How to 10x fundraising & operating with Femstreet
Femstreet helps operators maximize their impact through periods of intense growth.
At Mati, we started our Series A fundraising journey amidst Covid-19. As COO, I supported behind the scenes while our Founder/CEO pitched prospective investors. We were confident in our vision and what we had built, but none of us had raised a Series A before — let alone in a pandemic.
We ended up raising a $13.5mn Series A and brought on board a host of incredible partners, from our lead investor Tribe Capital to a number of other strategic institutions and angels with relevant, in-depth expertise and a passion for the problem we are solving. Through the process, I was pleasantly surprised by how many people had heard of Femstreet ("It's the first thing we ready every Sunday!"), or were interested in learning more because they too believe strongly in our vision: that more women and underrepresented communities should have access to the best funding, support and resources in tech and VC.
Apart from our immensely supportive existing investors/board members, the Femstreet community became an incredible source of guidance and support through the process.
I've outlined the ways I leverage Femstreet as an operator, so that our community can make the most of the membership, and our wider network can look under the hood of how we support each other other in our roles as operators, founders and investors.
PR & communication
I first met our community member Yuliya Belyayeva (Founder/CEO, Notus) when she posted about her company, Notus in our members’ Slack channel, seeking beta users. The promise of a product that could be a Bloomberg terminal for marketing teams made me curious enough to sign up for a user research chat, which turned into a deep-dive on the challenges around comms/PR for startups.
We hit it off instantly, and over the next few conversations got excited about working together. In the time she wasn't building Notus she began advising Mati, supporting us on thinking through our PR/Comms strategy for our fundraising announcement and beyond.
Yuliya recently hosted a session on PR/comms for startups for our community. Members can access takeaways here.
I was first introduced to Julia Enthoven (Founder/CEO, Kapwing) through a Femstreet AMA thread, where she advised founders and operators in our community on transitioning their companies from bootstrapped to venture-backed growth. We were then part of the same Femstreet Marketing Circle, where she shared great advice on brand building in the context of fundraising and hiring. I reached out to her afterwards and she happily took the call.
Having recently raised her own Series A, she provided unique insights that I hadn't come across in existing resources. Drawing from her own experience on fundraising, Julia shared advice on running a good end-to-end process and shaping a consistent experience for potential investors across all platforms: be it pitch-deck, website, or product trials.
As we came towards closing and began the detailed process of legal due diligence, the community pitched in with a number of recommendations that made the process a lot easier. From benchmarks on legal fees and timelines to recommendations on D&O insurance providers, we were able to tackle things in days that would have normally taken weeks (thanks for the timely tips, Rachel Johnson!).
I happened to be in San Francisco, a city I hadn't lived in for an extended period before, during the height of the pandemic while fundraising. With most of the city still in isolation, I gained a whole new appreciation for our virtual monthly Femstreet meetups. Even if from a distance, these meetups helped me connect with other operators, founders, and investors in the area, providing a sense of community and on-ground support. We exchanged stories and contact details, and are hopeful to meet face-to-face sometime in 2021 when it's safe to.
Post fundraise, I continue to be supported by our growing community and rely on our continuously enriched database of original and curated resources. I find myself constantly going back to Femstreet AMAs and guest author posts for evergreen guidance.
Lately, as I've been thinking about hiring and culture, I'm revisiting our AMA with Alison Eastaway (VP People, Sqreen) on scaling a remarkable culture. As we think about ways to improve our distributed/remote ways of working, I lean on Camille Ricketts' advice on remote management strategies and the Notion Remote Work Wiki that she and her team put together. As I look to develop in my role, I look to Ann Bordetsky (ex-COO Rival, now NEA Partner) and our discussion on leading through periods of intense growth.
After years of curating content and resources for our members, we recently launched "Operator Ocean": a library of 200+ (and growing) high-quality resources covering nearly every topic in tech and VC. This is a living, breathing list of resources sourced for and from our community, with 60% of the content authored by women.
Explore the Femstreet Community
Recently, I told one of our investors that despite nearly 2 years of supporting Sarah with Femstreet, I feel like I benefit from our community much more than I can individually contribute to it. This is a testament to the power of Femstreet as a collective — our close-knit community is much more than the sum of its parts.
If you're interested in diving into these resources and think you can contribute to and benefit from the Femstreet member community, join us here.