This Reporter Just Saw a Deal Get Done
An eye witness account of SnapYeti's first funding
BY LAURA BAVERMAN
Filed Under: NEWS: Startups
So, this really cool thing happened today... I witnessed the signing of paperwork, handing of check and shaking of hands signifying a new investment deal done.
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. The relationship blossomed when Easley invited Beard to office hours at his stomping grounds—Ruckus Pizza in Morrisville. The investor then introduced the entrepreneur to a handful of key mentors, and charged him with following up.
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.
Companies We Mentioned In This Post
You Might Also Be Interested In
ArchiveSocial CEO Anil Chawla was running into the same problem over and over again—despite connections made at the nationally-recognized Code for America accelerator and early users of his software that archives social media for government officials.
A cool thing happened on Twitter today. Mark Suster, a well-known California venture capitalist, serial entrepreneur and popular blogger on all things startups, asked his 166,000 followers for help planning a September trip to North Carolina.
Here's some encouraging news for your Wednesday. The Senate Commerce Committee spent less than 40 minutes discussing the latest version of the state's proposed JOBS Act before approving it.
I was on vacation the week that Bull City Venture Partners announced its new $26 million fund. That was my defense to BCVP partner Jason Caplain anyway when he called me out on my lack of coverage of the fruits of months of meetings and conversations.
Fred Stutzman is on a roll since his startup 80Pct Solutions won an NC IDEA grant in June.