A Very Simple Idea…
We started Yesware with a very simple idea. If we help salespeople succeed at their profession, we’ll be able to build a business that we love. Today we’re announcing that we’ve taken another step in that direction – we’ve raised an additional $13.5 million in our Series B financing. This round brings our total financing raised to $18.5 million.
Our existing investors – Google Ventures, Foundry Group, IDG Ventures and Golden Venture Partners – all participated in this round. But the round was led by Neeraj Agrawal from Battery Ventures.
The Story of the B Round
An associate from Battery, Nakul Mandan, reached out to me in February 2012, just as we were wrapping up our Series A. Battery Ventures is one of the best-known, best performing venture firms in the world, so I was flattered in their interest, but we couldn’t get the timing to work out.
We stayed in touch through 2012. Neeraj and Matthew Jacobson, a Vice President at Battery, spent a lot of time with us. We met at least a dozen times for breakfast, drinks, updates, and just hanging out. The conversations felt authentic and mutual – they were as open and direct with us as we were being with them. I was consistently impressed with the work they did between meetings, and with the questions they prepared for the next gatherings.
After our board meeting this summer, it became clear to us that we should move as quickly as we could to build the business. Our initial plan to start Series B conversations in September would have meant waiting to accelerate until January, and those three months meant a lot of missed opportunity.
As it happened, Neeraj was coming into the office the next day. When I told him about our desire to accelerate, he was ready to go. I think his words were, “Let’s get this done while everyone else is on vacation.”
But Battery is nothing if not thorough. They requested a tremendous amount of data on Yesware, and then helped us analyze it in a very helpful way. Their process pointed out a strength that we hadn’t identified ourselves. Even if the deal had fallen through, that insight made the process worthwhile.
In addition to the quantitative analysis, they talked with over 40 of our customers, so they got a detailed view of how our product is working (and not working) across our customer base.
Meanwhile, I was investigating other investment options. At the end of each meeting, I was inevitably asked the same question, “What are you looking for in a new investor?” Every time I’d say the same thing, “I’m looking for someone who can join the team and help us get the company public.”
Everyone at Yesware was encouraged and flattered by the interest that investors took in our company, and we talked with many amazing people. But at the end of July we were very happy to sign a term sheet with Neeraj and Battery.
Neeraj now joins our incredible board and we accelerate. The basic idea we started with is more true than ever. Our mission remains the same, “To help people create value with every exchange.” Salespeople want and need help to do their job better.
Now we have the resources to serve more salespeople with better tools and services. In the coming months and years, we’ll talk specifically about how we’ll expand.
At the moment, however, I’d like to pause and thank the over 300,000 Yesware users who have helped us in so many ways. I’d like to thank everyone on the Yesware team, especially our husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, families and kids for supporting us through some late nights. And I’d like to thank our advisors, investors, mentors and coaches for helping us to achieve our professional goals.
We are just getting started. More to come.
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