Funded - how they raised millions

Ad.ventures

The tech media loves a splashy funding announcement - millions of dollars injected into a hot startup primed to become a unicorn. But what about the work behind those headlines? Host Jason Yeh, a former VC and venture-backed startup founder, talks with entrepreneurs about how they raised the capital to launch world-changing startups. Their conversations uncover incredible stories including cautionary tales, inspirational memories, and even some insightful tips.

Keep up with us on social @fundedpod to learn more.

Coming Soon: Funded
Trailer 1 min 34 sec

All Episodes

Adeel Malick, 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. ----------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

Nov 23

50 min 8 sec

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. ---------- 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

Nov 9

53 min 49 sec

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.----------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

Oct 27

45 min 25 sec

Our most  popular Funded interview from Season 1 was an incredible 2-part episode where Sam Corcos, the CEO of levels talked about his scientific approach to fundraising.  As more people ask about Sam and our episode, we decided to remix the 2 episodes into a single episode and add a fun  new debrief to the update you all on how the episode content holds up nearly a year later.  Read on...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.  In addition, Sam shares details around a large key to his success - his very large cap table. Afterwards, we discussed 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 the episode as we always do with a debrief, but this time also include a special guest who had a front row seat to all the action. Thanks to our sponsors DocSend  and Vanta for supporting this!----------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

Oct 13

1 hr 14 min

Parker Treacy created his first successful company in the United States without raising ventures 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 dollars.----------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

Sep 21

52 min 11 sec

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

Sep 7

54 min 39 sec

Nicole Emrani Green's journey from the rambunctious daughter of Persian immigrants to venture-backed CEO has had many 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 funding 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

Aug 24

55 min 29 sec

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.-----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

Aug 10

44 min 34 sec

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.-----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

Jul 27

1 hr 3 min

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.-----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

Jul 27

1 hr 6 min

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.-----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

Jul 27

46 min 17 sec

Funded Season 2 launches on July 27, 2021. Listen for a sneak preview into what to expect in this exciting new season.-----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

Jul 16

1 min 21 sec

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• 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

Feb 16

1 hr 2 min

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

Feb 2

59 min 24 sec

This is Funded's first ever Friends & Family Round! With so many listeners asking questions about things they hear in episodes or about the fundraising market in general, we decided to launch this sister show to give more insights with a little help from our friends.In this episode, Russ Heddleston the CEO of DocSend gives us a very unique view into 2020  trends via his company's recently released Startup Index Report. Russ describes how their report leverages aggregated and anonymized data of pitch deck activity to show things like how many investors need to be pitched before successfully raising.  So much of 2020 was a crazy rollercoaster in fundraising and hearing how the data describe it was illuminating.-----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

Jan 21

20 min 28 sec

From the start of our conversation with Sam Corcos from Levels, it was obvious there was 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!-----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

E

Jan 19

47 min 2 sec

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.-----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

Jan 5

43 min 57 sec

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.----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

E

Dec 2020

48 min 22 sec

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, up till now she's turned them all away. -----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

Dec 2020

56 min 17 sec

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.-----• Check out the DocSend report on the funding divide we reference here: https://www.docsend.com/index/the-funding-divide• 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

Dec 2020

56 min 19 sec

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.-----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

Dec 2020

51 min 11 sec

In this trailer, hear the background for what will be an amazing season of conversations that show what it takes to get a startup funded.Intriguing quotes from the founders of Zumper, Fama, TRNDS, and more tease some of the topics that will be covered.-----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

Oct 2020

1 min 34 sec