#31: LambdaTest, ObjectBox & more📍
|Christopher DeLuca||Jan 14, 2019|
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Recent Startup Funding Announcements 💰
LambdaTest spoke with upwards of 25 funds for its raised a USD 1m pre-Series A round. LambdaTest founders have known the lead investor in the round for 10 years. The total amount raised to date is USD 1.4m (Crunchbase has the total amount at only USD 1m).
Jungle Creations took seven months to a close its £3m Series A round. The company spoke with 50 investors and had upwards of 5 term sheets submitted. Jungle Creation knew the lead investor for less than a year prior to the raise. The company was 100% bootstrapped for four years and has raised a total of £3m.
ObjectBox raised its recent USD 2m funding round in three months. The company met the lead investor during talks for this round. This seed round is the company’s first capital. Major alternatives to ObjectBox are SQLite and Realm.
Fivetran raised its USD 15m Series A round in three to four weeks. The company knew the lead investor three months prior to raising the round.
CropIn Technology Solutions closed its USD 8m Series B in 7 to 8 months and spoke with 5 investors. The company has known the lead investor in the round for approximately one year. The company has raised a total of USD 12m to date (Crunchbase has the total amount at only USD 11.7m). Internationally, the company sees Farmers Edge as a competitor.
Student Pop raised its recent €3m round in 12 months. The company used a bank to help with the fundraising process. Student Pop spoke with 40 funds and had 4 term sheets. The company met the lead investor in the round 2 years ago. Total amount raised to date is €3m. Direct competitors in France include Side, Crème de la Crème, and Staffme.
LambdaTest, a San Francisco-based cloud-based testing platform, raised a pre-Series A round of $1m back in December.
Recommended book: ‘The Lean Startup’ by Eric Ries.
Thoughts on work-life balance: We strongly believe that when the team is satisfied both mentally and financially only than we can get the best results. That’s why at LambdaTest we focus on problems solved and amount of work done instead of number of hours given. We work in a collaborative environment and are empathetically conscious of each member’s obligations outside of the company as well.
How long did the round take to close: LambdaTest started building the product in 2017 and came up with first release in November 2017. It took first few months of constant growth and customer interactions for investors to become convinced that the product has a genuine market fit and they are backing a successful product.
Number of investor conversations and terms sheets: During the process of raising investments, we had discussions with upwards to 25 funds, and have submitted our growth numbers to each one of them.
Seems as though the process of raising money isn’t efficient. Your thoughts: For any startup raising venture capital is the most important task. Yes we do agree that it may take up to 3 to 9 months in the process but it is the experience of that process that makes or breaks a startup.
What we believe is the fact that first, you should devote as much time as required to make sure you have a good and stable product, and second you have enough customer testimonials to support that the product has the right market-fit. Combined these two it makes the process relatively easy and may take lesser time.
Length of relationship with lead investor: The founders of LambdaTest have known the lead investors for more than 10 years.
Total amount raised to date: LambdaTest has raised $1,400,000 both in pre-series A round of funding.
Competitive advantages: Competitive pricing; Latest Desktop Mobile OS & Browsers to test on; Support to test locally hosted webpages; and 24x7 support.
Macro trends: Automation of all testing processes and adopting continuous testing practices is a trend that has seen a very huge growth in last couple of years. LambdaTest aims to help developers and testers in their continuous testing processes. We plan to bring the whole testing ecosystem to one single integrated cloud platform making all testing processes seamless and truly scalable.
Jungle Creations (Jamie Bolding, Founder & CEO)
Jungle Creations, a London-based content creator for the social age, raised £3m in Series A funding back in December.
How long did the round take to close: It took around five months to find an investor, that offered us the best combination of capital and connections. Due diligence then took around two months so seven months in total.
Number of investor conversations and terms sheets: We spoke to more than 50 investors and we had upwards of five term sheets submitted. This said, our approach wasn't as well thought out and strategic as perhaps it could have been. A big learning was that it is worth identifying the type of investors you want in your business. In this way you can afford to have less meetings that are better quality.
Seems as though the process of raising money isn’t efficient. Your thoughts: The process was relatively arduous but I think a lot of this came down to the fact that this was our first raise. We had to spend time building up our network, building relationships and then once we closed, a lot of the due diligence work we were doing was from scratch. However, now the relationships have been built, and we are continuing to build on them, and the framework for the due diligence is in place, the next round will no doubt be a lot more streamlined. If your company's ultimate aim is to raise I would get started on these process pre-emptively and as soon as possible.
Length of relationship with lead investor: Less than a year.
Total amount raised to date: We were 100% bootstrapped for four years until we raised £3 million from Edge Investments.
Competitive landscape: Jungle Creations is a media, marketing and commerce business. We've built a relatively novel business model, with its foundations in media, creating and distributing content to a global audience on social. Jungle has worked to build adjacent revenue streams across marketing and commerce that are informed by this social knowledge and expertise. On this basis, whilst no one is competing across all of these areas there are businesses with robust offerings in some of these areas. Not least, the likes of Buzzfeed and Vice from a media standpoint, Media Monks from a marketing stand point and various DTC commerce businesses like Glossier, allbirds, casper and beyond.
Macro trends: Advertising and marketing has changed, a shift that has been accelerated by platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Now more than ever brands are having to become publishers, creating always on content to engage their customers in an always on platform-led world. Jungle Creations is perfectly positioned to capitalise on this seismic shift. At our heart, we're a media business, we have our ear to the ground and know how to engage audiences on a global scale. This knowledge and expertise helps develop marketing strategies to promote the right products to the right people driving greater effectiveness than ever before.
ObjectBox (Dr. Vivien Dollinger, CEO & co-founder)
ObjectBox, a Munich and London-based edge database developer, raised $2m in a seed round round back in December.
Recommended book: Terry Pratchett books with Granny Weatherwax or Tiffany Aching in them. There is a lot to learn about leadership and growth from these characters, while the books are also a fun read
How long did the round take to close: About 3 months, not counting Techstars, which obviously helped tremendously with fundraising.
How many firms did you speak with:
What capital will be used for: The capital is used to build out the tech team and with it the ObjectBox tech, specifically we are using the money to move into IoT and release the synchronization solution.
Number of investor conversations and terms sheets: Tough question. It feels like millions. Because we went to pitch at Slush and made it to the second place there, we had a lot of additional talks at that time, when we were basically already nearing the end of the fundraising.
Seems as though the process of raising money isn’t efficient. Your thoughts: Well, I think Techstars does a great job on helping you with the right timing and approach to really streamline the process. My feeling is that fundraising can be done pretty efficiently when the timing is about right and you have all the information prepared for it.
Length of relationship with lead investor: We actually only met them during fundraising, but right from the first meeting on, we knew it was a match in every respect and we really wanted them to lead our round. Thankfully, they felt the same way. To this day, we are more than happy to have Vito as our lead investor.
Total amount raised to date: Roughly USD 2m.
Competitive landscape: In the mobile space there doesn't seem to be too much movement, but in IoT we see more young companies that are tackling the problem of Edge Computing. So, we also expect more competition coming up in that area too. Major alternatives to ObjectBox are SQLite and Realm.
Macro trends: There is a huge shift happening in computing: From centralized computing to decentralized computing, also called Edge Computing. The technologies to truly enable this shift are, however, still lacking behind. ObjectBox is all about enabling this shift.
Fivetran (Taylor Brown, Co-Founder and COO at Fivetran)
Fivetran, an Oakland-based analytics data stack company, raised $15m in a Series A round back in December.
Recommended rule to live by: I create a list of things to do every day, and just make sure to check off as many as I can. I also start the day by getting into the office as early and as quickly after waking up as possible, because I do my best thinking and I’m most productive in the morning.
Recommended book: “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don't,” by Jim Collins. The best book I read in 2018.
Thoughts on work-life balance: I see work and life as one and the same. I’m driven and excited by work, and it also makes me feel fulfilled. I do, however, have to make sure to get enough time away from work doing other things that I love, so that I don’t feel unbalanced, such as playing soccer, cycling or building furniture.
How long did the round take to close: Three to four weeks.
How will capital be used: We will continue growing at the speed that we have been over the past two years, increase the number of data connectors and their reliability, and work on new features and go-to-market strategies for enterprise customers.
Seems as though the process of raising money isn’t efficient. Your thoughts: If you have a really strong business with a growing customer base and increasing revenue, then raising capital is much easier. :-) Basically, spend all your time focusing on making your company profitable, and don’t focus on raising rounds of capital, and then raising rounds of capital is actually much easier.
Length of relationship with lead investor: Three months.
Macro trends: The macro trend that’s relevant to us is companies moving their business and data operations to the cloud. The competitive benefits of cloud-based analytics and BI are becoming apparent to pretty much everyone, so we expect the trend to continue for more than just a couple of years. As that happens, you’ll have more people within organizations getting access to data and using it, not just analysts, and driving better decisions and outcomes. That increases demand for the kind of raw, comprehensive data Fivetran delivers. We see ourselves as a big enabler of data-driven culture going forward.
CropIn Technology Solutions, a Bengaluru, India-based agriculture technology startup, raised $8m in a Series B round back in November.
How long did the round take to close: We devoted close to 7-8 months to complete the Series B funding.
How many firms did you speak with: We got in touch with around 5 investors during the period.
Seems as though the process of raising money isn’t efficient. Your thoughts: n the case of venture capital, the raising a round of funding takes anywhere from 4 to 6 months. The funding game is drastically different with respect to strategic investment, the process is much longer—9 to 12 months, I would say. We cannot accelerate the process or reduce the process time.
Length of relationship with lead investor: We have known the lead investor for about a year now.
Total amount raised to date: We have raised close to 12 million to date.
Competitive landscape: Internationally, there are few companies like Farmers Edge that we would consider as a competition. Nevertheless, the head-start of CropIn, a strong platform, a rich data lake, and a diverse client base gives us the edge in the competition.
Student Pop (Ouriel Darmon, co-founder)
Student Pop, a Paris-based provider of a mobile app for students to find short term work, raised €3m in funding back in December.
Recommended rule to live by: First of all, test with simple tools (such as : SMS, mails, google sheets) then digitalize it and scale it!
Recommended book: Do things that don't scale, by Paul Braham.
How long did the round take to close: Student Pop devoted 12 months to it.
Number of investor conversations and terms sheets: We were in touch with an average of 40 funds and we submitted 4 terms sheets.
Seems as though the process of raising money isn’t efficient. Your thoughts: We went through a bank that helped us in this process, but still, it was very long and took us a lot of energy. Unfortunately, we have no idea to improve the process.
Length of relationship with lead investor: We met them 2 years ago.
Total amount raised to date: The total amount raised by Student Pop is 3 million of euros.
Competitive landscape: The landscape is actually quite competitive. You’ll find below a short list of our direct competitors in France : Side, Crème de la Crème, Staffme as well as all the traditional street marketing and hostess agencies.
Macro trends: We want to change the habits. Looking for more digitalization and more flexibility. We’re not only looking for news tools, we’re also expecting brands who share strong values. That's all what we bring to the market.