Top Startup Funding Options for Entrepreneurs

According to Startup Genome, 90% of startups fail. If you want to become part of the successful 10%, you have a lot of ground to cover, and that begins with pre-revenue startup funding. 

Don’t worry though, this is sure to be one of the most exciting times for you in your journey as an entrepreneur, so it’ll be worth the challenge. Bootstrappers worldwide are taking advantage of revenue-based resources for quick capital to grow their business!  

If you’re uncertain of what your business needs, you have a wide array of funding options to choose from, so you can rest assured that you’ll find something to be a good fit. In addition to that, you’re always free to use your own mix of small business funding options to suit your financial needs and goals.

What matters most is that you focus on whatever source matches up with the structure and purpose of your business. 

Startup funding options for founders 

Revenue-based funding

Great for: Startups with a predictable recurring (subscription-based, preferably) revenue stream.

When you’re just starting out on your entrepreneurial journey, it can be overwhelming to think about where you’re going to get funding. Even if you have a customer base, you need capital to scale growth. That’s where Founderpath comes in. This platform is a type of revenue-based funding and gives SaaS and other founders early access to funds from their customer subscriptions.

One of the biggest reasons SaaS founders go to Founderpath for their startup funding is retaining equity. When you use a revenue-based loan model, you don’t need to give up any ownership, which can be generally important to a budding entrepreneur. 

If you like real-time data and valuable business insights, check out Founderpath’s valuation tool to get a better sense of what your goals should be. There’s no such thing as too much information as you navigate the world of being a founder.   

All you need is to link your revenue reporting tools to our platform, and we’ll assess whether you’re fit for a loan or not. Once accepted, you get the funds in less than 24 hours, no questions asked.

Personal investment options

If you don’t want to rely on any type of outside investment, welcome to the bootstrapper’s club! Many founders pride themselves on the notion that they built their business without a dime from anyone else. While this isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s certainly possible. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

Personal loans for business

Great for: Founders with a great credit score.

You might want to consider a personal loan for your business if you have exceptional credit and confidence in your business venture. Personal loans for your business are just as straightforward as they are for you as an individual. You’ll avoid confusing formulas and fees, however, you will assume the liability for the loan, should the business fail. 

Personal savings

Great for: Founders with enough capital to spend

If you’re truly confident in your business idea, then you might consider using a portion of your personal savings to offset startup costs. This is a safer route for those who are anticipating an SBA loan soon since you know you’ll be able to replace the expense. 

Cons of personal financing:

  • Higher interest rates
  • You put your personal credit at risk
  • Loan amounts are generally lower

Friends and family

Great for: Founders with a personal network ready to invest for their success

Some people don’t love the idea of going to family and friends for startup money, but if you don’t qualify for a loan, or just want to diversify your funding, you might have to. Make sure you propose your idea with the same professional demeanor you would any other investor. They need to understand what’s in it for them and why they can trust you to deliver on your word. 

If you decide to take the love money route, great! You’re lucky to have that support as you continue your business ventures. However, because this might feel more casual than walking into a bank or sitting down with a panel of investors, make sure you come up with a system. You’ll want to keep track of all the funds you receive, where they are allocated, and any other relevant information deemed appropriate by professional counsel. 

Crowdfunding

Great for: Companies with an established audience that want to see the business launch products and succeed.

Crowdfunding involves seeking out many individuals to donate to a common purpose. Many startup founders get their ventures started with crowdfunding techniques, so it’s worth considering. 

If you’re interested in getting a lot of people excited for the launch of your product, but you still need more money to get it finished, crowdfunding is the perfect way to have users invest directly into your product. You can offer different things in return for the funds you receive, depending on what incentives suit your company best. 

Some founders even consider equity crowdfunding, which awards people with company equity in exchange for their startup funds. 

Small business bank loans

Great for: Startups with decent revenue, a strong business plan, and a promising valuation. 

Banks offer working capital loans and funding as the two main options for business loans. Working capital loans are determined by estimating one year of revenue-generating operations. Funding refers to your typical process of presenting your business plan and valuation. Generally, you must provide some form of collateral, but there are collateral-free options in certain countries.

Small business lines of credit

Great for: Startups that need a short-term cash injection to finance a part of their business.

Like a hybrid model of a business credit card and a bank loan, a line of credit is a more flexible option for funding. You can access these funds at any time, with a cap on the total amount granted. 

These are useful for unexpected startup expenses and maintaining solid cash flow.

Government grants and subsidies

Great for: Founders in certain industries

The government creates different grants and programs to ensure that certain groups and populations have access to business resources. Most of the time you’ll have to apply for a grant that applies specifically to your industry or personal demographic to get approved. 

Business incubators

Great for: Founders that want to gain access to a network of fellow founders, businesses and investors.

Startup incubators are a great solution for entrepreneurs who want support during the early stages of their startup and business resources in a collaborative environment. These organizations exist in most cities When you join a business incubator, you can expect:

  • Access to experts
  • Mentorship
  • Legal counsel
  • Accounting assistance
  • Utilities, equipment, and use of facilities

One of the most efficient ways to find a business incubator that suits your needs is through a referral. To do this, try to seek out a founder in your industry with goals that resonate with your own. If you need access to a community of thousands of founders like yourself, consider getting started with Founderpath.

SBA Microloans

Great for: Founders typically underserved by traditional banks, including minorities and from low-income backgrounds.

SBA microloans started out as a means to allocate more funding to women, minorities, and veterans. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBA microloan program allocates these funds with the help of nonprofit, community-based, intermediary lenders. You can expect interest rates in the range of 8-13%, with a maximum term of six years, and an allotment of anything from $500 to $50,000 depending on the details of your business and your needs.   

Invoice financing

Great for: Startups with a good client base that needs cash to speed up growth

Borrowing money based on unpaid invoices, this financing is an attractive option because of the short time it takes to get it. This type of funding doesn’t require any specific amount of time in business or a large customer base. The only proof you need to present is one invoiced customer. Once you submit your customer invoice, you’ll be able to acquire an advance for part of the invoice amount.  

Choosing the right funding option

There are a few different conditions you’ll want to consider when you compare your options for startup funding. Take these into consideration when weighing your options:

  • Startup industry
  • Business plan
  • Age of the business
  • Annual revenue (if any)
  • Credit score

While your dad might not hold your credit score against you, he’s still going to want to see a solid business plan and have faith in your chosen industry. Revenue- and invoice-based financing are great for startups that are earning revenue in some form, but aren’t for those in the pre-revenue stage.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, start with conferences that focus on your industry. You can request to attend Founderconf 2023 next year if you’re interested in meeting top SaaS founders with over $5 million.

Need financing?

Whether you’re working on a business plan for a new business or have already been in business for over a year, understanding your funding options is imperative to your success. The more educated you are, the more of an informed decision you stand to make. With all of this in mind, you’re already on track to getting the funding you need and securing the future you desire. If you haven’t already you should start with a valuation of your business before you begin to evaluate what type of funding you’re going to need. 

Building Your Startup Balance Sheet

Commercial Paper in 2008

On September 16, 2008, the Reserve Primary Fund, a $65 billion dollar money market fund announced it had suffered losses of $785 million on its Lehman Brothers commercial paper positions.

This announcement triggered a bank run in the commercial paper market and was one of the main causes of Lehman’s collapse and the Great Financial Crisis.1

If you’re in the startup world, you may have never heard of commercial paper. The definition of commercial paper is a series of short term loans to fund working capital needs in large corporations. It was touted as a cheap and easy source of liquidity for corporations looking to minimize their cost of capital. What could go wrong?

The mechanism for the market was effectively a rolling capital source for these corporations. They could access cheap funds, but they would need to go back to market every few weeks to roll-over the maturity. This is very effective during a healthy market, but what happens when investors are no longer willing to roll-over the maturity? There is a sudden rush for capital to meet the maturity which can lead to default.

I am not trying to be a doomsdayer but I do want to note that if you are primarily funding your business with short term debt that must be rolled over frequently, you may be taking more risk than you realize. If the investment partner is no longer willing or able to fund further advances, you could default on payments.

The other element to consider is matching your sources and uses of funds. If you are able to spend funds on ads that drive sufficient cash flow to offset the cash drawn from your short term capital provider, that is great! You are matching the duration of capital with your investment process and are appropriately managing risk.

However, if you are investing in longer term initiatives like a sales team or product, you should consider looking for longer term sources of capital to better manage the roll-over risk.

Before we dive into what those products are and how to incorporate them into your balance sheet, we should more deeply understand the concept of Duration.

What is Duration? How can I get it?

Financial products are all about timing of cash flows. When do you receive the cash and when / how much do you send back to investors.

The way to measure the duration of a capital product is by using the weighted average life (WAL) formula2. Essentially, you will plug the expected cash flows into a spreadsheet and calculate the weighted average of those cash flows. The result will be the number of months the cash will be yours for a given capital product.

You can then take all of your capital sources: short term debt, long term debt and equity and calculate the WAL of your whole balance sheet.

This is a key metric you can use to understand how much risk you are taking with your balance sheet and work towards optimizing it along with the cost of the capital.

Here are 5 examples of WAL calculations:

Type of InvestmentScenarioWAL (months)Cost of Capital
1-Month Credit CardUse a credit card to buy ads and payoff the balance monthly10-20%
6-Month PayoutYou traded 6 months of MRR at a discount3.514%
12-Month PayoutYou traded 12 months of MRR at a discount6.518%
24-Month PayoutYou traded 24 months of MRR at a discount12.522%
EquityYou received an equity investment that paid out 4x
after 4 years (no dividends before then)
4840%+
WAL takes the sum of each expected cash flow and multiplies by the month of that cash flow and divides by the sum of all cash flows.

A few takeaways from the above examples:

  • WAL and Cost of Capital are correlated – Capital providers moving further out in duration and allowing for lower payments are taking higher risk, the cost of this capital reflects this.
  • Duration is shorter than you may expect on debt products – a 6-month deal doesn’t give you 6-months to deploy and return the capital, it’s much shorter at ~3 months.
  • Equity is a very expensive source of capital – You will notice the WAL of equity is much higher than the non-dilutive products. This is due to equity investments not having a cash return component until a liquidity event down the road. This is great for the WAL metric but the cost can be significant and there are governance and control considerations.

Build the Balance Sheet of Your Dreams

There is more than one way to slice the pie. You are not limited to one source of capital and can use multiple sources at the same time. This can be an amazing thing as you think about building your balance sheet to find a balance between cost, dilution and duration.

Perhaps you use a combination of equity and short term debt to manage the risk of rolling over the debt in a turbulent market. Alternatively, you can opt for a partner that can extend out to 24 months producing WAL without dilution. A good rule of thumb would be to aim for 12-24 months of WAL across your capital sources, this will give you the duration required to invest in high return opportunities. Unsurprisingly, this lines up with healthy CAC Payback periods of 12-24 months for SMB to Enterprise SaaS.

Founderpath is a great option for founders who are not on the Venture Capital path and want to be more selective with their equity investor base. With a product with WAL of 12+ months, you will need much less equity to build a strong durable balance sheet for the long term.

The last point I will leave you with is capital is not a commodity. It is a direct connection to the people behind it and they are just as, if not more, important to align yourself with.

Get into business with people you can trust, who understand the risks and challenges of the business. You are looking to build with a team agile enough to support the different phases of your growth.

1When Safe Proved Risky: Commercial Paper During the Financial Crisis of 2007-2009

2https://www.investopedia.com/terms/w/weightedaveragelife.asp

Types of startup funding to choose from

If you have a great business idea, chances are you’re thinking about the best way to get it up and running. In the early stages, you need to either raise funds or invest your own capital. When considering the different types of startup funding out there, it helps to evaluate your current place in the market and what you have to offer. 

If you haven’t done one already, start out with a valuation of your company. Then you can begin to assess your options for funding. At Founderpath, we’ll delve into different types of startup funding.

Funding Rounds

In general, series funding refers to a startup conducting multiple rounds of raising funds, in exchange for equity. Your startup will begin with seed money which refers to the very first investment towards your startup, which can include debt and equity financing. 

After the seed funding stage, the business value increases with the passing of each round, from series A to E, and the amount of financing increases after each round. When you’re just starting out, you’ll be most concerned with the pre-seed stage through series B, so we’ll highlight those below. 

Pre-Seed Stage 

Also known as the friends and family round, this stage is the most informal but most necessary step to getting your business off the ground. Even if it’s a small investment, anything that gets the ball rolling is valuable. Depending on where you’re at in the business planning process, this stage might go on for quite some time, which is normal. Sometimes, you might not even have a minimum viable product yet, and only have the idea to work with.

You won’t want to exchange equity for funding just yet. In most cases, investors rarely fund pre-seed startups, as it’s too risky. The pre seed stage involves your own personal investment, and in some cases, that of friends and family. 

Seed Funding

This refers to the first initial investment in a business that contributes to its overall growth and success. Considered the first official stage of equity funding, this step introduces the idea of exchanging ownership for funding. 

Many entrepreneurs don’t want to exchange equity though, so you can consider revenue-based funding if you already have a customer base.

Series A 

Series A funding starts with identifying your KPIs. These are your key performance indicators and can include things like views, revenue, or users. Typically, a startup enters this stage after the seed stage.

Series A funding sources:

  • Venture capital firms
  • Angel investors
  • Equity crowdfunding (growing in popularity)

$10 million to $15 million is a common valuation for a company at this point. However, it’s not uncommon for many startups to fail during this phase even if they were successful at raising funds during the seed stage. Industry professionals often refer to this as the “Series A crunch.”  

Series B 

If you think you’re ready for series B funding, the main thing you’ll want to consider is your ability to scale your business. At this point, you should already know your place in the market. Founders at this stage are looking to expand. 

You can usually expect this round of funding to come from the same source as series A. It makes sense for investors to reinvest since your valuation will continue to increase. This round is typically between $7 million and $10 million, leaving you with a valuation anywhere from $30 million to $60 million. You also have the opportunity to connect with VC firms that invest in late-stage startups during the series B funding round.   

Alternative funding types

But of course, the vast majority of SaaS startup founders won’t most likely need venture funding, or want the conditions that come along with it. Below, we highlight types of startup funding types that you can choose from.

Revenue-Based Business Loans

Founderpath offers a unique option to turn monthly subscriptions into upfront cash for your business. It’s great for anyone who doesn’t want to give up equity in their business or deal with the headache of a bank’s approval. 

You can start by creating a free account and get a sense of the different tools the platform has to offer. These include:

  • Valuations
  • Customer metrics
  • Business metrics
  • Integration with SaaS tools
  • Convenient customer hub to track invoices and subscriptions/payments

The whole purpose of Founderpath is to provide SaaS founders with the capital they deserve, to continue business operations and achieve growth. This unique platform allows you to turn your customer loyalty into capital, a simple yet innovative concept that is sure to take the fundraising world by storm. 

Crowdfunding

If you have something you’re preparing to launch, crowdfunding can be an excellent way to connect with an audience. When crowdfunding was first introduced, founders relied on family, friends, colleagues, and word of mouth. In today’s digital age, we have plenty of tools to engage with your audience all over the world. 

You can use your social media to direct people to your crowdfunding page. There is an assortment of platforms available, depending on your specific preferences. It also helps to network within your industry, so if you’re in tech, consider joining the waitlist for founderConf 2023. Hundreds of SaaS founders will gather in March to discuss the latest in tech startups and entrepreneurship. 

Equity Crowdfunding

If you want to offer ownership of your company to people who participate in your crowdfunding efforts, then you’re ready to practice equity crowdfunding. 

Incubators

Sometimes referred to as an accelerator program, a business incubator is a dedicated team that is focused on helping you launch your business. Most of the time these are created by other founders that wish to help others with similar aspirations. 

Many incubator organizations offer additional perks like mentorship, which is invaluable to any budding entrepreneur. If you’re looking to get your business idea funded and gain insight along the way, business incubators offer a great combination of support.  

If you like the sound of this and you’re in tech, consider applying to something like Founderled. It’s a dedicated community of SaaS founders that are focused on building their businesses without depending on traditional sources of funding.

Loans

Bank loans are a common source of funding for startups. The only thing to pay attention to here though is research. There are a multitude of loan arrangements to choose from, which is great if you need more specific options. Although you will owe the loan back regardless of your success or failure, you maintain complete control of your operations. Some founders consider this worth the extra paperwork and risk.

SBA Loans

The Small Business Administration guarantees a certain number of bank loans, typically with lower-than-average interest rates. Typically, this loan is beneficial because it will help you get approved for other lines of credit in the future.  

Credit Cards

For certain expenses, credit cards can be very useful in the beginning stages of your startup. You should be able to find a business credit card with a 0% introductory APR. As long as you don’t carry a balance when the interest kicks in, your first year almost functions like a free loan. It’s easy to lose track of credit cards though, so make sure you are in a good position to pay them off each month.  

Friends and family

While not an official startup loan, your friends and family might be a good option for loans or investments. You’ll just want to make sure you have everything organized and in writing. Money can make relationships turn south very quickly, so just make sure you do your due diligence as a business founder. Try to treat them more like an investor rather than a casual friend or family member. 

Venture capital

Venture capital firms operate with the funds of limited partners (LPs). It’s their job to discern where the large sums of money get invested. Like all investments, the name of the game is ROI. Venture capital firms measure their own success on the large returns from their investments. So, make sure you have promising projections ready when you show up to any meeting with VCs. 

Angel investors

Angel investors are extremely wealthy individuals that put money into different startups that pique their interest. You can expect an initial investment to range anywhere from a few thousand to a few million dollars. Whatever the amount, it’s usually considered small by the high net worth individual.

There are a few benefits to doing business with an angel investor.

  • They usually have valuable experience and expertise.
  • They are usually autonomous—you won’t have to wait for approval from any firm or convening group.
  • Angels are considered a crucial part of the startup process and industry as a whole. Many founders depend on the accessibility of angels when just starting out. 

Personal savings 

The best sign of good faith is a personal investment. While you might be reluctant to invest any of your personal savings, it could give you the boost you need to acquire funding from other sources. For instance, if you’re going to sit down with an angel investor, you can explain how you’ve already invested, and that their investment will give your business the boost it needs to really hit it out of the park. 

When it comes to your personal savings though, try to secure other types of funding just to be safe. 

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, it’s all about launching your business in a way that sets you up for success. You need to have more money than it takes to create and launch your products. When you consider marketing efforts and any other expenses you might incur, it becomes clear why so many people depend on different sources of funding. 

If you’re ready to take your business idea to the next level, Founderpath allows you to take control by your bootstraps, create a free account and get started today!

Pre-Seed Funding: What It Is and Why You Should Care

It’s no secret that launching a SaaS product is hard. Even if you have a great idea, there are countless obstacles to overcome before you can make your vision a reality. One of the biggest challenges is securing funding.

If you’re like most founders, you’ll need to raise capital from investors in order to get your business off the ground. But before you can do that, you may need to secure pre-seed funding.

In this article, Founderpath will be doing a deep dive into the topic of pre-seed funding. We’ll talk about what it is, how much you can raise, and how to get it.

So, if you’re currently looking into funding for your SaaS product, you’re in the right place!

What is pre-seed funding?

A start-up’s journey from idea to sustainable business usually passes through a series of funding stages—each with different goals and targets. While the stages can be fairly nebulous in practice, they’re usually defined as:

  1. Pre-Seed: The earliest stage of funding, in which a start-up seeks to validate its product or service. This is typically done through market research, customer interviews, and building a prototype.
  2. Seed: The stage at which a start-up seeks to establish its product or service in the market. This is typically done through marketing and building out the team.
  3. Series A: The stage at which a start-up seeks to scale its business. This is typically done through expansion into new markets and product development.
  4. Series B: The stage at which a start-up seeks to scale its business further. This is typically done through aggressive growth strategies.
  5. Series C: The stage at which a start-up seeks to achieve profitability or become “unicorn” status. This is typically done through consolidation and optimization.

While some stages get more attention than others, each can be make-or-break for SaaS founders hoping to build sustainable businesses. This is especially true in the pre-seed funding stage.

Pre-seed funding (also referred to as “family and friends” funding) is usually relatively limited in scope. However, this limited scope is still vital to a start-up’s chance of success. Without pre-seed funding, many founders struggle to move beyond the ideation stage—and their chances of ever raising significant outside capital diminish significantly.

What pre-seed funding options are there?

There are a few different ways to go about securing pre-seed funding. The most common are:

Bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is when a founder uses their own personal savings to finance their business. This is usually the least attractive option for founders, as it puts their personal finances at risk. However, it can be a good option for those who don’t want to give up equity in their company or take on debt.

Friends and Family

As the name suggests, this is when a founder raises money from their personal network of friends and family members. This is often the easiest form of pre-seed funding to secure, as investors will usually be more forgiving of early mistakes. However, it can also be the most difficult, as it can put a strain on personal relationships.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are wealthy individuals who invest their own money in start-ups. They usually have some connection to the founder, such as being a friend or family member. However, they can also be complete strangers. Angel investors usually invest smaller sums of money than venture capitalists, but they can provide valuable mentorship, and guidance, and connect you to other groups of investors.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is when a founder raises money from a large group of people, typically through an online platform such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo. This can be a great way to raise pre-seed funding, as it doesn’t require giving up equity in your company. However, it can be difficult to reach your fundraising goals, and there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to deliver on your promises.

Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists are professional investors who invest other people’s money in start-ups. They usually invest larger sums of money than angel investors, but they also tend to be more hands-off. Venture capitalists typically invest in companies that have a higher chance of failing, but also a higher potential return if they succeed.

Accelerators and Incubators

Accelerators and incubators are programs that provide funding, mentorship, and resources to start-ups. They usually take equity in return for their services. Accelerators typically last for a set period of time (usually 3-6 months), while incubators are more like ongoing programs.

Loans

Loans and grants are another option for founders looking to finance their businesses. There are a few different types of loans that founders can apply for, including:

  • Government Loans: These are government-backed loans that can be used for a variety of purposes, including start-up financing.
  • Peer-to-peer Loans: These are loans that are funded by a group of individuals, rather than a bank or other financial institution.
  • Personal Loans: These are loans that are taken out by the founder themselves. They can be used for any purpose, including start-up financing.
  • Alternative Loans: These are non-traditional loans offered by private companies (like Founderpath) as alternatives to traditional loans from financial institutions and government agencies.

Now that you know a bit more about pre-seed funding, why should you care?

What are the benefits of pre-seed funding?

There are a few key benefits of pre-seed funding that make it an attractive option for founders:

1) Pre-seed funding can help you validate your business idea

One of the benefits of pre-seed funding is that it can help you validate your business idea through market research. When you have a solid business plan built on real-world data, everything becomes much simpler down the line.

If you can show that there is interest in your product or service, it will be much easier to secure additional funding from venture capitalists or other investors.

2) Pre-seed funding can help you build an MVP

Building a minimum viable product (MVP) is a huge hurdle for founders hoping to carve out a piece of their market. Without one, it’s hard to attract the attention of investors, users, or customers. There’s usually just too much competition!

Securing pre-seed funding is often the key to building a prototype or MVP. The extra cash can help you hire designers, developers, and other professionals who can turn your vision into a reality.

3) Pre-seed funding can help you hire a team

One of the benefits of pre-seed funding is that it can help you hire a team. When you have the financial resources to bring on additional employees, it can speed up the development of your product or service.

Hiring a team is essential for any start-up. You need people who are passionate about your mission and are dedicated to helping you achieve your goals. With the help of pre-seed funding, you can bring on talented individuals who will help take your business to the next level.

4) Pre-seed funding can help you attract future investors

One of the main benefits of pre-seed funding is that it can help you attract future investors. By demonstrating that you have a viable business and that you’re able to execute on your vision, you’re much more likely to secure the investment you need to take your business to the next level.

Pre-seed funding is also a great way to build relationships with potential investors. When you can show that you’re able to deliver on your promises, investors will be more likely to trust you with their money. Building strong relationships with investors is essential for any start-up founder.

What are the risks of pre-seed funding?

There are a few risks to consider before seeking pre-seed funding for your business.

1) You may not be able to find an investor

The biggest risk of pre-seed funding is that you may not be able to find an investor. This is especially true if you’re starting a business in a niche market or if your business model is unproven.

If you’re not able to secure funding, it could mean the end of your start-up before it even gets off the ground. Make sure you have a Plan B in place in case you can’t find an investor.

2) You may give up too much equity

Giving up too much equity is another potential downside of pre-seed funding. When you take on investors, they will want a return on their investment. This means that they will own a portion of your company.

Be sure to negotiate with investors to ensure that you don’t give up too much equity in your company. You should also have a lawyer review any agreements before you sign anything.

Note: The equity dilution trap isn’t unique to pre-seed funding—you’ll need to watch out for it at every funding stage you reach. Founderpath is on a mission to save bootstrapping SaaS founders from this fate by offering upfront capital based on monthly recurring revenue (MRR)—no equity dilution required!

3) It might take a while to receive the funds

If you opt for traditional pre-seed funding methods, it can often be a lengthy process. It can take weeks or even months to hear back from investors. This can be frustrating for founders who need funding quickly.

At Founderpath, we understand that time is of the essence for bootstrapping SaaS founders. That’s why we offer a quick and easy application process. We also provide funding in as little as 24 hours—so you can get back to scaling your business!

4) You might be locked into a crippling repayment schedule

Many pre-seed funding options come with high-interest rates and strict repayment terms. This can be difficult for founders who are just starting out and may not have the revenue to support the repayment schedule.

We don’t believe in putting SaaS founders in a compromising position. That’s why we offer flexible, long-term repayment terms without any hidden fees or penalties!

How to get pre-seed funding: quickfire tips

Securing pre-seed funding is one of the most important steps in starting your SaaS business. But it’s also one of the most difficult to obtain.

Investors and lenders are wary of untested products, so you’ll need to work extra hard to make them see your vision.

Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

1) Have a strong business plan

When you’re pitching to investors, it’s important to have a strong business plan. This will give investors’ confidence in your ability to execute your vision. Make sure your business plan is clear, concise, and well-researched.

Since pre-seed funding is typically aimed at bootstrapping SaaS start-ups, it’s important to have a proven business model. Make sure that your business can generate revenue and scale over time by taking inspiration from SaaS companies with demonstrated success.

2) Build your pitch deck

When you’re seeking pre-seed funding, it’s important to have a strong pitch deck. This will help investors see your vision and understand the potential of your business.

Your pitch deck should be well-organized and easy to follow. It should also be filled with engaging visuals that help to explain your business. Make sure to focus on the key points of your business, such as your value proposition, target market, and business model.

As a rule of thumb, your pitch deck should have 10-12 slides that each focus on one key point. If you’re struggling to put one together, try using a template!

3) Pitch your idea

Here are some great tips for nailing your pre-seed funding pitch:

  1. Keep it simple. We cannot stress this enough. Your job is to make a complicated process (i.e., building a business) look easy. This isn’t the time to show off your brilliance; it’s the time to get someone to invest in your ability to execute a great idea. 
  2. Engage with questions. When pitching to investors, it’s important to engage with their questions. This shows that you’re confident in your product and that you’re willing to listen to feedback.
  3. Be realistic. Investors need to know that you (and your business) are grounded in reality. To that end, it’s important that you back up your claims with evidence.
  4. Let your passion shine through. If you want investors to get excited about your ideas, it’s important that you’re excited about them yourself.

4) Make use of rejections

Pre-seed funding is essential for many SaaS founders. But it’s also a risky proposition from an investor’s perspective. It’s unrealistic to think that every meeting you go into will net you the pre-seed funding you need. 

However, don’t get discouraged! Not only is every rejection a learning experience, but you can often strategically utilize them to expand your network. Of course, this starts with being cordial and thanking the investor for their time. After that, you can ask if they know anyone within their network that may be interested in your business model. 

You can even take this a step further and, prior to any propositions, delve into the investor’s connections on LinkedIn. Find another investor within their network that piques your interest. If the original investor rejects you, you can say something along the lines of:

“Hey, I noticed you’re connected to *Name of person*. Do you think we would make a good fit? If so, I’d really appreciate it if you could introduce us.”  

Get the funding you need with Founderpath

Pre-seed funding is an essential step in the journey from idea to sustainable business. Without it, many founders struggle to validate their product or service—and their chances of ever raising significant outside capital diminish significantly.

At Founderpath, we’re here to help founders secure the funds they need to grow, scale, and improve their products. We offer upfront capital based on monthly recurring revenue (MRR), so you can get the funding you need without giving up equity or taking on debt.We also provide flexible, long-term repayment terms—so you can focus on growing your business! Click here to learn more about our funding options!

How To Design A SaaS Landing Page That Converts (Plus Examples)

It’s no secret that a well-designed landing page can help convert website visitors into customers. But what does a well-designed SaaS landing page look like? And how do you go about building one? If you’re not sure where to start, or if your landing pages could use a little sprucing up, don’t worry!

In this guide, Founderpath will be sharing some expert tips on how to design a SaaS landing page that converts, as well as some great examples of highly effective landing pages in the industry.

Let’s get started!

What is a SaaS landing page?

A SaaS landing page is a page within your website designed with a simple purpose in mind: to sell your product. It’s a page for potential users to “land” on as they try to learn more about the solution you’re providing. It can be part of your main website (e.g., your homepage) or entirely separate.

A great SaaS landing page outlines the problems your product solves, explains how it solves those problems, and summarizes the benefits it offers users.

How your SaaS landing page goes about achieving those goals will depend on a few key factors, including:

  • Your Audience: Different users will be looking for different things from your product. You need to design your landing page with a specific user in mind.
  • Your Unique Selling Proposition: The things that make your product unique will influence the content and design of your landing page.
  • Your Industry: Different industries respond well to different design trends, language, and tones.
  • Your Product: The features and benefits of your product will also play a role in determining how you design your landing page.

Now that we’ve gone over what a SaaS landing page is and some of the factors that can influence its design, let’s take a look at some benefits.

What are the benefits of a SaaS landing page?

There are many benefits to using a SaaS landing page to promote your product, including:

Streamlined Sales Funnel

A well-designed landing page can also help streamline your sales funnel, making it easier for potential customers to find what they are looking for and take the next step in the buying process.

Increased Conversion Rate

A SaaS landing page is also important because it can help you increase your conversion rate. By including relevant information and designing your page in a way that is appealing to users, you can increase the chances that they will sign up for your product.

More Visibility and Reach

Additionally, a high-converting landing page can help to build visibility and brand recognition, increasing your chances of success in today’s crowded online landscape.

How much does a SaaS landing page cost?

When it comes to web design, you can spend as much or as little as you’d like. The cost of your SaaS landing page will ultimately depend on your budget and how you go about creating it:

  • Template ($0-$200): If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider using a template as the starting point for your landing page. Many design platforms and website templates offer free or low-cost options that you can use to create a custom landing page yourself.
  • Custom Design ($200-$10,000+): If you have more flexibility in your budget, you may want to consider working with a professional designer or agency. This will usually result in a higher quality design, but will also cost more.

Ultimately, what’s most important is finding the approach that works best for you and your business. Whether that means designing your own landing page or hiring an expert to do it for you, there are many options available to help promote and sell your SaaS product.

Tip: Need seed funding to build a SaaS landing page that converts? We can help! Founderpath transforms your monthly paying customers into upfront capital in as little as 24 hours—no equity dilution, no credit checks. Click here to see how much you can claim.

SaaS Landing Pages: Best Practices For Design

Before we get specific, let’s take a step back and look at some more general design best practices you should consider when creating your SaaS landing page.

1) Use Whitespace

As the name suggests, Whitespace is the empty space on your landing page. Whitespace is important for two main reasons: 

  1. Whitespace can help make the content more digestible. No one wants to feel overwhelmed by a wall of text!
  2. Whitespace can help increase conversion rates. It’s easy to use pops of color to make certain elements stand out against a white background.

2) Stick to a Single Column Layout

Multiple column layouts can be confusing for users, so it’s generally best to stick to a single column layout for your landing page. This makes it easier to focus on the most important elements and keep everything organized clearly.

3) Keep Copy Short and Sweet

Your landing page copy should be short, sweet, and to the point. No one wants to read a novel—they want to know what your product does and how it can benefit them.

4) Include Visuals

Visuals are important for helping users understand your product. In addition to product images and videos, you can also use illustrations, graphs, and infographics.

5) Use Directional Cues

Directional cues (such as arrows) can help guide users’ eyes to specific elements of the page, such as your CTA. This is especially helpful if you have a lot of content on your page.

SaaS Landing Pages: Elements To Include

Right off the bat, it’s important to understand that all SaaS landing pages are different. With that being said, there are certain things you’ll want to include if you want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your digital real estate.

Here are eight things your SaaS landing page should include (with examples from ClickUp—a popular SaaS product):

1) A Headline

A headline is the first thing potential users will see when visiting your landing page, so it’s important to make sure it captures their attention. It should distill your sales pitch down to its essence.

ClickUp is an all-in-one productivity tool used to consolidate the features of a ton of other SaaS products, including Slack, Jira, Asana, Notion, Dropbox, and more. Their tagline gets this across in a concise and memorable way.

2) Product Demos

Product images, videos, and demos will help to clarify your offering and provide potential customers with a more tangible understanding of what you’re offering. While photos are fine, studies show that consumers find videos much more compelling.

ClickUp uses looped videos to visually demo all the key features of its product without requiring a signup. Visitors are able to get an impression of what it feels like to use the product without actually using it—and that’s powerful!

3) A Call to Action (CTA)

Your landing page should have at least one clear CTA, such as “Sign up now” or “Learn more.” This will help motivate users to take the next step in the buying process.

ClickUp’s CTA isn’t anything special, but it still checks all the boxes, including:

  • Actionable Language
  • Color Contrast
  • Incentives and Benefits

4) Features

Your product’s key features should also be outlined on your SaaS landing page, as this helps to differentiate your offering from other solutions on the market.

Being a feature-rich app is a huge part of ClickUp’s pitch. To support this, they break down the various aspects of the product into blocks, with each set of features getting its own tab within the block. 

This isn’t the only way to show off your product’s features, but it works! 

5) Testimonials

Customer testimonials are used to build trust and show users that your product is reliable and effective. Research shows that pages with visible forms of social proof (such as testimonials) are 58% more likely to convert than those without.

ClickUp takes a pretty comprehensive approach to customer testimonials. Visitors can watch a short video of the testimonial being read, read a transcript, flip between different testimonials, and visit the company’s website that supplied it.

6) Client Logos

Your landing page should also proudly display the logos of your most well-known clients as a form of social proof. Here, it’s quality over quantity—ClickUp went with their five most recognizable clients out of a list of 800,000.

7) Integrations

Finally, if your app integrates with any well-known tools, it’s helpful to display their logos as well. One of ClickUp’s main benefits is the impressive number of integrations, so it makes sense that they’ve made this a key element of their landing page.

Examples of Great SaaS Landing Pages

Now that we’ve gone over some things you should include on your SaaS landing page, let’s look at some examples of great landing pages in action.

Otter.ai

Element in Focus: Testimonials.

Otter.ai is a SaaS product that delivers accurate, real-time note-taking services for businesses, educational institutions, and individuals.

Otter.ai’s landing page does a great job exhibiting all the elements we’ve covered thus far. It’s clean, dynamic, and most importantly, provides an excellent overview of the product’s features and benefits.

However, we’re especially impressed with how they’ve chosen to include social proof. Customer testimonials flow across the screen at a speed that’s slow enough to read, but fast enough to get their message across: lots of people love this product.

Maze

Element in Focus: Product Demos.

Maze is a market research solution that allows teams to test anything from prototypes to sales copy from wherever they are in the world. The product enables marketers to get rapid, actionable insights that inform their product decisions.

Maze’s landing page is another great example of how to create an effective SaaS landing page. Their front-and-center headline condenses their sales pitch beautifully, and beneath it, we get a simple (but effective) CTA.

However, the element that sets this landing page apart is the product demo. Potential customers are given a complete walkthrough of the testing experience from the perspective of both testers and developers. It’s a simple slideshow, but Maze has included clickable hotboxes to mimic their UX. Plus, when you’re done, you can view a sample report based on the test you’ve just “completed.”

Swingvy

Element in Focus: Features.

Swingvy is a SaaS platform designed to make life easier for HR professionals by providing an all-in-one tool for all aspects of the job. Their landing page is fairly basic, but it’s effective nonetheless.

Swingvy’s landing page really shines in its feature section. While many SaaS companies choose to spread their features out (e.g., one feature per scroll depth), Swingvy has a single block that lists all the product’s key features.

While that could lead to confusion if poorly executed, the way they’ve designed their feature list block is incredibly simple and elegant. Each feature gets a colored tab, and clicking on a feature brings up a brief explanation and an image that demos it.

Design a SaaS Landing Page That Converts

Creating a great SaaS landing page isn’t easy, but the reward is a virtual asset that converts visitors into paying customers. So don’t wait—start designing your SaaS landing page today!

If you’re in need of funding at any stage in your SaaS start-up journey, Founderpath is here with a founder-focused solution. Rather than giving up equity in your business, turn your monthly recurring revenue (MRR) into upfront capital that you can put towards growing, scaling, and improving your product.

Factoring 101

Factoring is a financial transaction and a type of debtor finance in which a company sells its accounts receivable to a third party at a discount. A business will sometimes factor its receivable assets to meet its present and immediate cash needs.

In this post we share some details of Factoring your receivables with Founderpath…

How does Founderpath work?

Our goal is to provide founders with cashflow to grow their operations sustainably without diluting their equity. We purchase the receivables (ie. our customers’ subscriptions/contracts) in exchange for up front capital. Our founders can draw from that capital either all at once, or in various amounts over time.

Does Founderpath take equity?

No, Founderpath does not take equity. Our goal is to empower bootstrapped founders and their startups by providing non-dilutive capital. The better the Founderpath Score, the better terms we can offer (longer payback periods, cheaper rates) and the more capital our founders are eligible to receive.

Should we take it all now? Or periodically (ie. in tranches)?

While 100% of the eligible capital can be taken up front, most of our founders prefer to draw portions of the capital at various times over a given period. This allows our founders to grow their revenue while simultaneously improving their Founderpath Score, thereby increasing eligible capital and providing better terms in a virtuous cycle.

What happens if/when our customers churn?

Founderpath intelligently finds the next similar or equal subscription(s) and automatically replaces the churned subscription(s). This requires no work from the founder.

Who’s backing Founderpath?

Founderpath has partnered with both institutional capital and successful SaaS entrepreneurs who wish they had access to non-dilutive financing early on.

What happens if we can’t repay?

We try to mitigate the chance of worst case scenarios by partnering with companies that share our ethos and vision (bootstrap, keep equity). On the off chance that one of our partners can’t pay us back, we try to resolve the issue by mutually agreeing to a path for repayment.

Why is your team so small?

A big team is expensive. In order to pay a big team, we have to increase the rates we charge founders. We’d prefer to stay small so we can save our Founders more money and offer them the best terms possible. When you see other companies offer you capital, remember that they have to make enough money on you to pay their big team salaries.

What is an Early Stage Startup? A Complete Guide for Bootstrapped Founders

Startups, especially in the tech and SaaS industries, are forward-thinking companies that aim to disrupt the market and solve their customers’ problems in new and unique ways. 

Whilst all startups – at least when compared to traditional companies – are all quite young, there are key differences in the funding and management needs of startups at different points in their development process. 

That’s why analysts and investors usually split startups into time categories known as stages – the youngest of those stages being an early stage startup. 

What is an early stage startup? How do they differ from companies in more advanced stages? What are some examples of early stage startups? What’s next for these young firms? What is the best way to fund early stage startups? 

Here at FounderPath, we believe in empowering bootstrapped early-stage founders with quick, flexible capital to help them grow into strong, sustainable startups. Find out more about how we can turn your monthly subscriptions into upfront cash later on in this article. 

In this guide, we’ll give you all you need to know about the world of early stage startups, including what to expect in this stage of your development process and what you need to do next to help your SaaS business grow!

What are the stages of a startup?

The struggle of defining what stage your startup is in its growth cycle is particularly important for raising funds and capital to finance your expansion.

There is a multitude of different ways to list stages of companies, from pre-seed, seed, post-seed, pre-A…, and so on. We find the level of complexity in stage definition extremely unhelpful – as each startup’s financing decisions are unique to their industry, market, or business plan. That’s why we believe in the three-stage business model: 

  • Early Stage
  • Growth Stage
  • Late Stage

Some investors and business professionals consider startups before they reach the early stage to be in a pre-seed stage. There’s often not much difference in funding avenues for pre-seed stages, and we believe their needs and characteristics closely align with early stage startups.

What is an Early Stage Startup? 

An early stage startup is a company that is in the early stages of its development. These startups will usually have a business plan, a scalable idea, or a working prototype. In terms of capital financing, early stage companies commonly seek capital from seed funding and Series A funding.

The key to a successful early stage startup is:

  • To have a great understanding of the market they’re targeting.
  • Know how they plan to solve their users’ problems and provide value.
  • Have a clear product-market fit.

Traditional early-stage companies won’t usually have a product ready to launch. But with the rapid pace of software development, SaaS early stage startups commonly have a minimum viable product (MVP) ready to launch!

What’s missing in the early stage startup is profitability, user growth, and expansion of their resources and staff. 

The goal of an early stage startup is to grow quickly to become profitable. They typically do this by scaling their operations, attracting new customers, and raising money from investors.

Here are some common characteristics of an early stage startup:

The startup is small

With the limited resources of a young, fledgling company, early stage startups tend to only have a few people working on their product. 

Without seeing some solid, sustainable growth, it can be too risky to take on too many people – but what SaaS founders need to watch out for is overworking themselves, their co-founders, or early developers to avoid burnout.

The company may have a working product or service, but it is not yet profitable. Early stage startups typically have a small team and limited resources.

Limited user count

It’s no surprise that early-stage companies suffer from low user counts and limited user engagement. Those young SaaS providers with a live MVP will find they can only attract a few early adopters.

The difficulties are clear: a non-existent brand reputation, a small marketing budget, and not enough existing users to spread your product via “word of mouth.” This all results in a high customer acquisition cost (CAC).

Limited financing & investment capital options

Early stage startups lack sustained, demonstratable revenue and good credit history. Therefore, it can be challenging to get investment capital and borrow funds to finance your expansion. 

Why are creditors and investors so unwilling to provide these crucial funds? Early stage startups are inherently risky investments. According to Failory, more than 9 out of 10 startups fail. 

Due to this high risk, banks can either deny loan applications for startup ventures or offer unfavorable lending terms. For this reason, early-stage founders often turn to venture capitalists or individual angels to provide the much-needed capital financing. 

These funds are provided to those startups that demonstrate good product-market fit and need help with growing their capacity. VCs expect rapid revenue growth in the next few years after their investment as your startup enters its growth phase. In return, investors ask for equity in your business – diluting your ownership and control of the company.

How do I finance an early stage startup?

As we touched on previously, traditional capital financing avenues are unsuited for early-stage business ventures, especially in the tech and SaaS industry.

The challenges are as follows: 

  • Banks and financial institutions find lending to early-stage startups too risky. Even if you can get a business loan approved, you’re likely to be shackled by short repayment terms.  
  • VCs and angel investors are good alternatives to bank loans. But in exchange for this investment, you’re giving away precious ownership and control to investors in the form of equity. VCs are sometimes looking for quick returns and, therefore, may not be concerned with your long-term aspirations for the company. 

Luckily, there’s a third way to get upfront cash to develop your SaaS business – through cash advances for your future receivables. 

The neat trick of SaaS companies is that your revenue is fairly predictable. Given a constant churn rate (the rate at which your customers abandon your product), turning your monthly subscriptions into upfront cash advances is a brilliant way to get capital.

That’s exactly what Founderpath offers. 

Firstly, you’ll need to connect your invoicing/payment provider account to our app, and we’ll generate a Founderpath Score (high 1,000). A higher score increases the amount you’ll be able to withdraw and lead to better terms. 

How does a SaaS cash advance financing model help solve the aforementioned issues? 

  1. We let you take your time paying back your cash advance. We’re the only company that allows more than 12 months to pay back your cash advance. We can also provide annual discount rates as low as 8%. 
  2. By avoiding investment capital, you get to retain 100% equity in your company.
  3. Get your funds by wire transfer in as little as 24 hours.

How do I value my early stage startup? 

It can be quite difficult to calculate the value of a young, early-stage business venture. That’s why investors usually follow a “rule of thumb” approach to determine how much your startup is worth. This is called valuation by stage. 

Investopedia gives an example of one such approach: 

Estimated Company ValueStage of Development
$250,000 – $500,000Has a solid business idea or business plan
$500,000 – $1 millionHas a strong management team
$1 million – $2 millionHas an MVP or prototype
$2 million – $5 millionShows signs of a customer base
$5 million and upHas clear signs of revenue growth and an obvious pathway to profitability

An early precursor to this approach is the Berkus Method – conceptualized by angel investor Dave Berkus. He argued that for each of the following criteria, the calculated company value should be increased by up to $500,000:

The issue with both of these approaches is clear. They are crude overgeneralizations of the value and assets of an early stage startup. The Berkus method was created in the mid-1990s and is too limited to describe the value of a modern SaaS firm.

That’s why detailed financial analytics is needed to accurately calculate a valuation estimate. By connecting your SaaS tools to FounderPath, you’ll unlock a real-time valuation estimate based on your: 

  • MRR
  • Churn Rate
  • Retention
  • Average Contract Value (ACV)
  • Current Growth
  • Concentration
  • Runway

Our business metric tool offers both a Founderpath score and a real-time valuation estimate. Why is our valuation more accurate than other methods?

We understand the intricate characteristics of SaaS companies and how value is created in your industry. By tracking these key metrics, we can offer a brilliant insight into how your SaaS business grows and also give you personalized tips on how to increase your valuation. 

Get Capital for your Bootstrapped Early Stage SaaS Startup Today!

Founderpath’s cash advance funding model is a brilliant, flexible way for bootstrapped SaaS founders to access capital. Our detailed customer and business metrics tools give you a deep insight into how well your company is performing and what you need to do to advance your startup into the growth phase. 

To get started with our tools and funding options, create an account for free. Then, once you’ve connected your SaaS tool/payment service provider, you can find out how much upfront cash you can get within seconds!

Founderpath working with Stripe to launch the new Founderpath Stripe App

We began working with Stripe back in December to build the Founderpath Stripe App so bootstrapped SaaS founders could get access to Founderpath’s functionality directly inside of their Stripe account. 

Stripe is beta launching Stripe Apps and the new Stripe App Marketplace today and we’re thrilled to be a part of the initial set of companies selected to participate. 

We’ve long admired the tools Stripe has built and their focus on increasing the GDP of the internet. We launched Founderpath because we believe that one day, everyone will have a side project. Everyone will be a founder. You will be a founder because you found a customer segment you love, and you enjoy the freedom of controlling your time. 

As your side project grows into a business, you may want capital. You don’t like the idea of giving up equity to a VC, you don’t want to have to deal with board meetings, and you don’t believe in the high-stress idea of “scaling at all costs”.

We built the Founderpath Stripe App for you. Get capital overnight without giving up equity. 

You can install the app here and instantly see how much capital you have available. 

HOW IT WORKS

As you add new subscription customers, you’ll be able to take more capital from the Founderpath Stripe App. 

Step 1: Turn your MRR into upfront capital:

Decide how much capital you want by selecting customers. If you do $65,000 in monthly recurring revenue, you’ll be able to access 4x that or $260,000. Take as much or as little as you need. 

Step 2: Review your deal terms:

Depending on how much revenue you have and how stick your customers are, we’ll make you an offer. The key deal terms are: How long you have to payback the capital, what discount rate are you getting. The best founders will have 48 months to payback and discount rates as low as 7%. 

Step 3: Track how much capital you’ve taken, and how much you have left

As you add customers, you’ll unlock more capital. We update capital “Available Today” every night – directly inside your Stripe dashboard – so you always know how much capital you have left.

Apps will become available for install in the coming weeks.

Click here to join the waitlist to get a notification when the Founderpath app is available for download. 

ABOUT STRIPE APPS

Stripe Apps are useful to founders in several ways:

  • Reduce busywork: Stop manually reconciling accounts and jumping between tabs. Take action right in Stripe or Founderpath—quick capital for bootstrapped founders—so you can focus on business growth, not busywork.
  • Share context across tools: Our app tells you how much capital you have available inside of your Stripe account so you’re never left wondering. 
  • Simplify or automate repetitive tasks: Become more efficient by simplifying common workflows. For instance, take capital every month to fund a new hire, ad spend, or any other investment – all with the click of a button. 

ABOUT FOUNDERPATH

Founderpath was launched in 2020 as an alternative to VC’s and banks for Bootstrapped SaaS founders. We wire money in as little as 24 hours, take no equity, and charge no legal fee’s. Founderpath is building a community of SaaS founders, providing them with powerful free tools, and enabling them to quickly access capital. As of May 2022, 125 SaaS founders have taken $50m in capital and kept 100% equity.

Geoff Charles, Product at Ramp

How Ramp Raised $800m in 18 Months, Plans to Grow from 80 to 300

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9O0XBALCiI

Highlights

  • 1:26 Win the Marathon, Sprint by Sprint
  • 2:09 Ramp’s Product Velocity
  • 3:01 3 keys to optimizing product development
  • 3:38 “Don’t make excuses.”
  • 5:09 Product Management vs. Project Management
  • 5:52 Single Threaded Teams – Build Autonomous Product Driven Teams
  • 7:03 Single Threaded Teams – Hold Teams Accountable
  • 7:34 Travel – Example #1
  • 8:45 Travel – Example #2
  • 9:43 Bi-directional feedback
  • 9:46 “You cannot train alone and expect a faster time.”
  • 10:36 Launching products = easy
  • 11:32 Amplifying products = Hard
  • 11:37 Customer Feedback
  • 12:30 Be Ruthless
  • 13:28 Automate Feedback – Use technology
  • 14:35 Automate Feedback – Rank product category by requests
  • 14:56 High Velocity Operational Cadence
  • 15:00 “To win is not important.”
  • 15:38 Operating Principles
  • 17:05 Smooth Process
  • 18:41 1) Our OKR’s
  • 18:48 2) Brainstorming
  • 19:14 3) Project Execution

Resources

Ramp Product OKR

Connect with Geoff

Twitter : @geoffintech

About Ramp

Your finance software should work for you, but let’s face it—it hasn’t evolved in decades. Employees and finance teams end up paying the price, struggling with 80s software that traps them into busy work.

Website: ramp.com

Henry Schuck, CEO ZoomInfo

The Capital Efficient Founder: Secondaries, Debt Driven Takeovers, IPO Pop

During FounderConf 2022 Henry Schuck CEO of ZoomInfo shared details of how he used different capital products to help grow ZoomInfo to its 33B market cap.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdYRWPZ2VZs

Highlights

  • 3:46 ZoomInfo Strategy and Revenue Growth
  • 4:03 $25k in Debt, Law school dorm, 25 yo
  • 13:50 $1.5B Valuation
  • 13:58 How to Structure a Secondary
  • 17:26 Pre IPO: Key Metrics
  • 18:25 ZoomInfo Acquisition $700m+
  • 22:54 Post IPO: Key Metrics
  • 29:34 IPO Pop to $13B Day 1 Trading
  • 31:21 $33 Billion Market Cap (3/6/2022)

Resources

TBD

Connect with Henry

Twitter: @henrylschuck

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/hschuck/

About Zoom Info

Supporting the go-to-market operations of 25,000+ customers worldwide with the world’s deepest, most accurate platform of software, data, and insights. We’re changing the way every company goes to market, the way sales reps engage with buyers, the way marketing targets, the way HR recruits – it’s changing everyday and we’re a driving force of that change.

Website: zoominfo.com