When we officially founded the company last May 2020 we raised a Seed round of $3M from Accomplice and Glasswing. We had some prototype tech but no signed customers as proof of product-market fit. We did phone calls (not meetings — COVID in the US was just starting) with investors we had worked with before and got a fast and efficient fundraise. We had nothing to show in a deck and therefore no deck.
We put the money to work the way all companies do: by making things and selling things. We built our prototype into a customer-ready version. We signed a half-dozen enterprise customers, the first of which was Pendo. We had well over a year of runway so our plan was to just keep building & customering for a while.
However, we got interrupted about six months in. It turns out that enterprise software companies have boards. On those boards sit investors. Those investors started seeing presentations of their companies’ new demo for product-led growth. We started getting phone calls.
One of those phone calls was from Ajay Agarwal at Bain Capital Ventures. Ajay started the call by saying “I know the pain point you’re solving.” I’ve worked with enough VCs over the years to realize that just like the rest of us they have a subset of areas they know well. Ajay knew enterprise sales and marketing from his personal experience as an operator in addition to his investments as a VC. We didn’t need to explain why we were doing a demo platform with Reprise. We just needed to explain how.
We made a deck this time, because this time we had something to put in it: our customers and the demos they were building on our platform.
The Series A raise puts an additional $17M of gas in the tank. What are we doing now? We’re back to building & customering…only with much bigger targets. This is my favorite stage of company: when you have a product that works and you are growing the initial business around it.
We’re going to need a lot more builders and customerers on this journey. You should come join us.
Sam is cofounder, co-CEO and head of product at Reprise