RAISING CAPITAL FOR BIG IDEAS W. DANIEL EBERHARD – EP. 44
Dan Eberhard is the CEO of KOHO, a fintech company that focuses on democratizing the best financial products for Canadians, This is his third successful startup. His first was a decentralized wind energy company that he sold after reaching $70 million in assets!
Our conversation with Dan is all about the value of walking the road less traveled and setting your sights high from the start. Dan shares his experiences on how to raise capital for projects of this nature. We hear about how Dan raised capital for his first venture, a wind power company. He talks about how he and his partner grew this business to the point where they were installing industrial-scale wind farms and it was all thanks to the use of incredibly creative ways to get past significant barriers to entry.
Dan tells listeners more about KOHO too, including its aim to challenge the oligopoly model by providing Canadians with banking services that 10x their capacity to save. We also talk to Dan about how to acquire investors for your startup from having no track record to later rounds, and he weighs in on vetting investors and the function that emotional connections can play in finding sound partners.
He makes a powerful case that people with long term goals have a self-serving interest to be good people. Dan leaves us with some final words of advice for CEOs about the value of going big, how to know you’re thinking from your heart, not your ego, and getting clear about the very core motive behind your firm. Tune in for the full story.
KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
Dan’s early moves from wind power to E-commerce logistics and his third company, KOHO.
How oligopolies damage their poorest citizens and why Dan started KOHO.
How to pitch correctly to attract investors when you have no track record.
Treating investors like customers and de-risking the cost of acquisition before having a product.
Showing investors that KOHO understood their risk using a customer predictor.
The benefits of telling an emotive story over showing data to gain capital in early funding rounds.
Arguments for the place of emotional connection to a company as it scales.
Going for big ideas immediately rather than starting small and working your way up.
Moving from pitching wind farms at town halls to industrial-scale production.
Vetting investors to make sure that you don’t sell yourself short in terms while raising capital.
Specifics of raising capital for KOHO and what’s changed since Dan’s earlier efforts.
Using unit economics to represent profit margins defensively.
Tips from Dan for CEOs about incremental growth, and getting clear on their ‘why’.