparation before the task is key. In my experience, the ease of a fundraising journey is directly proportional to the groundwork laid beforehand. Those lightning-fast fundraises? They're not just luck; they're the culmination of years, even decades, of relationship-building and experience. Take today's guest, Scott Kriz. As the co-founder and CEO of SGNL, he raised over $22M in less than 2 years, drawing on a decade of industry know-how. But this success wasn't overnight. Scott had already navigated the fundraising landscape with his previous venture, Bitium, where he secured $15M in VC funding before its acquisition by Google in 2017. Scott's journey underscores the importance of early struggles in paving the way for future triumphs. This episode is filled with knowledge, so make sure to listen till the very end!

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Scott Kriz
SGNL
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
April 18, 2024
6
mins

TBC: Understanding VC Firms to Send the Right Signals

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

In this episode of The Backchannel, host Jason Yeh delves into the world of junior VCs and their path to becoming venture capitalists.

Drawing from his own experience at Greycroft and the hiring processes, he emphasizes the significance of technical backgrounds, industry connections, and experience in fields like consulting or banking.

Venture capital firms prioritize hiring from networks with access to potential deals and founders, highlighting the importance of networking in this industry.

Ultimately, understanding these hiring practices provides valuable insights for aspiring venture capitalists.

The Backchannel
April 11, 2024
8
mins

TBC: Dilution 101 For Founders

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>
Funded
April 9, 2024
58
mins

The Story Behind Purple Metrics Closing Their $1.2M Pre-Seed Round (Guta Tolmasquim / Purple Metrics)

Bootstrapping and raising venture capital are two different beasts. Bootstrapping gives you control, but growth is slower. Venture capital speeds things up, but you have to give up some control. There is, however, one thing they both have in common: each requires a leap of faith. Today's guest is pretty unique. She's someone who's gotten to experience building both types of companies - one bootstrapped, one venture backed. That guest is Guta Tolmasquim, founder and CEO of Purple Metrics, which recently closed their first institutional round of capital, a $1.2M pre-seed led by Astella, one of the top venture firms in Brazil! But before Purple Metrics, Guta founded Brand Gym, a company she bootstrapped and built all by herself. As you can imagine, the transition to building a venture backed company was... interesting In this episode, we get to learn about how Guta ended up closing her $1.2M pre-seed round and just how powerful building your network really is.

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Guta Tolmasquim
Purple Metrics
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
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  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

Funded
March 26, 2024
65
mins

The Story Behind Atlys Raising $16.3M in Venture Capital (Mohak Nahta - Atlys)

Most of us have heard the saying "good things don't come easy", and I'd be willing to argue that the majority of people agree with that statement on some level. But sometimes, good things do come easy and THEN they get harder. And it's in those pivotal moments where you really get to see what you're capable of. That was the case for today's guest Mohak Nahta - founder and CEO of Atlys - a company he started as a side project to solve his own problem of getting his visa on time when traveling. In today's episode, we get to hear the story behind not only Mohaks most recent $12M Series A but also his experience raising his $4M Seed round. Grab your notebook, because this guest is dropping all the fundraising knowledge!

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Mohak Nahta
Atlys
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

Funded
March 12, 2024
50
mins

Betting on Yourself: The Journey to Closing a $7.6M Seed Round (Stacy Edgar / Venteur)

There is one thing that almost every single entrepreneur has in common - the drive to change the world in some way, shape, or form. For today's guest, she spent years of her career working for organizations like Doctors Without Borders and the United Nations, living overseas and funding entrepreneurs who were trying to make a difference in their communities. Stacy Edgar is the co-founder and CEO of Venteur, a company revolutionizing the healthcare space. To date, Ventuer has raised a total of $7.72M in venture funding. $120k of that being a pre-seed round from Techstars, the other $7.6M coming from the seed round they closed in August of 2023 led by GSR Ventures. In this episode Stacy shares some of her stories from raising her seed round as well as her success with open enrollment and the hard decisions they had to (and continue to have to) make while raising and scaling the business. Make sure to listen to the full episode!

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Stacy Edgar
Venteur
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsors
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  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

Funded
February 27, 2024
60
mins

Builder Turned Fundraiser: Raising $63M for Tractian (Igor Marinelli / Tractian)

While most kids were occupied with typical childhood activities, today's guest was already knee-deep in the world of technology. From coding PHP to deconstructing old computers with his pops, his early passion for innovation set the stage for an extraordinary entrepreneurial journey. Fast forward to the present, Igor Marinelli stands as the visionary co-founder of Tractian, a cutting-edge machine intelligence company that has gained significant attention in the startup ecosystem. With an impressive $63 million in funding raised within just four years, including a substantial $45 million Series B led by renowned investor General Catalyst, Igor's achievements are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Join us as we delve into Igor's insightful narrative, exploring the pivotal moments that shaped his entrepreneurial trajectory and propelled Tractian to success.

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Igor Marinelli
Tractian
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
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  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

Funded
February 13, 2024
55
mins

Trailblazing the VC Industry (Joanna Strober / Midi Health)

In the last two decades, the startup industry has seen remarkable transformations, from the emergence of angel investors and venture capital firms to the rise of SaaS, cryptocurrencies, and the global diversification of the field. But what's even more exciting is the increasing presence of female founders, who, despite facing challenges, are making significant strides in entrepreneurship. Today, we're chatting with Joanna Strober, a founder who's witnessed this industry shift firsthand. From being one of the few women in venture capital to securing venture backing for her first company (which was later acquired by Weight Watchers), and raising a total of $39M for her latest venture, Midi Health, Joanna's journey is nothing short of inspiring. Curious about what it was like being apart of a changing industry? Listen to find out.

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Joanna Strober
Midi Health
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  

The Backchannel
February 1, 2024
6
mins

TBC: What's the Deal With Thesis-Driven Firms?

Join Jason Yeh on The Back Channel as he demystifies thesis-driven firms. They may not be as rigid as you think!

Join Jason Yeh on The Back Channel as he demystifies thesis-driven firms. They may not be as rigid as you think!

Ever wondered why these firms love their theses? It's not just about focus; it's also a way to say "no" graciously when a deal doesn't spark joy.

Plus, it can also be used for flexibility! Some startups may not seem thesis-fit, but if you dig deeper, they'll find intriguing connections to make the deal work.

Don't be afraid to engage with thesis-driven firms. Look beyond the thesis, explore their portfolio, and you might discover hidden opportunities!


--

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Funded
January 30, 2024
66
mins

Paying the Peter Thiel Price (Dylan Beynon - Mindbloom)

Just like with any skill, there are beginners, and there are experts. Through practice and experience, the experts become exceptional at what they do. In fundraising, there are also experts. You could call them the "seasoned vets" of venture capital. These are the founders that have raised all the way from small angel rounds to Series B and beyond. It's safe to say that any founder who's raised over 4 rounds of venture capital knows a thing or two about fundraising. Today, Jason got to share his conversation with one of those fundraising experts. Dylan Beynon is a 3x Founder who has raised hundreds of millions of capital throughout his career. His most recent venture is Mindbloom, a company that provides at-home psychedelic care that transforms mental health which he has raised over $50M across 3 rounds for. Dylan's success with Mindbloom is amazing, but his why is even better. Get your tissues, this one might pull on your heartstrings...

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Dylan Beynon
Mindbloom
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  
Funded
January 16, 2024
66
mins

A Wyoming Success Story (Heather Shoemaker - Language I/O)

2023 was a tough year to fundraise. Almost all venture-backed founders felt the toll of being in a down market this past year. But when you're a female engineer, on top of that a female founder of a tech company - it almost always feels like a tough year to fundraise. For Heather Shoemaker, Founder and CEO of Language I/O, she never expected to fundraise. She ran a profitable company and was growing steadily each year from her headquarters in Cheyenne, Wyoming! But as we know - things change. Competitors come, and there's things you have to do in order to keep moving forward. In Heather's case that meant going out to raise her first venture round. It took awhile, and she met some very interesting VCs along the way, but eventually she ran into the right people and closed her seed round. In this episode, we get to dive into Heather's fundraising journey and how that ultimately led her to raise Language I/O's $8M Series A in July of 2023. Stick around towards the end and you'll also get to hear from some of Heather's investors from Wyoming VC!

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Heather Shoemaker
Language I/O
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  
Funded
January 2, 2024
65
mins

Fundraising EQUALS Hard Work (Equals)

Not every entrepreneur starts off knowing what business they want to create. For Bobby Pinero, Co-founder and CEO of Equals, it took him 8 years of building Intercoms Finance Organization to the success it is today until he found the product he wanted to create. Best part? He is building the product he always wished he had while working there. In today's episode we dive into Bobby's background, how he decided on Equals, and ultimately the trials and tribulations that went along with raising a $16M Series A from one of the top VC firms out there - Andreessen Horowitz.

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Bobby Pinero
Equals
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Sponsor
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  
Funded
September 26, 2023
63
mins

Down by 20? Down But Not Out... (Curastory)

Let me get something straight: fundraising is tough. You will be challenged. You will be knocked down. But if you have true grit and passion for your company, not even the hardest of blows can keep you down. For Tiffany Kelly, CEO and founder of Curastory - she knows all too well what it's like to take a hit. And less than two months ago, she experienced what I call a founder's worst nightmare. In today's episode, you get to hear an unfiltered version of what it's like being a founder raising multiple rounds of capital in a difficult market. Huge shoutout to Tiffany for keeping the conversation so real and authentic. This is why I love these conversations. I love creating opportunities for founders to see all that went into those million dollar round you see on social media. Granted not all are as difficult as Tiffany's was, but they're definitely no walk in the park either. Give this episode a listen to see how one tiny move by a VC firm almost destroyed Curastory.

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Curastory
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
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  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter  
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
The Backchannel
September 14, 2023
8
mins

TBC: Work / Life Balance

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p>

As an entrepreneur, it is all too easy to lose yourself in your work. If you aren't careful, your entire life becomes consumed by it.

This is not to say you shouldn't be obsessed with the your company and the goals that you have for it.

But let it be a reminder that forcing yourself into burnout is not serving you or your company.

As a 3x founder himself, our host Jason Yeh dives into 3 things he does to maintain a sense of work/life balance.

If you are some who struggles to unplug from your work, give this episode a listen.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab our weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Funded
September 12, 2023
53
mins

Becoming the Pepsi to Indeed's Coke (Talent.com)

It's becoming more and more common for people to get through college and realize they still have no idea what they want out of life. On top of that, majority of the time we're too scared to do anything about it. Next thing we know time has passed and we feel suffocated in a job we don't even like. We put our dreams on the back burner, sacrificing creativity for stability. For today's guest Lucas Martinez - Co-founder and CEO of Talent.com - he knew right away that the corporate world wasn't for him. Because of this, he knew he had to act on it - fast. This decision let him to start his company with two of his closest friends. It was a messy start, but once they got the ball rolling they were able to land around $1M CAD from angel investors alone. Because of that raise they were able to become pretty profitable. Great, right? But after some time the investors were ready to pull out, and it was time to run a process. In this episode, Lucas talks about what it was like trying to create a business of quality while at the same time scaling it. He talks about mindset, the benefits of working with VC's, the ups and downs of raising, learning to plan, and how passion was the key to Talent.com's success. If you're a founder looking to understand all that goes into scaling and raising for your company, give this episode a listen

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Lucas Martinez
Talent.com
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

The Backchannel
September 7, 2023
3
mins

TBC: The Role of Emotions in Pitching

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p>

What's the most important part of pitching your company to VCs?

Some think it's sharing the right numbers and statistics.

Others think it's about giving the investors a wealth of information about the company.

And then there's those who believe storytelling to be the key.

To be clear, I think all of these are important aspects of a pitch.

But theres something missing - emotion.

If you tell a story but have no emotional connection to it, it's just a story.

If you overload investors with information and numbers but they have nothing to connect it back to, it's just clutter.

In this episode I talk about the importance of connecting all aspects o your pitch through emotion.

If you can get an investor to feel the relief your product or service gives to it's customers AND then back it up with proof, chances are you've got a deal.

----------

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The Backchannel
August 31, 2023
9
mins

TBC: What VCs Are Saying About AI Investing

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p id="">‍</p>

Ever since chatGPT was released in November of 2022, there has been a flood of other AI platforms pulling from OpenAI's original technology.

 

That being said I was so curious to know what that means for venture capital firms funding these new AI companies, when it seemed like all the hard work was being done by OpenAI.

 

Why were investors pouring money into these AI startups that didn't seem to have defensible technology?

 

I wanted to hear from experts in the industry who could give me answers - so I made it happen.

 

A couple of months ago I hosted a fireside chat with Yohei Nakajima, GP of Untapped Capital and founder of BabyAGI and Sarah Catanzaro, GP at Amplify Partners.

 

They were able to answer all of my questions and more. In this episode, I sum up their answers and key takeaways for you to hear.

 

----------

 

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Funded
August 29, 2023
62
mins

Thriving With or Without Funding (Acquire.com)

Andrew Gazdecki might have had some successful raises (totaling over $11M for his most recent venture) but paradoxically, he believes 99% of founders shouldn't raise. As the founder of Acquire.com, the best online marketplace to buy and sell startups - Andrew fills us in on the dangers of placing too much importance on fundraising as a founder. Instead he believes in focusing on constant improvement, listening to your customers, and creating an amazing culture. From there, everything else will fall into place. Glorified by the media, fundraising lots of dollars seems to be equated to running a successful company - something Andrew thinks is far from the truth. Look out for our conversation with Andrew where he tells us about growing up with an itch to be an entrepreneur, building a business of value, and utilizing his resources (even when he started with none) to find the perfect investors. If you're a founder getting ready to raise or thinking of raising, you don't want to miss his insights.

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Andrew Gazdecki
Acquire.com
Funded
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Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

The Backchannel
August 24, 2023
6
mins

TBC: Intros & Forwardable Emails

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p>

The art of introductions is something heavily ignored when founders are learning how to start their fundraising process.

Truth is, intros are the lifeblood of a great fundraise.

There are many different components that go into making introductions, but today we'll be focusing specifically on forwardable emails.

While meant to simplify, intros often backfire - especially if you lack a process behind it. This episode will give you all of the basics surrounding forwardable emails like sequences of interactions, double opt-ins, connecting emails, and more.

Head to our website to find some real examples of what a forwardable email should look like: adamantventures.com

----------

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The Backchannel
August 17, 2023
5
mins

TBC: Side Letter Warning

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Side letters are not only more complicated than they seem but dangerous to your fundraise if not properly managed.

Side letters, often accompanying standard agreements like safes, may seem harmless at first but can include onerous clauses like pro-rata rights.

In this episode Jason emphasizes the importance of early negotiation and proactive communication to safeguard founder interests.

Tune in to protect yourself from this common challenge in the fundraising world.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Funded
August 15, 2023
60
mins

The Hustler's Journey (Arkive)

A lot of people say that the hustle of an entrepreneur starts long before their first business. For Thomas McLeod, 5x serial entrepreneur, this couldn't be more true. Growing up, Tom never stayed in the same place for too long. Constantly bouncing around to different schools, it got him used to being uncomfortable and facing challenge. By the time he was in middle school, Tom was already calculating profit margins off of baseball cards that he was selling to his fellow classmates. As we get deeper into the episode, Tom speaks on some of the difficulties and achievements he faced along his path of building five different companies and the lessons that he learned along the way. One of those lessons being to drop the expectation of things always working out as a founder. Instead, he speaks on learning from his mistakes and using them as opportunities to better not only his company but also his character. Now, Thomas is building his 5th company Arkive, a decentralized museum of culture curated by its own members, which was able to raise a $9.7 M seed round back in July of 2022. Whatever Tom's doing, it's working. Regardless if you are a founder or not, this episode is full of mindset gems that can be applied to almost anything in life.

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Thomas McLeod
Arkive
Funded
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Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

The Backchannel
August 10, 2023
5
mins

TBC: Putting Project Management First

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Project management - an often overlooked and unsexy aspect of fundraising.

Contrary to the dramatic portrayals in movies, fundraising is essentially a series of repetitive and detailed tasks. While not brain surgery, these small actions demand attention and diligence.

While it might seem like project management is 'taking away' from more glamorous business pursuits it's actually the underpinnings that form the foundation for success.

Success in fundraising lies in effectively managing oneself and others throughout the process.

In this episode Jason discusses the importance of creating processes that set you up for success. If you tend to avoid project management, this ones for you.

----------

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The Backchannel
August 3, 2023
4
mins

TBC: What Comes First - Calm Confidence or Investor Interest?

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

One of the most common dilemmas faced by founders in the fundraising world is the chicken and egg dynamic.

Much like the age-old question, founders often grapple with the challenge of needing investor interest to gain confidence and at the same time, requiring confidence to attract investor interest.

Truth is in order for an investor to be confident in you, you first have to be confident in yourself.

In this episode, Jason will be exploring how to implement a process in order to break free from this cycle of uncertainty and instead - create confidence from within.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Funded
August 1, 2023
50
mins

Breaking the Status Quo (Ganas Ventures)

Community & representation. These are the two things that Lolita Taub, founder of Ganas Ventures has prioritized while building her fund. Most people within venture would view the way in which Lolita has built her fund as unconventional or even impossible, but that hasn't stopped her from establishing one of the strongest communities filled with minorities and other underrepresented founders who have been pushed away from the 'conventional' world of Venture Capital. So where did this drive to create change come from? Being from a family of immigrants, you could say her drive has always been there. Lolita grew up with the understanding that she had to work twice as hard in order to get the same amount of recognition, especially in the work place. By no means has her journey been easy, but it's been worth it. In this episode, we learn more about what it's taken for her to get this far and what it means to be a founder of a VC firm.

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Lolita Taub
Ganas Ventures
Funded
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Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

The Backchannel
January 31, 2023
8
mins

TBC: Post Money Cap Safes have Anti-Dilution!

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

We’re back on post-money cap SAFEs talk!In the previous episode, we explained what it is and how it works within the fundraising process.

For this episode, Jason goes deeper as he illuminates a more specific topic: the anti-dilution provision within post-money cap SAFEs.

With the evolution of the fundraising and startup worlds, many things have changed, and the rounds raised by founders are tremendously affected.

This affects everyone in the process - both founders and investors.

Tune in with us as we examine the entirety of this process and how it affects your fundraising!

----------

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The Backchannel
January 24, 2023
8
mins

TBC: Post Money Caps vs. Pre-money Caps (an explainer)

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Founders are often intimidated by some of the more complex fundraising concepts.

One of these is the concept of post-money cap SAFE.

Post-money cap SAFEs can get tricky for some founders, especially for first-timers.

In this episode, Jason dives a little deep into the dynamics of this concept, along with SAFEs in general, valuations, and how it all relates to the post-money cap SAFE.

Get your pens and prepare for this episode as we talk about specific examples and scenarios, concepts involved, and steps to take so you can better navigate your fundraising journey.

Oh, and this is only part 1. Make sure to tune in next week for the 2nd part on this topic!

----------

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The Backchannel
January 17, 2023
6
mins

TBC: Vulnerability in Fundraising

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

We all have stories we like to keep to ourselves for many reasons.

It’s uncomfortable to tell these stories because they may be a sign of weakness, a reminder of a terrible mistake, or that nobody would understand.

This is why many founders tend to adopt the “fake it til they make it” attitude.

This won’t work forever, though.

In this episode, Jason tells a couple of stories where a founder’s vulnerability was precisely what they needed to get their investors to understand them fully.

Tune in as we talk about what really goes into an investor’s mind when they hear about your problems, struggles, and mistakes.

----------

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The Backchannel
January 10, 2023
4
mins

TBC: The Rollercoaster of Fundraising

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Entering the fundraising world is one heck of a journey - a big rollercoaster ride, to be exact.

You'll face endless ups and downs, and there will be times when you don’t know what to think or feel anymore.

In this episode, Jason dives into the rollercoaster that founders experience throughout their rounds.

Hear about the everyday things founders encounter when raising money, how they should deal with the never-ending change of emotions, and how you can stay above things.

If you need a push for confidence and validation right now, then this episode is for you. Tune in!

----------

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The Backchannel
January 3, 2023
5
mins

TBC: Deck-Building: Note Cards

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Building decks is one of the most significant steps of preparing to fundraise.

Knowing what to include and how to deliver it is key to a successful deck.

Over time, people have used various tools to help them build their decks - but for Jason nothing beats this simple trick: note cards.

In this episode, Jason Yeh talks about how note cards aid in the complicated deck-building process and how founders can take advantage of this tool.

Find out how note cards can greatly improve your deck and how your concepts can come together through their use. Stay tuned!

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
December 27, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Chase or Be Chased?

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Talking to investors can be gut-wrenching for founders, especially for first-timers.

The anxiety of going up to someone, asking for money, and promising returns can shake founders up and cause them to lose focus.

But it’s all about mindset.

Are you chasing, or are you the one being chased?

In this episode, Jason Yeh explains why embracing the concept of being chased is vital for founders when approaching investors.

Join us as we uncover the truth behind the chase mentality in fundraising and how you can communicate with your investors more effectively.

----------

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Funded
December 22, 2022
48
mins

Money Baggage in Fundraising (ComplYant)

Launching a startup requires not only expertise and skills but also immense determination and resilience. The journey from the ground up demands substantial effort, skills, and financial resources. However, not everyone feels comfortable asking for money, even though fundraising is often necessary for scaling the company or meeting basic financial needs like salaries. Shiloh Johnson, an innovator who merged technology and taxes, shares her remarkable fundraising journey in this episode. Starting with no prior knowledge of fundraising, Shiloh overcame her personal discomfort and operational financial needs to raise millions for her company, ComplYant. Join Shiloh and Jason as they explore the pivotal moments that led to her decision to raise funds, resulting in multiple successful funding rounds.

Episode Summary

Launching a startup requires not only expertise and skills but also immense determination and resilience. The journey from the ground up demands substantial effort, skills, and financial resources. However, not everyone feels comfortable asking for money, even though fundraising is often necessary for scaling the company or meeting basic financial needs like salaries. Shiloh Johnson, an innovator who merged technology and taxes, shares her remarkable fundraising journey in this episode. Starting with no prior knowledge of fundraising, Shiloh overcame her personal discomfort and operational financial needs to raise millions for her company, ComplYant. Join Shiloh and Jason as they explore the pivotal moments that led to her decision to raise funds, resulting in multiple successful funding rounds.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Shiloh Johnson
ComplYant
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
The Backchannel
December 20, 2022
7
mins

TBC: Rest

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Founders heavily live in "grind culture" - working long hours and setting aside various personal parts of their lives to achieve their career goals.

However, as we near the end of another year, it's important to remember that we all need a break.

Take this holiday season as an opportunity to reset your mind and make your journey exciting again.

In this episode, Jason Yeh talks us through the importance of getting rest in the midst of working hard for your company.

He shares some stories about how taking breaks from pitch decks and fundraising actually helps you more than you think.So get cozy, clear your mind, and tune in with us as we end this year well-rested.

May your holidays be warm and joyous. Cheers!

----------

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The Backchannel
December 15, 2022
6
mins

TBC: How VCs are Trained

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

We all have to start from somewhere small, and venture capitalists are not an exception.

They aren't magically "experts" in the field and know every twist and turn - VCs undergo training like the rest of us.

In today's episode, Jason Yeh talks about what processes VCs go through to be considered experienced VCs who are looked up to in the industry.

He covers what such training means to founders who brave the battlegrounds of raising money and responding to feedback.

Tune in and discover the importance of knowing the different experiences VCs go through that molds them and their standards in deciding where to put their money.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
December 13, 2022
5
mins

TBC: Decks as Appetizers

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Did anybody say appetizers? We’re all in 🤤!

Appetizers are underrated and frequently overlooked, but they are no less important than the main course, don’t you think?

They get people excited and look forward to the next dish.

Appetizers are an excellent primer for what’s yet to come - the main course.

In today’s episode, Jason Yeh talks about the appetizer in fundraising: pitch decks.

Join us as Jason talks about overcoming the feeling of unworthiness when pitching, improving your decks, and attracting the best investors in your deal.


----------

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The Backchannel
December 13, 2022
5
mins

TBC: The Ability to Be Great is Everywhere but Resources are Not

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Being a great entrepreneur is a commitment to continuous growth, learning, and experience.

There isn’t only one profile of a great entrepreneur - it can be anyone and anywhere.

One that might hold back success? Lack of resources.

In today’s episode, Jason Yeh talks us through the impact of having support structures and a solid network in one’s fundraising journey - and the absence of them as well.

We all have that potential or spark in us. But the harsh reality is that not everyone gets to turn that spark into a burning fire.

So what do we do then? Tune in as Jason discusses this challenge in the world of entrepreneurship.

----------

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Funded
December 1, 2022
63
mins

A Bubble Valuation That's Not So Inflated? (Bubble)

Setting the right company valuation is a complex and pivotal process that significantly impacts its future. Striking a balance is crucial - too high may deter investors, while too low could result in giving away too much. However, Emmanuel Straschnov, co-founder of Bubble, defied the norm by deliberately seeking a lower valuation in the seed round. Contrary to expectations, this strategic move proved successful, as Emmanuel later secured a massive $100 million funding round from prominent investors. By prioritizing a broader perspective and leveraging his unwavering passion, Emmanuel shares his remarkable fundraising journey for Bubble in this episode, shedding light on his unique and risky valuation strategy.

Episode Summary

Setting the right company valuation is a complex and pivotal process that significantly impacts its future. Striking a balance is crucial - too high may deter investors, while too low could result in giving away too much. However, Emmanuel Straschnov, co-founder of Bubble, defied the norm by deliberately seeking a lower valuation in the seed round. Contrary to expectations, this strategic move proved successful, as Emmanuel later secured a massive $100 million funding round from prominent investors. By prioritizing a broader perspective and leveraging his unwavering passion, Emmanuel shares his remarkable fundraising journey for Bubble in this episode, shedding light on his unique and risky valuation strategy.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Emmanuel Straschnov
Bubble
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
The Backchannel
November 29, 2022
5
mins

TBC: The Importance And Fragility Of Credibility

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

The key to creating a remarkable network and achieving a successful fundraise? Credibility.

In this episode, Jason Yeh talks about credibility - how important and fragile it is when you are a founder looking for your investors.

With everything uncertain in the startup and fundraising world, credibility is one of the few things investors predictably rely on.

Tune in with this episode and find out stories about credibility, its importance, and how you can safeguard it!

----------

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The Backchannel
November 22, 2022
7
mins

TBC: Explaining "this isn't venture-backable"

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Getting constructive feedback from experienced investors has always been part of any founder’s journey.

When it comes to feedback, it’s vital that you accept this truth: your business is not for everyone, and that’s okay.

Some will like it, some might take time to see your vision, and some will immediately reject it.

In this episode, Jason Yeh talks about one of the most famous painful pieces of feedback that investors give founders: “This isn’t venture-backable.”

That feedback isn’t the end of the fundraising journey though. There are things to consider and actions to take before really deciding whether or not your business is venture-backable.

Don’t miss this episode and find out the truth behind that statement, how you should take it, and what actions you should follow up with.

----------

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Funded
November 17, 2022
73
mins

Being The Pattern (Stax)

As a first-time founder and fundraiser, finding a guide is crucial. Typically, you seek successful founders or companies in your industry with similar backgrounds and visions to emulate. But what if you're entering uncharted territory with no models to follow? This was the predicament faced by Suneera Madhani, CEO and founder of Stax. Despite lacking a guide, patterns, or representation, Suneera, driven by her solution-oriented upbringing, forged her own path. In this episode, Suneera recounts the challenges she encountered, including the need to raise funds and navigate the venture world without prior experience, ultimately leading her billion-dollar company, Stax.

Episode Summary

As a first-time founder and fundraiser, finding a guide is crucial. Typically, you seek successful founders or companies in your industry with similar backgrounds and visions to emulate. But what if you're entering uncharted territory with no models to follow? This was the predicament faced by Suneera Madhani, CEO and founder of Stax. Despite lacking a guide, patterns, or representation, Suneera, driven by her solution-oriented upbringing, forged her own path. In this episode, Suneera recounts the challenges she encountered, including the need to raise funds and navigate the venture world without prior experience, ultimately leading her billion-dollar company, Stax.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Suneera Madhani
Stax
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
The Backchannel
November 15, 2022
7
mins

TBC: Why In-person Meetings Are So Valuable

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Now that the world is slowly emerging from the pandemic that transformed our lives over the past two years, it’s about time that things go back to normal.

Catching up in person, talking over coffee, meeting for dinner - it’s been a while, and a trip to Brazil for a live workshop reminded Jason why face-to-face is so important.

In this episode, Jason talks about the power of holding in-person meetings.

Despite the convenience that zoom meetings offer founders and investors, nothing beats the experience of sitting across the table from the person you’re talking to.

What can in-person meetings specifically bring to the table that long hours over zoom could never?

Tune in to this episode as Jason discusses his observations around the difference between online and in-person meetings.

----------

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The Backchannel
November 8, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Eisenhower Matrix And Health Insurance

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Prioritizing tasks during fundraising preparation is one of the essential things a founder must stay on top of.

A common struggle with this is starting to work on important fundraising tasks that don’t feel urgent.

In today’s episode, Jason talks about the Eisenhower matrix - a matrix that explains the different tasks you encounter, the struggle of prioritizing those tasks, and how you can deal with it all.

Discover the “danger zone” in the Eisenhower Matrix of fundraising preparation and what you can do to avoid it.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Funded
November 4, 2022
54
mins

The Times They Are A-Changin (Flow Club)

Facing unforeseen challenges is inevitable, even with meticulous fundraising planning. Ricky Yean, co-founder and CEO of Flow Club, discovered this firsthand. Initially aiming to develop a consumer-social product, Ricky encountered an unexpected obstacle when the COVID-19 pandemic struck during his fundraising preparations. Despite the adversity, Ricky shares his remarkable journey of adapting to the changing landscape and employing ingenious fundraising tactics to secure a significant investment for fueling the growth of Flow Club.

Episode Summary

Facing unforeseen challenges is inevitable, even with meticulous fundraising planning. Ricky Yean, co-founder and CEO of Flow Club, discovered this firsthand. Initially aiming to develop a consumer-social product, Ricky encountered an unexpected obstacle when the COVID-19 pandemic struck during his fundraising preparations. Despite the adversity, Ricky shares his remarkable journey of adapting to the changing landscape and employing ingenious fundraising tactics to secure a significant investment for fueling the growth of Flow Club.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Ricky Yean
Humming Homes
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
The Backchannel
November 1, 2022
5
mins

TBC: VC Anxiety - Why Am I Seeing This Deal?

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Ever wonder what’s the first thing that comes to mind for investors when they see your deal?

Aside from curiosity, anxiety creeps up on them, too.

One of the biggest anxieties that cross investors' minds? “Why am I seeing this deal?”

Two things they’re considering - are they seeing your deal because it came from a good source… or are they seeing your deal because it was rejected by other investors.

In today’s episode, Jason gives us a peek inside the mind of investors - and how fundraisers could better understand this element of investor psychology.

Tune in and learn more about this investor anxiety and how you can leverage it in the best way possible!

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
October 20, 2022
3
mins

TBC: Pitch The Circle

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

As founders, it’s normal to want to show investors that you are worth it - that you are an expert in your field and that your company means something.

This is the main reason why a lot of founders make the mistake of overcomplicating their pitch. You try to show the value of your company without realizing that there’s unnecessary complexity attached to it.

In today’s episode, Jason talks about why you should not be doing this.Find out what “pitch the circle” means, and how this relates to the way you deliver your pitch.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
October 20, 2022
4
mins

TBC: The Dirty Secret of Thesis-driven Firms

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Thesis-driven firms have been on the rise for the past few years.

These firms have a specific area of focus - one they use as a main driver for their marketing.

Because of this, some founders have a hard time in finding the “right” firm they’d want to invest in their business.

But did you know there's a dirty little secret behind these theses?In today’s episode, Jason reveals a secret behind thesis-driven firms - and what you can do with that information.

Find out this secret and get some actionable advice for your fundraising now!

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Funded
October 1, 2022
61
mins

Finding The 'Right' Problem (Othership)

Robbie Bent, CEO and Co-Founder of Othership, had a challenging journey in fundraising and finding his true passion. Despite his initial setbacks, he persevered with a strong drive to succeed. However, he eventually realized that his mindset was hindering his progress. After learning from his mistakes and undergoing a significant mindset shift, Robbie found himself in a new industry, tackling a problem that aligned perfectly with his passion and expertise.

Episode Summary

Robbie Bent, CEO and Co-Founder of Othership, had a challenging journey in fundraising and finding his true passion. Despite his initial setbacks, he persevered with a strong drive to succeed. However, he eventually realized that his mindset was hindering his progress. After learning from his mistakes and undergoing a significant mindset shift, Robbie found himself in a new industry, tackling a problem that aligned perfectly with his passion and expertise.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Robbie Bent
Othership
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
The Backchannel
May 4, 2022
3
mins

TBC: Cold Intros vs. Warm Intros

<p id="">This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p>

Introductions hold incredible power in the world of fundraising.

Pulling a good network together and getting to know new people takes effort and time. But you know what? It’s a hundred percent worth it.

You’ll find out why in this episode, where Jason breaks down the importance of introductions - both cold and warm, and how it basically forms the backbone of early-stage fundraising.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
May 2, 2022
4
mins

TBC: The most famous pass ever

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Rejections. Passes. Declined proposals.

These things are inevitable in any fundraising story – so as early as possible, it’s best to prepare yourself for what’s to come.

Because no matter how hard you prepare and how much effort you exert, there will still be people looking at you with doubt and criticism.

In this episode, Jason tells the story of one of the most famous ‘pass’ stories ever, and how it affected the founder’s game plan in continuing forward with his journey.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 29, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Rounds are going CRAZY fast...

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Everybody has their own timeline. Some succeed early on their journey, while others go on for so long that they feel that success is too far away.

But the thing in entrepreneurship is - you never know what to expect. Things might go your way at a very, very unexpected time.

In this episode, Jason shares one of the craziest, fastest fundraising rounds that happened right before his eyes - getting a signed term sheet within just 8 days.In this episode, Jason tells the story of one of the most famous ‘pass’ stories ever, and how it affected the founder’s game plan in continuing forward with his journey.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 27, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Narrative strategies and why they're important

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Mastering your company’s narrative is one of the most vital things that you should have when starting any business. It’s what sets you apart from all the other competitors that are trying to solve the same problem as you do.

In the world of entrepreneurship, having strategies about what and how you tell your story is necessary so you can be sure that you will really reach your target audience in the best way possible.

In this episode, Jason talks about exactly that - what are these strategies, why do you need them, and how you are going to create them yourself.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 25, 2022
3
mins

TBC: You should share your wins

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

With all the social media platforms at our fingertips, everyone can stay updated about any and everything.

People consume content on social media on a daily basis - and as we know, individuals nowadays are heavily influenced by what they see online.

And as founders/fundraisers, you should definitely take advantage of this.

In this episode, Jason talks about why you should post and share your wins on social media, how it benefits you, and how even small actions can create a huge impact in your fundraising journey.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 22, 2022
4
mins

TBC: FOMO - a helluva drug

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Ever heard of a good drug?

And no, what I’m talking about is probably not what you’re thinking… it’s the fear of missing out.

In the eyes of founders and fundraisers, FOMO is a feeling you want potential investors to sense deeply.

Curious? Tune in to this episode and hear more about the benefits of using FOMO as a strategy in getting them on board with your company.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 18, 2022
2
mins

TBC: Red Flag - solution looking for problems

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Red flags are warnings that there’s possible danger ahead - so when you see one, it’s best to turn around and change your direction.

In fundraising, there are many red flags that investors look out for. We’ve already mentioned one of them in our past episodes: a company that is a solution looking for a problem.

In this episode, Jason elaborates on a specific red flag he commonly sees in startups, and how you can avoid falling into that trap.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 15, 2022
3
mins

TBC: Warm up meetings with investors

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

When should you start taking meetings with investors?

If you think you should wait until you’ve already started raising money to reach out, then you’ve got it quite wrong.

Ever heard of warm-up meetings? If not, then you’re in for a treat!

In this episode, Jason talks about the importance of getting introduced and talking to investors way before the start of your fundraising journey - and how your approach should look like.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 13, 2022
5
mins

TBC: The different roles at a VC

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Adjusting to whichever investor you’re talking to is necessary to get the most out of any conversation. Understanding where they are coming from will help you know exactly what approach to use.

In the fundraising world, we all know that every single person is unique - people all have different mindsets, motivations, and end goals, all of which affect their decision-making process.

In this episode, Jason expands on the connection between selling and fundraising. Knowing what type of investor you’re talking to—and tailoring your approach accordingly—can help you succeed in your fundraising journey.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 11, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Fundraising like a salesperson

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Selling. Fundraising. Selling. Fundraising.

Are they related? What’s the connection? Is the knowledge of one a requirement for the other?

In today’s episode, Jason expounds on these two concepts, and how their dynamics work together in the world of fundraising. Look out for some helpful tips that you can apply to your own fundraising process.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 8, 2022
3
mins

TBC: The benefits of intense fundraise prep

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Have you ever wondered how essential it is to put in a lot of energy and effort into a process?

We sometimes focus so much on our end goal that we tend to forget that the preparation required is equally as important, and sometimes even the highlight of the entire ride.

In this episode, let’s take a quick look at how important it is to focus on the entire process itself of fundraising, which, when done well, can be transformational for you as an entrepreneur.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 6, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Should I stage my VC convos in tiers?

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

When you’re at the point of scheduling meetings with investors, that’s when you’re most likely to feel overwhelmed.

Should you categorize your investors? Who should you talk to first? What if you mess up? How do you know you are doing the right thing?

All these questions swamp your mind and all of a sudden, you now have tons of meetings to prepare for.

But worry not! In this episode, Jason lays out a critical tip that every fundraiser should know by heart, especially new ones, when it comes to investor meetings.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 4, 2022
3
mins

TBC: Who should set valuation?

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

There’s always a gray area when it comes to setting the valuation for a business during the fundraising process.

The big question is always… WHO?

Is it the fundraiser, the investor, or is it agreed between the two? What’s the basis? How is it determined?

In this episode, Jason shares his take on who should set the valuations and explains why he thinks that way.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
April 1, 2022
4
mins

TBC: Why you should learn investor language

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Mastering language has got to be one of the most important psychological tools anyone can utilize and benefit from - including and especially for fundraisers.

Speaking and understanding the same language of people you work with can work wonders when it comes to making connections and raising funds.

In this episode, Jason talks about the critical importance of learning your investors’ language and how vital it is for your process, especially if you want to win at the game of fundraising.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
March 30, 2022
4
mins

TBC: A thought on decks and appendices

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

One of the most vital processes before facing investors is building the perfect pitch deck.

There is a tough balance to find with decks.  You don’t want to be too short and  lack the information an investor needs to get excited. You also don’t want to be too long and overwhelm the reader with data.  

In this episode, Jason talks about pitch decks - particularly, his favorite part of it, appendices - and why it’s an important part of your pitch deck.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

The Backchannel
March 28, 2022
3
mins

TBC: Don't Be A Science Project

<p>This is a fantastic episode covering one of the most important insights around fundraising</p><p>‍</p>

Are you a problem looking for a solution, or a solution looking for a problem?

Pondering this is vital for entrepreneurs, especially for first timers who are just establishing the core of their business. While it’s easy to get lost in the world of entrepreneurship, it’s also worth it to spend time thinking about the real “why” of whatever you’re working on.

In this episode, Jason talks about the difference between these two - a science project and a business.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Funded
December 8, 2021
47
mins

Fundraising Holiday Blues (Grapevine)

Fundraising for software that supports charitable giving started off as a challenge for Grapevine CEO Emily Rasmussen. After unlocking the fundraising story that would gain traction, she ran into another challenge. The year-end holidays disrupted her momentum and threatened to sabotage an exciting round. Emily shares how she weathered the storm and the important lessons she learned about the impact of calendar timing when raising.

Episode Summary

Fundraising for software that supports charitable giving started off as a challenge for Grapevine CEO Emily Rasmussen. After unlocking the fundraising story that would gain traction, she ran into another challenge. The year-end holidays disrupted her momentum and threatened to sabotage an exciting round. Emily shares how she weathered the storm and the important lessons she learned about the impact of calendar timing when raising.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Emily Rasmussen
Grapvine
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
Funded
November 23, 2021
50
mins

If at First You Don't Succeed (Humming Homes)

Adeel Mallick, the co-founder and CEO of Humming Homes, had the perfect background to start a company and lead a fundraise. Experience at startup studios, an MBA, and stints at top venture capital firms had him setup to knock the first fundraise for his startup out of the water. When things didn't go as planned, Adeel had to reflect, regroup, and recommit to the process to get his company the seed funding it needed to scale.

Episode Summary

Adeel Mallick, the co-founder and CEO of Humming Homes, had the perfect background to start a company and lead a fundraise.  Experience at startup studios, an MBA, and stints at top venture capital firms had him setup to knock the first fundraise for his startup out of the water.  When things didn't go as planned, Adeel had to reflect, regroup, and recommit to the process to get his company the seed funding it needed to scale.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Adeel Mallick
Humming Homes
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money:
  • fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
Funded
November 9, 2021
55
mins

The Culture of Preemptive Rounds (Neuro-ID)

Jack Alton was a startup vet before he was recruited to join Neuro-ID as its CEO in 2016. His requirements to join included headquartering the company in Montana and building a remote first culture. Back then those pursuits were not only rare but considered flaws. 5 years later, they would be come major reasons for Canapi Ventures to preempt Neuro-ID's Series B round.

Episode Summary

Jack Alton was a startup vet before he was recruited to join Neuro-ID as its CEO in 2016. His requirements to join included headquartering the company in Montana and building a remote first culture. Back then those pursuits were not only rare but considered flaws. 5 years later, they would be come major reasons for Canapi Ventures to preempt Neuro-ID's Series B round.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Jack Alton
SteadyMD
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded
Funded
October 27, 2021
46
mins

Catching a Steady Wave🏄

In 2016, Guy Friedman was a successful startup founder with an exit. Most would think that would make raising money for his next company SteadyMD a breeze. Instead, none of his prior investors decided to back him and he was on a familiar grind to getting funding. Fast forward to 2020 and Guy was steadily growing his core business when a wave hit in the form of acceleration towards telemedicine. All of the sudden he was surfing and fundraising became a very very different experience.

Episode Summary

In 2016, Guy Friedman was a successful startup founder with an exit.  Most would think that would make raising money for his next company SteadyMD a breeze. Instead, none of his prior investors decided to back him and he was on a familiar grind to getting funding. Fast forward to 2020 and Guy was steadily growing his core business when a wave hit in the form of acceleration towards telemedicine.  All of the sudden he was surfing and fundraising became a very very different experience.

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Guy Friedman
SteadyMD
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

Funded
September 21, 2021
52
mins

The Foreign Language of Fundraising

Parker Treacy had to become fluent in two completely foreign languages, Portuguese and Fundraising, on his path to building Cobli out of Brazil.

Episode Summary

Parker Treacy created his first successful company in the United States without raising venture capital. For his second company, he would need to learn two completely foreign languages to be successful as he set out to launch a company in Brazil and fundraise. Eventually, Parker became fluent in both Portuguese and the language of venture capital as he built his business Cobli and raised over $40MM.

Topics Discussed

  • Early struggles with Portuguese
  • Learning he would have to raise venture capital
  • Lessons he learned about the fundraising process
  • Differences between the Series A and Series B
  • Landing the Series B

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Parker Treacy
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

Funded
September 7, 2021
55
mins

Learning the Fundraising Dance

Erin Carpenter grew up focused on becoming an entertainer with classical training as a ballerina. When she went to raise money, she found that the fundraising dance was surprisingly hard to learn.

Episode Summary

Erin Carpenter grew up focused on becoming an entertainer with classical training as a ballerina. Along the way, an embarrassing uniform mishap as a young dancer and continued frustrations throughout her career drove her to embrace an entrepreneurial fire that led to starting Nude Barre.  For this professional dancer, learning the fundraising dance was a struggle. After 10 years of bootstrapping and failing to raise money, she finally figured out the steps and eventually raised Seed capital from the likes of Serena Williams, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Jason Calacanis, and Freestyle Capital.  

Listen to learn what helped her find the way and launch the next phase of growth in her business.

----------

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter


Topics Discussed

  • Early childhood entrepreneurial instincts
  • Wanting to be an entertainer
  • Her embarrassing moment
  • Seeing an opportunity in her personal problem with dance tights
  • 10 years of bootstrapping
  • Pitching Serena Williams and Whitney Wolfe Herd
  • Joining Jason Calacanis' accelerator
  • Closing funding from Freestyle

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Erin Carpenter
Nude Barre
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

Funded
August 24, 2021
55
mins

Investor Psychology 101

Nicole Emrani Green's journey from the rambunctious daughter of Persian immigrants to venture-backed CEO had twists and turns. Surprisingly, her first career in psychotherapy gave her some of the tools to help advance herself as a leader and successfully close a $4MM Seed round for her company Givingli.

Episode Summary

Nicole Emrani Green's journey from the rambunctious daughter of Persian immigrants to venture-backed CEO had twists and turns. Surprisingly, her first career in psychotherapy gave her some of the tools to help advance herself as a leader and successfully close a $4MM Seed round for her company Givingli. Listen to the story as she describes the way she's learned the startup ropes as an outsider and the feeling of a past rejection she's now grown to be proud of.

----------
If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter

Topics Discussed

  • Nicole's "bossy" childhood
  • Discovering her passion for therapy
  • A helpful "big brother" advisor
  • Being rejected by the Yellow accelerator :(
  • Being accepted by the Yellow accelerator :)

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Nicole Emrani Green
Givingli
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

Funded
August 10, 2021
45
mins

Stayin' Alive🎶

Matt Pohlson, co-founder and CEO of Omaze, has had one of the most death defying startup journeys ever. Time and time again, his company has been on the brink of death, only to be saved by Matt’s persistence and never-quit attitude. While most involved nearly running out of funds, one experience involved his own near death experience as he flatlined on an ER bed with his family surrounding him. Persistence brought him back from the brink and eventually back to Omaze where he used an even stronger belief in their mission to lead a Series B fundraise in March of 2020 just as COVID began impacting the world.

Episode Summary

Matt Pohlson, co-founder and CEO of Omaze, has had one of the most death defying startup journeys ever. Time and time again, his company has been on the brink of death, only to be saved by Matt’s persistence and never-quit attitude. While most involved nearly running out of funds, one experience involved his own near death experience as he flatlined on an ER bed with his family surrounding him. Persistence brought him back from the brink and eventually back to Omaze where he used an even stronger belief in their mission to lead a Series B fundraise in March of 2020 just as COVID began impacting the world.

-----

Remember to grab the insights pack on this episode at fundedpod.com/omaze.

If you're looking for more fundraising content, grab my weekly newsletter packed full of strategies and insights around how to raise money: fundedpod.com/newsletter


Topics Discussed

  • Brian talks about convincing Brian Cranston to work with them [1:59]
  • The importance of storytelling [4:06]
  • Raising from Firstmark Capital [6:05]
  • Almost dying in the ER [9:14]
  • Raising the Series B for Omaze [20:38]
  • COVID hits during the raise [22:36]
  • Advice from Matt [28:38]
  • Debrief with Producer Olivia about persistence

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Matt Pohslon
Omaze
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at fundedpod.com/newsletter
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

Funded
July 27, 2021
46
mins

Good fundraising for a “good business”

Kameale Terry never wanted to be an entrepreneur, but eventually a problem she saw first hand in the electric vehicle industry drew her into starting ChargerHelp! From the beginning, she was less concerned with the hype cycle of startup trends and more focused on what she describes as “good business.” This allowed her to weather the storm of confusing and sometimes conflicting startup advice and the struggle to find a lead to eventually find herself in a super oversubscribed seed round.

Episode Summary

Kameale Terry never wanted to be an entrepreneur, but eventually a problem she saw first hand in the electric vehicle industry drew her into starting ChargerHelp! From the beginning, she was less concerned with the hype cycle of startup trends and more focused on what she describes as “good business.” This allowed her to weather the storm of confusing and sometimes conflicting startup advice and the struggle to find a lead to eventually find herself in a super oversubscribed seed round.

Remember to grab the insights pack on this episode at fundedpod.com/chargerhelp.

Topics Discussed

  • Kameale talks about her early views on entrepreneurism [3:36]
  • ChargerHelp!'s accelerator path [8:22]
  • Kameale talks about fundraising as an underrepresented founder [14:22]
  • Kameale's tips for founders [29:05]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [31:07]

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Kameale Terry
ChargerHelp!
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    

Funded
July 27, 2021
62
mins

Networking hard or hardly networking?

Zach Bruhnke, co-founder and CEO of HMBradley, had a shot at startup glory with his first fintech company Spout. After investor skepticism caused him to throw in the towel, he vowed not to have his own convictions be swayed in future companies. Zach shares how a crazy commitment to the vision with HMBradley as well as a natural approach to building relationships led to both company and fundraising success.

Episode Summary

Zach Bruhnke, co-founder and CEO of HMBradley, had a shot at startup glory with his first fintech company Spout. After investor skepticism caused him to throw in the towel, he vowed not to have his own convictions be swayed in future companies. Zach shares how a crazy commitment to the vision with HMBradley as well as a natural approach to building relationships led to both company and fundraising success.

Remember to grab the insights pack on this episode at fundedpod.com/hmbradley.

Topics Discussed

  • Zach talks about his earliest memories of being an entrepreneur [2:34]
  • Zach details the first venture that he worked on and his attempts at fundraising [5:26]
  • Zach's advice for founders [11:55]
  • Spout's exit options [15:47]
  • Zach recounts the moment that he got his first term sheet for HMBradley[32:01]
  • HMBradley's "accidental" Series A [34:23]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [45:26]

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Zach Bruhnke
HMBradley
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us / Misc
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps maintain SOC2, HIPAA, ISO27001 compliance by integrating directly into your systems and automating a lot of the time intensive process. Get $1000 off at vanta.com/funded

Funded
July 27, 2021
65
mins

From YC darling to fundraising powerhouse

For the three years between her graduation from Y Combinator to her splashy $50MM Series A raise from Sequoia, Christina Cacioppo and her company Vanta kept a low profile. Back in 2018, they had been working in a space few people were talking about around Silicon Valley. SOC2 compliance for startups hardly got people excited. Then, almost out of nowhere, came the announcement that Vanta had raised $50MM from Sequoia Capital. Christina shares how she got to this point and how much impact YC had on the process.

Episode Summary

For the three years between her graduation from Y Combinator to her splashy $50MM Series A raise from Sequoia, Christina Cacioppo and her company Vanta kept a low profile. Back in 2018, they had been working in a space few people were talking about around Silicon Valley. SOC2 compliance for startups hardly got people excited. Then, almost out of nowhere, came the announcement that Vanta had raised $50MM from Sequoia Capital.  Christina shares how she got to this point and how much impact YC had on the process.

Remember to grab the insights pack on this episode at fundedpod.com/vanta.

Topics Discussed

  • Christina talks about her initial career aspirations [3:20]
  • Jason asks Christina to detail the genesis of Vanta [8:42]
  • Vanta's YC pitch [21:21]
  • Christina talks about Vanta's hockey stick growth in 2020 [33:58]
  • Christina recounts the moment that she got her first term sheet [52:17]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [31:07]

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Christina Cacioppo
Vanta
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    

Funded
February 16, 2021
60
mins

Acting like a master fundraiser

Before starting Yac, Justin Mitchell had zero network in venture capital, didn’t know the insider terms, and was based out of small town Florida. None of this would point to someday raising a Series A round of funding from a top venture capital firm, but that’s what he did. The key he tells us was focusing on meeting the right people, building great product, and leaning on his thespian roots.

Episode Summary

Before starting Yac, Justin Mitchell had zero network in venture capital, didn’t know the insider terms, and was based out of small town Florida. None of this would point to someday raising a Series A round of funding from a top venture capital firm, but that’s what he did.  The key he tells us was focusing on meeting the right people, building great product, and leaning on his thespian roots.

Remember to grab the insights pack on this episode at fundedpod.com/yac.

Topics Discussed

  • What exactly is Yac? [2:23]
  • Justin’s roots as an actor [3:32]
  • How Justin’s drama teacher’s improv game made him a more dynamic speaker  [5:19]
  • Jason explains the difference between a salesmen and a zealot [7:52]
  • Justin explains Yac’s strategy toward fundraising narrative [9:33]
  • How Twitter led to money and a strong network [13:52]
  • Justin talks about opportunistically raising a round when the market was frothy [19:48]
  • Justin talks about raising a Series A despite not having the most robust metrics in hand [24:58]
  • How all founders should handle getting a “no” from a VC [29:26]
  • Justin talks about how he doesn’t actually use a deck on investor calls! [35:47]
  • Hear the actual call where GGV let the Yac team know that they’d be leading their Series A [41:56]
  • Justin’s advice to other founders out there [45:52]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [49:57]

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Justin Mitchell
Yac
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded    
  • Vanta helps companies get SOC2 certified with an automated platform trusted by over 800 SaaS companies. Cut down this complex and time consuming process from months to weeks by using Vanta. Funded listeners get $1000 off their service by going to vanta.com/funded
Funded
February 2, 2021
59
mins

Confidence is KEY ...I think?

Laura Del Beccaro, the Founder of Sora, looks like the most VC-backable, first time founder ever. She went to a top university, was a software engineer at a scaled startup, and even did a stint at a top VC firm. But after pulling together an all-star pre-seed round fairly quickly, Laura found out how difficult fundraising can be when you’re no longer a “hot deal” as she tried to raise her subsequent round. Laura had to dig deep to find the confidence to unlock VC dollars even while her company’s numbers were less than confidence inspiring.

Episode Summary

Laura Del Beccaro, the Founder of Sora, looks like the most VC-backable, first time founder ever. She went to a top university, was a software engineer at a scaled startup, and even did a stint at a top VC firm. But after pulling together an all-star pre-seed round fairly quickly, Laura found out how difficult fundraising can be when you’re no longer a “hot deal” as she tried to raise her subsequent round. Laura had to dig deep to find the confidence to unlock VC dollars even while her company’s numbers were less than confidence inspiring. 

Remember to grab the insights pack on this episode at fundedpod.com/sora.

Topics Discussed

  • Laura details how her competitive roots started at a young age [2:45]
  • How Laura leveraged optionality to dictate her career path [4:29]
  • Hear how Laura’s first round of capital got started with the help of a legendary angel [10:06]
  • The importance of giving underrepresented investors and founders a voice [14:51]
  • Laura embarks on her second round of raising capital, which happened to be sparked by discovering a spreadsheet error [19:58]
  • How Laura dealt with rejections and what she learned from them [26:57]
  • How creating a sense of urgency can help AND hurt your raise [37:19]
  • Laura’s advice to first-time and underrepresented founders [44:08]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [47:20]

Resources Mentioned

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Laura Del Beccaro
Sora
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded
  • Grain is an awesome tool if you spend all your time on Zoom calls like we do. It helps take notes and save amazing moments from your calls in easily shareable clips. (https://grain.co/funded)

Funded
January 19, 2021
47
mins

The Secret Science of Fundraising (Part 2 of 2)

From the start of our conversation with Sam Corcos from Levels, it was obvious there would be too much sauce for just one episode. In this second half of our 2-part series, Sam begins by sharing details around a large key to his success - his very large cap table. Afterwards, we discuss specifics around his approach to attracting a $12MM seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz and how newcomers to the sport of fundraising might fare employing similar tactics.

Episode Summary

From the start of our conversation with Sam Corcos from Levels, it was obvious there would be too much sauce for just one episode. In this second half of our 2-part series, Sam begins by sharing details around a large key to his success - his very large cap table. Afterwards, we discuss specifics around his approach to attracting a $12MM seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz and how newcomers to the sport of fundraising might fare employing similar tactics. 

We wrap this episode as we always do with a debrief, but this time include a special guest who had a front row seat to all the action.

Live Q&A on Clubhouse!! In response to the flurry of questions sent in by curious listeners wanting to know more about Sam (fundraising and otherwise), we've decided to host a live Q&A after show on Clubhouse. We'll be announcing the timing on Twitter so stay tuned!

Topics Discussed

  • Sam’s unique strategy of utilizing stacked notes/SAFES [2:28]
  • Leveraging investors for feedback [6:13]
  • Sam’s theory on how time does not scale, but content does [8:28]
  • How Levels embraces transparency during a fundraise [10:50]
  • How to time your next fundraise [17:17]
  • Sam looks back on his relationship with Jeff Jordan (a16z) [20:45]
  • How to manage your monthly updates to investors [25:08]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold, and a very special guest [29:09]

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Sam Corcos
Levels
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com
  • If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded 
  • Grain is an awesome tool if you spend all your time on Zoom calls like we do. It helps take notes and save amazing moments from your calls in easily shareable clips - grain.co/funded
Funded
January 5, 2021
43
mins

The Secret Science of Fundraising (Part 1 of 2)

Much like the "secret master plan" for his company Levels, Sam Corcos openly talks about what he was able to decipher when it comes to the science of fundraising. This is exciting because fundraising approaches have traditionally been shared with tribal knowledge, feel-based language. In this conversation, Sam talks about how how he decided to follow his training as a scientist rather than rely on fundraising folklore. The result was a data driven process that has left even the most experienced investors speechless. Part 1 of this 2 part series focuses on how he built the base for his approach and features inspiration for 2021 goal setting.

Episode Summary

Much like the "secret master plan" for his company Levels, Sam Corcos openly talks about what he was able to decipher when it comes to the science of fundraising. This is exciting because fundraising approaches have traditionally been shared with tribal knowledge, feel-based language. In this conversation, Sam talks about how how he decided to follow his training as a scientist rather than rely on fundraising folklore. The result was a data driven process that has left even the most experienced investors speechless. Part 1 of this 2 part series focuses on how he built the base for his approach and features inspiration for 2021 goal setting.

Topics Discussed

  • Sam's background[2:11]
  • Sam’s first experience starting and running a company [4:52]
  • The influence of the On Deck fellowship [6:58]
  • The early origins of Levels [8:45]
  • Transitioning from CTO to leading fundraising pitches [12:27]
  • Sam’s thesis on networks [15:38]
  • How the Levels co-founders vetted potential funds [21:47]
  • How personal relationships led to an angel army [25:57]
  • Sam’s goal of keeping in touch with 1,000 people per quarter [26:43]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [30:00]

Resources Mentioned

Follow Us

Sam Corcos
Levels
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com

If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded

Also, group giving is an amazing way to bring teams closer together and give back. If you already are a part of a group that supports charities together or if you run an organization that is looking for a positive team building activity, we highly recommend you start a giving circle on Grapevine for FREE (www.grapevine.org)

Funded
December 22, 2020
48
mins

From rags to riches

Have you ever heard the advice “dress for the job you want not the one you have”? For Topper Luciani, that was tough advice to follow because it meant wearing an old t-shirt from Goodwill even while asking fancy venture capitalists for millions of dollars. In this episode, we hear how Topper learned the importance of being your authentic self while raising money and how he somehow managed to save his company after one of the most devastating curveballs in fundraising - a pulled term sheet.

Episode Summary

Have you ever heard the advice “dress for the job you want not the one you have”? For Topper Luciani, that was tough advice to follow because it meant wearing an old t-shirt from Goodwill even while asking fancy venture capitalists for millions of dollars. In this episode, we hear how Topper learned the importance of being your authentic self while raising money and how he somehow managed to save his company after one of the most devastating curveballs in fundraising - a pulled term sheet.

Topics Discussed

  • Selling ties and the textile recycling business [3:08]
  • How Topper attempted to raise money for his first (failed) venture [5:35]
  • The origins of Goodfair (Topper’s POV) [7:49]
  • Jason’s overview of Goodfair’s beginnings [12:39]
  • The moment the original Goodfair Seed term sheet was pulled [15:04]
  • Topper brushes off adversity and hits the fundraising trail again [17:31]
  • Topper achieves another term sheet from an “inside” [19:59]
  • Topper leverages the term sheet to fill out the rest of the round [24:22]
  • Topper’s advice to founders based on his experience [25:59]
  • Jason breaks down the episode and discussion concepts with show producer, Olivia Reingold [31:56]

Resources Mentioned

  • Shop some amazing thrifted clothing at Goodfair.com
  • Report on the resale market from ThredUp / Global Data

Follow Us

Topper Luciani
Goodfair
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com

If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded

Funded
December 8, 2020
55
mins

A different type of funding and a different type of “no”

Lindsay McCormick, founder of Bite Toothpaste Bits, wants you to know there are alternatives to taking venture capital. She created a multimillion dollar business and funded its growth almost entirely through customer purchases. This show is an honest discussion about the alternatives to venture capital. You’ll learn why even though Lindsay’s email inbox is full of investment offers, she turns them away.

Episode Summary

Lindsay McCormick, founder of Bite Toothpaste Bits, wants you to know there are alternatives to taking venture capital. She created a multimillion dollar business and funded its growth almost entirely through customer purchases. This show is an honest discussion about the alternatives to venture capital. You’ll learn why even though Lindsay’s email inbox is full of investment offers, she turns them away.

Topics Discussed

  • Lindsay’s ah-ha moment behind Bite [6:43]
  • The drive to produce Bite [9:33]
  • How she initially got the cash to buy equipment, like a tableting machine [13:48]
  • What she already knew about venture capital and how it influenced her decisions [17:55]
  • The point that Bite started to take off and [21:17]
  • Problems that come with success [ 22:37]
  • Saying “no” on Shark Tank [34:39]
  • Advice Lindsay would give to founders based on her experience starting a company and thinking about funding her business [38:46]
  • Charities she supports through Bite like Beauty 2 the Streetz  [40:17]
  • Debrief with my producer, Olivia, where go into detail about the different funding decisions Lindsay made [43:06]

Resources Mentioned

Calls-to-Action

Follow Us

Lindsay McCormick
Bite
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com

If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded

Funded
December 8, 2020
53
mins

Sex sells, but does it raise money?

Investors like patterns. They’re either explicitly or subconsciously motivated to back businesses that look, sound, or feel familiar and comfortable. That’s why Isharna Walsh, founder of sexual wellness app Coral, had such a daunting task. For her, raising venture capital meant guiding investors through the uncomfortable task of talking about their sex lives and convincing them to back an unfamiliar profile, a minority woman with no ivy league degrees.

Episode Summary

Investors like patterns. They’re either explicitly or subconsciously motivated to back businesses that look, sound, or feel familiar and comfortable. That’s why Isharna Walsh, founder of sexual wellness app Coral, had such a daunting task. For her, raising venture capital meant guiding investors through the uncomfortable task of talking about their sex lives and convincing them to back an unfamiliar profile, a minority woman with no ivy league degrees.

Topics Discussed

  • Isharna discusses her background and the moment she had the idea for Coral [3:27]
  • Did Isharna know she needed Coral to be a venture-backed business? [5:19]
  • Describing what Coral is its opportunity to impact the world [9:23]
  • How Isharna tried her best to make her story match more patterns for investors [13:06]
  • Challenges raising money for a business that is risque as a woman [14:52]
  • Talking about the crazy statistics around who controls venture capital dollars in the United States [18:19]
  • Her realization around who would understand her business and be open to funding it [20:55]
  • Meeting her lead investor [22:12]
  • A really crappy meeting [23:44]
  • Describing the moment she found out she found out someone would lead her round [29:51]
  • An important message for underrepresented founders [37:34]
  • The blooper reel that comes from trying to get investors to put money into a company focused on sex [40:08]
  • Debrief with producer Olivia focused on how important pattern matching is to investors [43:53]

Resources Mentioned

Calls-to-Action

Follow Us

Isharna Walsh
Coral
Funded
Jason Yeh (host)
Contact Us
  • Reach out to us on social or email me directly at jason@fundedpod.com if you have any questions or would like to share your story with us!
  • Subscribe to the Funded newsletter at funded.substack.com

If you’re fundraising, make sure you send your materials via a document sharing tool. Even if they weren’t our presenting sponsor, we’d still recommend you use DocSend - www.docsend.com/funded

Funded
December 8, 2020
53
mins

How to tell a story worth $140 million dollars

Anthemos Georgiades, founder of Zumper, perfected his pitch the way most founders do: through trial and error. This show is about storytelling and all the elements that go into telling the perfect fundraising story. Anthemos deals with a difficult start to his tale having to manage “signaling risk” as well missteps with his deck and an overall lack of focus on the way to raising over $140 million dollars.

Episode Summary

Anthemos Georgiades, founder of Zumper, perfected his pitch the way most founders do: through trial and error. This show is about storytelling and all the elements that go into telling the perfect fundraising story. Anthemos deals with a difficult start to his tale having to manage “signaling risk” as well missteps with his deck and an overall lack of focus on the way to raising over $140 million dollars.

Topics Discussed

  • Anthemos describes his ambitions growing up [1:43]
  • Describing the elements that made his series A more difficult [4:36]
  • What was the catalyst to have them go out ot raise [6:15]
  • Anthemos describes how little confidence he had around the fundraising process before he went out for his A round [8:37]
  • Where did Anth get support during these times? [10:37]
  • Anth makes a big mistake with his deck early on and gets away with it [14:22]
  • A tough investor meeting he remembers [17:22]
  • How he managed feedback and advice from prospective investors [19:56]
  • Anth talks about how many no’s he’s gotten [23:49]
  • Chatting about the stress leading up to his fundraise and describing the signaling risk he had to manage [24:50]
  • Anth describes when he got the call telling him that Kleiner Perkins was going to invest [29:38]
  • Anth tells us what some lessons he shares with founders are [33:20]
  • Debrief with my producer Olivia talking about some of the terms used and describing in greater detail why “signaling risk” was such a big deal [38:04]

Resources Mentioned

If you’re in the market for housing, you should check out Zumper:

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