The Practical Founder With Practical Funding And A Best-Fit Exit

What if you saw an obvious problem in the world that you could solve with a new software product?

And you and your co-founder friends quit your jobs to live off your savings to build a product you could sell…

And then it took two years before anyone started to buy it.

Your potential customers still had the problem, but they didn’t want to buy your software yet.

You kept trying. Kept pitching. Kept rebuilding. Kept surviving.

Kept believing.

You went through your 401K savings and sold your condo to pay the bills.

Still no outside funding. You tried, but dozens of potential investors didn’t get it and wanted to see more revenue traction. Market too small, growth too slow, etc.

What would you do? Give up? Take unfavorable funding?

This was the true story of practical founder Nick Santora, founder and CEO of Curricula, a security awareness education platform for small and midsize companies.

Nick and his team took two years to finally get traction with happy paying customers after several false starts.

And they finally found an efficient customer-acquisition tactic at the last minute before giving up.

When Curricula approached $1M ARR, Nick talked to VC investors again. They still didn’t get it.

And he didn’t get them. He didn’t want to play their big-funding game. He didn’t have to.

But he did raise $3 million in outside funding after all.

What gives?

He didn’t raise funding from VC investors.

He raised it from a former practical founder who had bootstrapped his own software company and sold it for $250 million.

This practical founder-turned-funder understood Nick and respected the grit and savvy that it took to grow Curricula in a tough market.

This investor came with savvy experts that could help Nick and the team keep growing efficiently. And they didn’t have crazy growth or speed expectations like VC investors do.

Nick had survived long enough to wait for the best-fit funding for exactly the way he was building his company.

Eventually, Nick found a strategic partner that acquired Curricula for $22 million. Nick and his team stayed on to grow it bigger and change the whole industry.

A best-fit acquiring partner who understood their market, the team, and their vision.

The superpower of practical founders is the ability to find the best-fit customers, employees, investors, and acquirers–by having the power to say NO to the wrong ones.

Nick tells his story in detail on the Practical Founders podcast this week.

Give it a listen at practicalfounders dot com or click the link below in the comments.

Thanks for sharing the details of your story, Nick!

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