Switchboard is a startup specializing in innovative remote collaboration technologies, and they recently raised $25 million in their Series A. Their secret weapon for fundraising success? folk, of course!
Taking control of a network built over years
Switchboard’s CEO Amir Ashkenazi used folk as an individual to raise funds for his startup.
“I’m an introvert, and don’t spend much time networking,” admits Amir. “But this is my sixth startup and I have built many relationships over the years, but they were not well organized. folk was the perfect way to bring my network into one place and make it actionable.”
“Instead of leaving contacts spread out across emails and LinkedIn, where I can’t do much with them, in folk I can centralize then segment my contacts as I want and communicate with my community easily.”
In the case of Switchboard’s Series A, Amir wanted first to reach all the VCs he already knew were the best fit. He made a quick pipeline and managed it all on folk.
“I found the folkX Chrome extension to be particularly helpful in quickly adding and organizing existing and new contacts on the go," says Amir. “It was a game-changer."
Getting the right messages to the right people
Once he had all his contacts in folk and sorted into groups, it was time to reach out and start building the relationships that would lead to raising the Series A. Amir made use of the custom fields in folk to easily keep records of his research on other investments his contacts had made and what kind of rounds they preferred, to quickly narrow his targets down to relevant VCs.
"I was able to tailor my messaging to investors with relevant and targeted emails. This level of personalization was crucial in getting the attention of top-tier firms," said Amir. "Fundraising is all about building good relationships, and folk makes it easy to do just that."
Keeping up the momentum to $25 million
Fundraising processes can be rapid, with 2-3 week windows to reach out to investors simultaneously. Keeping them interested and maintaining momentum can be challenging for companies looking for investment.
"Folk's tracking and pipeline management capabilities proved invaluable in helping me stay organized and on top of fundraising efforts," says Amir. "I was able to easily track email communications with potential investors thanks to the Gmail integration, and see the status of every process.”
Any final comments from Amir?
“If you're a start-up looking to fundraise or simply get the most out of your business relationships, give folk a try.”
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
Check out Switchboard here.