Assistly's fundraising lessons before its $50M sale

Bambi Francisco Roizen · October 17, 2011 · Short URL:

Alex Bard, CEO and co-founder of Assistly shares experience raising funds from VCs

Hearing VC fundraising experiences from successful companies is always helpful for entrepreneurs still slogging away for investment after investment. Assistly, which provides customer service and support tools for small businesses, was recently scooped up by for $50 million in cash. 

Prior to the sale, Alex Bard, CEO and co-founder of Assistly, gave a presentation about his fundraising experience during our Venture Shift event this past July. 

(Editor's note: Venture Shift is produced by Vator and Bullpen. The popular event that explores venture and fundraising dynamics will be held again this coming November 17 in NYC. Get ticket here.)  

As part of his Floating Point presentation, Alex spoke about what it took to raise nearly two rounds of capital worth nearly $6 million from the start of his company in October 2009 until the last financing round earlier this year.

It's a great look at what it takes to get noticed in Silicon Valley. At one point, Alex talks about meeting with 25 venture capitalist firms, only to receive one term sheet. That's actually not bad odds but it's a lot of pounding the pavement, nonetheless.

More interestingly was during December 2010, when Assistly wanted to raise a Series B round but didn't exactly have enough traction. The team managed to raise $4 million from a number of investors, including Bullpen. The lesson here: There's a much greater granularity of financing. Because it's more cost effective to build a company online than ever before, and because open source allows entrepreneurs to stand on the back of the work of others, there's been a flood of new financing options from micro-VCs, super angels, angels, etc.  

The other lesson: Once you've proven your business, there's a ton of money at high valuations.  

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Author of "Unequally Yoked"; Co-founder Vator and Invent Health; Former Columnist/correspondent Dow Jones MarketWatch; Business anchor CBS affiliate KPIX

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