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Mixing the personal with the professional in startup fundraising – TechCrunch

By the time CapitalG signed on for Webflow’s Series B, the no code web design service was already profitable – a rarity for an early-stage company. It was a good position for the company and investors alike. For CapitalG, it was clear that the startup was already on the right path. And for Webflow, it meant a bit of leverage and – perhaps more importantly – an opportunity to be choosier about who it brought on as investors.

Of course, this isn’t an option for every company. For a variety of reasons, it’s not always possible to take such a deliberate approach to launching a company – and profitability can seem like a downright pipe dream in those early days. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from doing these TechCrunch Live chats week in, week out, it’s that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

That said, there are some universal takeaways when it comes to finding the right investment firm. To hear CapitalG’s Laela Sturdy and Webflow’s Vlad Magdalin tell it, the investor/startup relationship has become a kind of genuine friendship. It’s a quality both parties point to as key for making these sorts of deals. At the very least, neither side benefits if the other is looking for a quick out.

As great as Zoom is, to me, that in-person experience takes you to the next level of getting to know someone. Laela Sturdy

In-person is still important

Look, I recognize the irony of talking about how important in-person meetings are during a Zoom interview. And it’s likely true that a significant number of the biggest deals are happening in a virtual forum these days, but it also seems likely that the in-person meeting isn’t going anywhere in the long run – even if the handshake part of the deal is on the way out.

“We started to exchange some emails and had a couple of Zooms,” Sturdy said. “We were still in the heart of the pandemic. I was conducting most of my business on Zoom and just starting to see some friends and family outside, 6 feet at a distance. Our first couple of conversations over Zoom, I was enjoying getting to know Vlad and the business. I floated the idea that we could maybe get together in real life, which, at that time, sounded like a very unusual thing.”


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