You’ve likely heard of just-in-time manufacturing. How about just-in-time VC funding?
David Rose, CEO of fast-growing startup PRSONAS which has topped $1 million in sales for its hologram technology, can add a new term to venture capital: “Just in time.” With only days to spare, the Durham startup closes on a $1 million round of funding and thus beats a deadline to secure $100,000 from AOL founder Steve Case.
But perhaps more importantly than raising the cash from case is securing the credibility his endorsement means for the company.
“Wow!” Rose exclaims when asked about the pressure.
“One hundred days to close a round of funding is a big challenge. Yes, we felt a tremendous amount of pressure to get the round closed by the 9/16 deadline. Fortunately for us, we had already closed on over $500,000 going into Google Demo Day.”
Case pledged $100,000 to Google Demo Day presenters back in May if they secured $1 million by Sept. 16. PRSONAS wrapped up its round Sept. 14 in news being announced today.
So Rose and company stepped up their fund-raising to get Case on board.
“One of the first questions I get when talking with partners at VC firms is ‘Who invested in your previous round?’ Having Steve Case as an investor will definitely help with our credibility when talking with A round venture investors,” Rose explains.
Rose won a startup demo event in a Silicon Valley showcase just before the Google Demo Day in June in which an Atlanta company took home the top prize. But PRSONAS earned a lot of “cred” and the funding doors began to open.
“Winning the Silicon Valley Open Doors event earlier this year and being selected to pitch at Google Demo Day definitely helped us get the attention of new investors,” Rose says.
“I worked full-time to get the round closed before the 9/16 deadline and talked to dozens of potential angel investors all over the country. Ultimately, the new investors that participated in the round all came through introductions from our current investors.”
On the road
It’s been a whirlwind year for Rose and company, the funding adding to the pressure of also developing and deploying new technology (augmented reality, virtual reality) while expanding staff anf preparing for more patents.
“During 2016 we opened a $1 million round but only raised $524,000 closing in May of 2016),” Rose recalls.
“Since the round was still open we were eligible for Case’s investment if we were able to close on the remaining $475,000 available in our round. We closed on the remaining $475,000 this week.”
- Pilot Mountain Ventures
- Fox Ventures
- North Carolina Venture Capital Multiplier Fund, which is managed by Hatteras Ventrue Partners
The Case funding closed Tuesday, bringing the round to $1.1 million.
So, what’s next? Rose gets no breather.
PRSONAS will be among the demos at TechCrunch Disrupt next week in its “Demo Alley.”