Fundraising While Still Building a Business

David Cummings on Startups

Back in summer 2009 we had just cleared $1 million in annual recurring revenue at Pardot after being in business for almost two-and-a-half years. Globally, the macro economy was in the dumps and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies weren’t in favor. Marketing automation as a market appeared to be a huge opportunity and all signs from our customers pointed to the product being a pain killer and not a vitamin. The next logical step was to raise venture capital and build a huge company. Or so we thought.

Fundraising was a full-time job for four months. After talking to 29 venture firms, doing a half dozen full partner pitches, and getting to verbal term sheet discussions, we decided to call off the process and focus on building the business without institutional capital (see 4 Reasons to Raise Venture Capital). Here are a few thoughts on fundraising while still building a…

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