Thursday, October 12, 2017

Exec's brutally honest pitch to potential investors I wish I had sent

Exeq, the New York-based startup founded by four New York City college drop-outs, has taken an unorthodox approach to pitching potential investors. In this email, Exeq CEO Derek Brown, a former engineer at LinkedIn and Addepar, explains the values of his startup, which wants to change the way millennials think about spending their money. The emphasis is mine.

"At Exeq, we don’t have everything together. We don’t know the future for our product and platform. We don’t know or control the external circumstances around our company."

The point of the app is to help people make more efficient decisions about their spending. It does so by notifying users when slight changes to how they spend can be made. For instance, the app might alert a person who frequents a coffee shop on their way to work that there is a more affordable alternative nearby. The app, which is only available in New York City to iPhone users, has 6,000 users. But, like most startups, their sights are set higher. 

"By combining financial and lifestyle data, we’re able to build a consumer product that enables consumer behavior…responsibly," Brown wrote in the email. 

And also this:

"Because you have a fiduciary duty to your LPs to make the best investments you can. We’d fall in that category. ;) On a more serious note, the answer’s simple: if you don’t see the shape of the world in the way that we’ve described above, then you shouldn’t invest in us."

I have been working on startups for 10+ years now, with no outside help. I created Bighow in 2007, a news publishing platform for curating news and listings, before Huffington Post and others took it mainstream. I wrote about my startup journeys in 2006, 'Startup is hard in Delhi'.

I just launched Truho, multipurpose publishing / payments, but I am hesitant to knock on investors's doors. I have no IIT/IIM degree. I have entered the fast-passing 40s. So I am hesitant.

A man without the pedigree of a degree.

But having seen Exec CEO's email to prospective investors, I wish I could send a similar kind to investors, but then I think what use would it be, other than sheer linkbait.

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