Everything started with an email from a customer: “Do you know why Bain Capital Ventures is connecting to me about Clockwise?”
That e-mail would mark the start of a journey towards closing $18 million in brand-new funding that will significantly accelerate my company, Clockwise. It would require being familiar with a partner in lockdown, long nights putting together a pitch deck and lots of bleary-eyed Zoom calls with a few of the best VCs on the planet.
Here’s how Ajay Agarwal from Bain Capital Ventures and I developed trust online, how I made high-stakes choices in severe economic uncertainty and how we were able to turn the pandemic’s restraints into opportunities.
Let’s start at the start.
Structure momentum: 2016 to 2020
Clockwise was established in late fall of 2016. We understood that, as individual as time is, our schedules inside modern-day work environments are intertwined by a network of calendar occasions and guests. People schedule meetings without thinking about the choices of coworkers by just hunting for any offered “white area” (read: time to do real work). The net impact is that our most important resource, time, is easy to take and practically difficult to secure.
More than two years later, in June of 2019, we launched Clockwise to the general public. After years of experimentation and improvement, we provided to the world a smart calendar assistant that maximizes your time so you can focus on what matters. Employees quickly validated our hunch that they’re starving for a tool that gives them more productive hours in their day. Our rapid user development brought throughout 2019.
By January of 2020, we were on fire. Considering that January 1, our user base has actually grown by more than 90%, expanding at a clip of well over 5% week-over-week. As people sought remote tools throughout shelter-in-place, our rate of growth sped up even further.
Our growth, unbelievable team, top-tier existing financiers (Accel and Greylock) and strong cash position implied we didn’t need to raise additional capital until the fall of 2020. While COVID-19 definitely sent shock waves through the community, I remained in regular interaction with a few highly engaged investors who still seemed excited to invest in the future of productivity. I felt cautiously positive more capital could wait.
However, you know, best-laid plans.
Establishing trust while sheltering in location
Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.
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