How Knowify Found the Perfect Source of Funding

Marc Visent, CEO of Knowify, and Allen Johnson, Chief Investment Officer at Lighter Capital, recently joined Intuit’s Developer Evangelist David Leary to talk about Knowify’s funding journey in an online “fireside chat.”

Here are some takeaways:

On Lighter Capital understanding SaaS models:

  • In seeking funding, Visent appreciated how Lighter Capital understands how SaaS companies work. “A bank doesn’t have the knowledge to lend to a subscription-based company like ours, but Lighter Capital has this knowledge about how these companies work,” he says. “We show them our numbers, we show them our model, we show them how we run our business—for them it was probably straightforward. While with everyone else, it’s a long journey of explaining what SaaS is, Lighter Capital are experts at this. That’s why it was a great option.”

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Top 6 Financial Mistakes to Avoid for Early-, Mid- and Late-Stage Startups

You're a startup founder. Your to-do list is never ending: hiring, culture, sales, marketing, product development, fundraising -- it goes on and on. With everything on your mind, founders often don't spend enough time thinking about their finances. Those startup leaders who understand (and avoid) specific financial pitfalls across the three stages of their company’s life--early, mid and late--are positioned to win. So, take note. Here are the big financial mistakes to avoid across the three stages of your startup, according to Tiffany Meyers at Built In Chicago, and Michael Burdick, CEO of Paro, a company providing an exclusive network of on-demand financial professionals.

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How Got Startup Funding in 15 Days

Last October, came to Lighter Capital looking for an injection of capital to scale their business. The Chicago-based company creates tools that simplify stakeholder relations, communication, and ongoing performance tracking for more than 1,600 businesses.

Just 15 days after CEO Mike Preuss’s first phone call with the Lighter team, the company received a tranche of funding directly wired to their bank account. For those used to the typical six-to-nine-month process to secure venture capital funding, the speed of this transaction may seem hard to believe.

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How to Prep Your Financial Info for Investors

Seeking funding for your startup? Of course, you know you’ll need to present your financials to prospective investors. But what does that mean, exactly?

While there’s no one formula for how to lay out your numbers, there are some basic elements that you should include, even if just on a single slide in your pitch deck. But of course if funders are interested in your business, you’ll need to get more detailed.

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Congrats, You've Just Secured Funding. Now What?

This is it! The moment you’ve been waiting for through those long hours of working to translate a fledgling idea into a real business. You’ve got funding.

Whether it’s a traditional bank loan, VC funding, or revenue-based financing, you’re now poised for a new level of success. And that means more responsibility, more planning, and more work.

Luckily, it’s exciting work. So let’s get down to it. Here’s what you need to do now.

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Photo by henri meilhac on Unsplash

Funding for Entrepreneurs from Underrepresented Communities

A recent webinar co-hosted by Lighter Capital and Founders First Capital Partners offered insight into how revenue-based financing (RBF) can be a good source of growth funding for entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities.

Kim Folsom, CEO and founder of LIFT Development Enterprises and Founders First Capital Partners, and BJ Lackland, CEO of Lighter Capital, discussed what makes RBF unique and attractive, and shed light on whey it can be an effective option for women and minorities. Then RBF-funded entrepreneurs Linda Amaro, CEO of Klarinet Solutions, and Adam Riggs Zeigen, co-founder, and CEO of Rock My Run talked about how this type of funding has been helpful to their growing businesses.

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New $15 million fund for Intuit QuickBooks developers

Today we're thrilled to announce a new $15 million fund to support Intuit developers and the QuickBooks platform. Working with Intuit, we launched the Lighter Capital Intuit Developer Fund for companies building apps on the QuickBooks platform, including QuickBooks Online, with its 2.38 million subscribers.

At Lighter Capital, we see strong potential in the Intuit developer ecosystem, and we want to help companies developing QuickBooks apps for small and medium-sized businesses get to get to the next level.

"As more SMBs turn to the cloud for core business functions and services, we believe we'll see increasing demand for developer apps to serve the QuickBooks Online community,” our CEO BJ Lackland told ProgrammableWeb. 

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How to pitch investors

8 tips for pitching startup investors

Scoring capital for your early-stage company can feel like winning the lottery—it can seem more about luck than skill. VCs and other investors are notoriously opaque, with decisions based on concerns you don’t know and can’t control: who they funded last year, their recent successes and failures, what industry reports they read over breakfast.

From a heartburn-induced bad mood to suspicion of anything that resembles a prior startup disaster, funders have myriad reasons to say no. So what factors can you control? How can you optimize your pitch to get them to yes?

Start by ensuring you’re nailing the basics. Here are eight tips to guide you.

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Answers to 4 Key Questions about Raising Startup Capital

Whether you're looking for angel investors or considering debt financing, understanding your funding options and the capital stack is key to scaling your company. We recently joined forces with Foundersuite to present a webinar on this topic: "How to Raise Capital in 2017 (and Beyond)". The presentation included tips on how to raise different types of capital, get introductions, find and connect with investors, build momentum, and close a round of funding.

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4 milestones to reach before raising your Series A

While seed funding is more abundant than ever (the number of seed-funded companies has quadrupled in the last four years), Series A funding is actually harder to get than it used to be. With a super-abundance of competent seed-funded companies, investors can afford to get choosy about their Series A bets.

Many companies want to raise their Series A before they're ready, but coming unprepared to such a competitive space can be detrimental to your company's future funding prospects or even harmful to your reputation. Investors who might have taken your business seriously six months down the road will write you off as someone who doesn’t take being prepared seriously. While there are few hard and fast rules about when to raise a Series A, there are milestones that will help you demonstrate to your future investors that you have traction and a road to profitability. Let’s take a look at four of the biggest indicators that your company is ready to seek its Series A.

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