Funding Fireside – Sammy Shreibati of SaveUp.com

My company, Emissary, works out of a great co-working space called the Founder’s Dojo. We organize periodic fireside chats with great people in the startup world. Below are my (raw/unedited) notes from our first talk. The topic was pre-seed and seed funding, with Sammy Shreibati of SaveUp.com


Advice to entrepreneurs looking to raise?
Create momentum.
Don’t tell them who you’re talking to. They won’t collude but they’ll get together, share notes, etc. They’ll eventually get there anyway, but no need to speed the process up.
Expected value of that situation is not necessarily worse, but it’s not a better outcome for the entrepreneur.
***Getting to the first term sheet should be your goal***

SaveUp’s 1st round
Talked to 15 investors in 2.5 weeks
Mid-2011, “frothy” time when lots of deals were happening
TrueVentures (seed), Blue Run (series A for Paypal)
Mostly Sand Hill, some SF.
Felt good to go up to them and say we’re talking to others
Once you get first term sheet you’re good.
Pre-product: bought adwords for different keywords, sent traffic to email signups, showed analytics as proxy for interest. This also got Sammy to really believe in it.
Reminds me of http://www.paulgraham.com/convince.html
There was also a ton of literature on Prize Linked Savings which is the inspiration of SaveUp. That helped pre-product.

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