The Rise Of Giant Consumer Startups That Said No To Investor Money
When Moiz Ali launched his startup Native, the maker of a natural deodorant brand, he couldn’t help but be self-conscious when mingling with other Bay Area entrepreneurs. “In Silicon Valley, it’s often embarrassing when you haven’t raised money,” Ali told Recode recently. “When I’d go to parties or dinners, entrepreneurs would talk about how many employees they had. But for me, it was just me.” Native eventually secured $550,000 from professional and individual investors, a relative pittance in the startup world where $100 million funding rounds and billion dollar valuations are discussed in a way that could sound like the norm. For Ali, the limited funds meant cautious spending on marketing, a staff size that never rose above 10 and, even rarer, the need to turn a profit on each sale. In the earliest days, Ali and his small team also followed up with every disappointed customer — an education that eventually led to what’s called “product-market fit,” or the creation of a good that a large number of people in a certain market want. Read more at Recode.