By Abby Sorensen, Executive Editor
The CEO of a brewery POS software company shares insights from raising a seed round that can apply to software companies at any stage.
David Norman succinctly summarizes the process of raising early rounds of capital for a software startup: “You go out, you deal with a bunch of people, you get 100 no’s, and you'll get one yes.” A nice dose of reality for any aspiring entrepreneurs out there who think their idea-app-product-solution-thing is going to make investors weak at the knees. Norman’s story does have a happy ending, though. The founder and CEO of brewery point of sale software company Arryved has already pocketed more than $1 million in outside funding since founding the company in 2015. Most of this early funding has come from the Foundry Group, a VC firm based in Boulder, CO, focused on making early-stage technology investments. Norman had connections to the Foundry team during his days as a senior software engineer at Google, but that still doesn’t mean the fundraising process was easy. There are three quick takeaways from Arryved that apply to any early-stage software company looking to grow.
Employees: 8 full-time, 1 part-time
Headquarters: Boulder, CO
Number of Customers: 50
Growth Rate: Doubling every quarter
Vertical: Breweries/tap rooms
Funding: $1 million
Lead Investor: Foundry Group
That last takeaway is something Norman had to learn during the process of raising money. At first, his pitch tried to cover the whole universe of what his software solution could tackle. The company hadn’t even picked a vertical focus at that point. Investors pushed back on his lack of focus. He says, “Thinking we could take on the world and not having a great story about how to get the market was a crucial misstep. So we changed the approach to bite up smaller chunks and really get hyper-focused on a vertical where we could do tremendously well. What worked was focusing the story around our numbers and how we pitched to our potential customers.”