Somewhere along the line in school or life I got the notion that raising venture capital was an ending rather than a beginning. Prior to having raised venture money, I thought that all of our problems would be solved if we only had more money.
Boy was I surprised the day after I first raised money (from Sequel Ventures.) No customer traction? Difficult to recruit and retain employees? Difficult product or pricing decisions? All still there. And raising money can have unintended consequences such as reducing urgency and creativity. Nothing like needing to make payroll to focus a team.
I used to have golden brown hair, which turned grey and now white. Maybe it was genetics, but I’ve got to believe that running a business on no cash for a long time had something to do with it. I know some people are natural bootstrappers (Bart Lorang), but for me I’d rather raise the money if I can. Business is already hard enough. I’m just not that good to make the right decisions without some room for error. Financing gives you that room for error.
I’m very happy to welcome Byron Deeter to our board and Bessemer as our investment partner to grow SendGrid from Day One, again. As I tell the startups that I work with, you are always fundraising. Time to work on Series C.