From bootstrap to $16M in funding: a no-code platform for digital customer journeys
Today I have some very exciting news to share. EasySend has just announced our $11M Round A Funding, bringing the total amount raised to date to $16M. I'm excited about what this funding means for our company, our customers, and our partners. As with any fundraising process, it was challenging but critical for implementing our vision.
We came a long way from our humble beginnings. Four years ago, as the three of us started EasySend from the attic in my co-founders’ parents’ house, we knew that we were onto something big. But we couldn’t have imagined just how big.
If you’ve ever fundraised for a startup, then you know how stressful it can be. Once the fundraising initiative for Round A started amid the uncertainty and stress of COVID-19, I and my fellow co-founders were working 16-hour days and most weekends.
It was stressful, but we loved every step of the process. It helped us to crystalize the vision and to bring amazing people on board to make it happen.
From bootstrap to a funded startup
Since the start, we’ve put a lot of hard work and endless hours into bringing our vision to life. We did everything by ourselves, from billing and accounting to cold calling, and door-to-door selling. At the time, a lot of doors remained closed to us.
We got the foot in the door when we sold our product to Halman Aldubi Investment House, our alma mater, where we previously filled in support and sales roles. We understood the internal pain of their employees first-hand. The amount of paper and PDF forms we had to fill out just didn’t make sense. And that’s how the idea for EasySend was born - eliminating manual processes and replacing them with digital customer journeys.
After gaining our first customer, the company started to get more traction in the Israeli market. Every single sale meant that we could hire another employee, grow our company, and build a better product. After three years, we had a team of 20 strong individuals, our own office, and an impressive portfolio of local clients, including most of the biggest insurance and asset management companies in Israel.
And shortly thereafter, we set our sights on expanding abroad.
Switching the mindset from a profit-based to a growth-based business
At first, we tried to do it ourselves. We lived on flights. At least half of the time we were spending on business trips, trying to bring our product to the foreign market.
We have already proved the product-market fit in the Israeli market, and we understood that there was tremendous potential for our product in foreign markets. But we also realized that to grow big on a global scale, we would need more resources than we had internally. So, we needed to change our mindset completely.
That was the time we met Yanai from Vertex Ventures who truly believed in our vision of transforming the way financial service enterprises approach digital transformation. Before we started fundraising, we’ve already demonstrated positive revenue and traction in Israel.
Yanai and his team at Vertex believed in our vision and our ability to take the company to the next level. So in 2019, we changed the state of mind from being a profitable business and transitioned into a high-growth company.
The mental switch from tracking profits to tracking the burn rate was not an easy one. Another hurdle was the need to hire more experienced employees and finding the right balance internally between growing our talent and bringing the experienced staff on board.
It was extremely important for me to maintain the organizational culture of a young and hungry startup: entrepreneurial, social leaders of success. The same vibe we had before, just double the size.
At the time. we had no lead generation activities to speak about. So, 2019 was truly a process and system-building year for us, where we set up the foundations and the team to generate leads, close deals, service the existing customers, and upsell more services. We also focused on localizing our sales staff and hired teams in the US and Germany to focus on the respective markets. We started focusing on inbound marketing, brand awareness, and the digital presence of our brand.
2019 was not just the year of organizational change, but also a change in our outlook. When we were a bootstrapped company, we did everything ourselves. Now, we had to learn to hire the right people and to rely on them to carry on our vision. Financials, billing, marketing, product: we expanded all teams with a focus on growth.
I would like to extend special thanks to Ran Sarig, the CEO of Datorama, acquired by Salesforce, who was my mentor during these challenging and exciting times. I cannot overstate the importance of having an experienced mentor who can help you stay true to your vision and prevent you from making the mistakes that they made when they were starting.
Our series A funding during the COVID-19 crisis
Insanely enough, we raised our funding amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic within just two months after we started the fundraising process. Raising a funding round is a challenge at the best of times, and it was not an easy task. We had talks with investors day and night. A few decided to move forward with us to the next stage quickly in a complex period of COVID-19.
We received a few term sheets and went into our diligence on the investors. We have spoken with their portfolio companies, peer board members, past colleagues, and many more. Fortunately, only after thorough research, we eventually picked Hanaco to lead the round with another strategic partner to follow: Intel Capital. We continued to work with the two VCs that invested in our Seed round (Vertex and Menora).
Building a digital culture
Now, after raising our Series A funding, EasySend embarks on a new and improved mission: to create a digital culture in organizations from the ground up. EasySend’s vision is to build a digital culture in enterprises - from internal processes to external, customer-facing ones. We envision EasySend as a go-to tool to manage digital transformation at scale, providing full visibility, transparency, and the optimization toolkit to the organization.
The digital world right now is split into two directions. On one hand, we see a move towards removing manual processes. On another hand, we see companies focusing on leveraging data that wasn't accessible to them previously and is now abundant in the digital world.
EasySend is focused on both directions. We transform manual processes with our no-code platform; but beyond that, EasySend provides organizations with full visibility into their digital operations and gives insights on how to improve KPIs and grow the bottom line with that data.
Taking EasySend to the next level
Now it is as clear as ever that digital transformation and digital culture are no longer optional. No matter what industry, sector, or vertical - enterprises must transform towards the digital future. And EasySend is here to help organizations achieve just that, at record time and a fraction of the costs.
We are focused on several directions right now: expanding our presence in the US, EMEA, opening a new market in the APAC region, and strengthening the three layers of our product:
- Build - a no-code platform for building digital journeys
- Optimize - data-rich dashboards, insights, and analytics to bring visibility into the chaotic world of digital transformation
- Integrate - launching a marketplace and strengthening our integrations capability
Our vision is to give a tool for digital transformation so that managers can see everything that happens digitally in their organization and improve the conversions and performance of their digital journeys, both internal and external.
We are looking to define a new category and a new generation of digital transformation platforms. Just as Salesforce is a go-to platform for sales, EasySend aims to become a go-to platform for the challenges facing CIOs and CDOs, providing a complete visibility and optimization toolkit for all digital assets of an organization.
We’ve come a long way from a three-people bootstrapped company to a striving startup with over 50 employees across three regions. And that is just the beginning.
A note of gratitude
Thank you to Eran Shirazi and Omer Shirazi, my co-founders in arms, our talented management team, and our dedicated employees. I also want to thank our amazing customers and partners for making this next stage for EasySend possible.
I would like to welcome two new investors, Hanaco and Intel Capital, and to extend a warm welcome to the new board members: happy to have you Alon Lifshitz, Hanaco, and Roi Bar-Kat, Intel Capital.
I would also like to thank our Seed round investors Vertex and Menora, who embarked with us on the next stage in our journey. Special thanks to Aviad Ariel and Naama Zalzman Dror from Vertex, and Oren Charnoff from Hanaco.
Thank you all for believing in EasySend’s vision of transforming the way digital transformation is managed at the enterprise scale. You have my personal commitment that we will bring our vision for EasySend into reality. Here’s to a bright, digital future ahead!