It wasn't on purpose. I promise that people don't typically invite reporters into their conference rooms as they discuss promissory notes and cement the terms of a deal. But a serendipitous moment happened after I finished up a meeting at HQ Raleigh this afternoon—Justin Beard from SnapYeti and angel investor Mark Easley were just meeting up to close a $20,000 deal kicking off SnapYeti's seed round. And they invited me to witness it.
Of course, I said yes. And I pulled out my iPhone to document the occasion.
But what really struck me about the moment was the genuine happiness spewing from both men. They met at a Christmas party last year, and then reconnected at an ExitEvent social soon after. Easley, who makes at most five investments a year, liked that Beard completed Groundwork Labs last year, and he received positive feedback on the man and his photo contest platform from Groundwork's John Austin.
In the months to follow, Beard did just that. And he also well-surpassed each of his monthly goals for users and contests. According to Easley, Beard built a 'wildly different' company than he had six months prior. Beard sent one of his monthly update emails this morning, announcing a new contest with the American Kennel Club, which would be SnapYeti's largest client to date, and new pilots with WRAL and ABC 11 of a new photo contest embed feature for news sites and blogs.
Now, $20K might not sound like a lot. But to Beard, who in April entered the Paradoxos Talent Show in hopes of winning $2,500 to fix his broken-down truck, it's the result of hustle and hard work. It's an amount he believes will convince other investors to jump in.
"Kindling," Easley called it as he handed over the signed note for Beard to affix his signature. "I'm pretty confident that he's going to raise a big round."
"Now you've got a Yeti in your portfolio."
And that, folks, is how a deal gets done.