Behind The Deal: Speek's Series A
Some say there’s a Series A crunch in the DC region, as seed funding sources have increased but the number of Series A funders hasn’t. But Speek CTO Danny Boice (right), snapped at SocialRadar's launch party last week with Android engineer Jay Bobzin, argues that it’s all in the preparation. He shared three big lessons learned during the recent four-month process of raising a $5.1M Series A round:
1. Pick a key metric for your business and focus on it. It becomes the story you tell about your company, whether it be how much revenue it’s generating or how many product users it has. Speek’s story included the proprietary technology that powers its conference calling app.
2. Generate buzz either through the press or events like pitch contests. Danny says Speek’s buzz helped it get meetings with some of the new investors it attracted for this round.
3. Make sure the product is great before going out for a Series A round. Investors will use it and if it isn’t good, they’ll lose interest.
Danny's son, Nolan, might get hired at Speek one day since the 6-year-old is taking software engineering and Lego Robotix classes. Danny says Speek started hitting its revenue targets in January and February and is on pace to see “impressive numbers” this summer. Speek generates revenue from individual subscribers and businesses that buy bulk subscriptions that can be branded for the company. Speek is also working on some collaboration features and integrating conference calling data with other enterprise apps like Salesforce. The startup, housed in AOL’s Fishbowl Labs, also plans to add one to two sales people per month this year.