Back in 2015, Outreach CEO Manny Medina had just brought his startup back from the brink of bankruptcy.
Medina’s cofounders, Gordon Hempton, Wes Hather and Andrew Kinzer, had whipped up some home-grown software to automate the cold calling process so that Medina’s three-person sales team could operate like a team of 20.
It worked really well and they went on a lot of sales calls but no one wanted their startup’s HR software. Everyone wanted that homegrown sales tool. So the team changed course, turned it into a product and managed to quickly sell nearly $US1 million worth.
Medina was keeping the company afloat the old fashioned way, from revenues, and he didn’t want to bring in investors. But his cofounders, exhausted from living hand-to-mouth, convinced him to try and raise money.
He did his VC tour begrudgingly. Fighting off bankruptcy made him “very cocky. When you have a survivor mentality, you feel like, ‘I don’t need your money,” he told Business Insider.
“I had one slide. It was a chart. I said, ‘This is our revenue growth chart. We sell to sales people. Any questions?'” he recalled.
The slide had one word on it “MRR” which stands for monthly recurring revenue. “[It was] a screenshot of Recurly, the subscription payment service we were using at the time. I presented it and then I would do this trick: I would refresh the screen mid-pitch, and be like ‘Oops, sorry, revenue just went up while we were talking.”
That single slide landed the company a $US2.3 million seed round and later, the same slide landed another $US9.2 million Series A round led by Mayfield. And with that money the company grew to $US10 million in annual recurring revenue by the end of 2016, Medina told Business Insider.
Medina has since given up his cocky attitude and raised another $US30 million in 2017 (for a total of $US59 million in raised capital) and now counts DFJ Growth and Microsoft Ventures among its investors.
Here’s the slide: