How to Raise US$1.35M for Your Tech Startup During a Pandemic

A Venture Finance Academy Case Study — Introduction

SanityDesk Case Study: Raising $1.35M pre-seed round during a global pandemic

A few weeks ago, in late November 2020, our founder Brad Furber travelled from his current WFH base in Basel, Switzerland to Kiev, Ukraine to produce a deep dive case study with Sam Cook.

The case study dates back to Spring 2018, when Brad met Sam at a startup conference in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Sam was pitching his media agency services to “authors and experts”, and Brad agreed to hire Sam and his team to produce some video content for Aery Advisors focused on certain venture finance matters. The videos were shot during the summer of 2018 in Warsaw, Poland. While directing some of the video sessions, which were based on Brad telling the story of his “hero’s journey” (namely, the story of an visionary entrepreneur with a big idea that could change the world if only he or she had enough capital to attract, retain and motivate the right team to build it), Sam bolted upright from his director’s chair and exclaimed: “Wow, it sounds like your telling my story!”

It started out as a simple request to help negotiate a proposed deal

Sure enough, about a year later, after Sam had moved his media agency business to Ukraine, Sam called to ask Brad to coach him through a negotiation with a non-dilutive source of capital offer that seemed almost too good to be true: upfront investment to hire developers and build a minimum viable product, in exchange for just 10% of future revenues. Brad was familiar with revenue-backed financing arrangements and, always curious about innovations in venture finance, Brad agreed to help Sam evaluate and design an appropriate deal.

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