Raise $200K in 2 minutes!

Notice I didn’t say two deals every two years.

This story takes place  in San Francisco, well-known for how quickly business gets done. But I’m hopeful that the DFW startup and investment community will soon have this type of excitement in our ecosystem.

Full disclosure: It was actually $187K and it took 45 minutes.

But, 1. that title would have sucked,  and 2. you’ll see where the 2 minutes part comes into play.

So, we opened a $1.2MM round earlier this year and raised and collected a little over $1.1MM, leaving $87k left on the round. Two months later, the round technically expired and we went on to grow the company.

It became apparent, due to our burn rate, that it was time to raise again. We put out feelers for who might be interested in our next round. One of the 20+ options was Kapor Capital, although we were a bit beyond their investment range.

Being savvy entrepreneurs, we got the board to open up the previous round for the $87k — and add a $100k extension *if* we could raise it.

So during a 3 day trip to Silicon Valley, including 8 VC meetings, we made the hike over to Oakland to meet with Kapor Capital.

We show up, sit in the lobby for about 5 minutes, when one of the associates asks us to come back to the meeting room. We walked past beautiful artifacts and books and a coffee area into a room with two other associates.

On speaker phone was Mitch Kapor and his wife (they were vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard) and newly added partner and former head of the NAACP, Ben Jealous. We put up our deck in the conference room and emailed it to the call-in audience.

For 20 minutes or so we pitched, told our story, and answered some questions. Our story must have been compelling because towards the end of the pitch, they all seemed to have a competitive sense of urgency about deciding and giving us a “yes” or “no.”

They started talking among themselves right in front of us, and that’s when it happened.

Mitch said, “This is a good deal. Time is always of the essence, and it probably isn’t practical for us to ask you to step out of the room so we can decide.”

To which I replied, “I don’t know if it’s practical, but it’s certainly ideal.”

Another associate asked us, “Can you excuse us for 2 minutes?”

To which, of course, we replied, “Certainly!”

Two minutes later they called us back in.

They informed us that they were in — for the entire $187k.

BAM! Only in San Francisco.

And that’s how we raised $200k in 2 minutes.  (Kinda. 🙂 )

  • Craig is the Founder & CEO at VisagePayroll.com offering Free payroll to startups and small businesses and he's a mega believer of the DFW Startup Community. Craig is also the author of The Sport of Sales TheSportof.com. His previous startup experience includes launching a sports media and advertising company and prior to Kairos a facial recognition API provider, he launched a traditional payroll company as a subsidiary of a credit card processor ultimately handling $2 billion in transactions. His motto: Think Bigger. Fail Faster. Get Better.

  • Show Comments

  • Mike

    What kind of traction did you guys have at this point?

  • ReferMe

    Great write up!

  • Jorge Varela

    Craig, this is hardly $200k in 2 minutes. 8 VC meetings? # days in SV? Company had gone on to actual generate revenue and the Kapor Capital was able to come in at an earlier valuation – smart investment.

  • Craig J. Lewis

    Thus the reason I said And that’s how we raised $200k in 2 minutes. (Kinda. ) and Full disclosure: It was actually $187K and it took 45 minutes. and So, we opened a $1.2MM round earlier this year and raised and collected a little over $1.1MM, leaving $87k left on the round. Being savvy entrepreneurs, we got the board to open up the previous round for the $87k — and add a $100k extension *if* we could raise it.
    So during a 3 day trip to Silicon Valley, including 8 VC meetings, we made the hike over to Oakland to meet with Kapor Capital. All the things you mentioned I said in the article, that’s how you know the details. Obviously it wasn’t 2 mins. I’ve been on this path for 33 years and Kairos is 3 years of blood sweat and almost tears:). I stated the reason for the title by saying 1. that title would have sucked,” By no means am I saying it’s easy. But I do believe that as startup communities mature deal flow increases and due diligence becomes more streamlined.

  • Craig J. Lewis

    Traction is such a general word and means different things to different investors and entrepreneurs. Basically were minimal revenue, several large customers ramping up, 1000s of developers using our API, Millions of faces in our system.

  • Mike

    Great info Craig, thanks!

Comments are closed.

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