"With FundStory, you're able to easily track your non dilutive funding process from start to finish. It's an essential tool for companies looking grow while retaining equity in their business." -Bobby Gilbert, CEO at FundStory
Yehuda Zahler is the Head of Growth at FundStory. I met him on Twitter and he's been extremely helpful to me and other founders. As an early stage founder, it's an ongoing internal struggle whether to bootstrap, raise angel/VC money, or use an alternative fundraising method, so I wanted to ask Yehuda more about FundStory and how they can help founders. My mini-interview with him is below.
Can you tell me a bit about your journey to becoming the Head of Growth at FundStory? Did your education/experience lead you to FundStory?
As soon as I discovered that marketing was what I wanted to do, I decided to skip college. I thought that taking courses and getting hands-on experience would serve me better and leave me debt-free.
I worked at a small business and then a startup to learn the tools and methods to successfully grow a young company. Covid forced the previous startup that I was at to shutter and I started freelancing as a Photoshop expert.
When I read that most founders get fired from their own company in the later stages, that really bothered me as I had seen the hard work that goes into a company at early stages.
When I discovered a young company aiming to solve the issue by helping founders retain their equity, I knew I wanted in. From there, my work ethic has carried me to where I am today.
I don’t know much about non-dilutive capital. Is it just a loan?
To start, FundStory does NOT provide capital directly. We aim to help founders understand how a capital partner sees their company from a risk perspective.
These are 2 options that pre-revenue companies can tap into:
- Most non-dilutive funding types do require you to pay the money back (hence the risk factor), but the structure is usually what differentiates it from a traditional business loan.
- We also have partners that help companies access grants and/or tax credits.
Can you give a few pros and cons for using FundStory to find funding over bootstrapping or VC funding?
- Retain your equity
- Easier to raise than VC (if you have revenue)
- Faster than VC
- Has to be paid back
- Pre-revenue companies have fewer options
What are the top 3 things that you think a founder should focus on when they’re in the first year of building?
- Build a strong network of other founders. This will give you a place to turn when you feel lost.
- Expect to not succeed. The reason I don't say “expect to fail” is because it's not failure if you learn from it.
- You don't build muscle by lifting light weights for a week. It takes time and it's not easy, this is the life of a startup founder.
What are you passionate about in your free time?
I love sports. Watching or participating in them has always been fun for me. I enjoy hockey, football, and MMA. I also enjoy exercise and the rush that brings.