In our inaugural episode of How to Raise a Round, we step into the world of first-time founder Filip Victor—CEO of the identity verification startup, Mati—to hear the fascinating story behind his $13.5 million Series A. Along the way, we learn:
- How Filip used a process called “cohorting” to organize his fundraise into distinct phases, and stay in control of the process.
- How understanding investor psychology can give founders a helpful edge when fundraising.
- How Mati built an internal system—much like a CRM—to nurture relationships and leverage their network for warm investor introductions.
- The proprietary scorecard of metrics that Mati used to control their story and bring their Series A over the finish line.
As an immigrant from Poland to the United States, Filip launched Mati in 2016 to help people—especially fellow immigrants like himself—verify their identity more easily. This helps them access basic things like financial lending products and car rentals without the difficult process (and extensive paperwork) typically required to prove who they are.
After closing a seed round the previous year and expanding quickly into to Latin America, Filip realized that Mati would need more money—and fast—to sustain their rapid growth.
Unfortunately, the previous fundraise had left Filip feeling less “in control” of the process than he would have liked. This time, he set out to raise Mati’s Series A using a meticulous, organized process that kept him firmly in the driver’s seat from beginning to end.
In the face of tough competition, a global pandemic, and a pressurized timeline, Filip executed his plan perfectly, using a process called “cohorting” to successfully raise his $13.5 million Series A.
Filip approached Mati’s Series A with an analytical mindset that he felt got to the core of investor psychology. In speaking with investors, he steered away from the exclusive use of “vanity metrics” like pageviews on his website and registered users. Instead, he relied heavily on metrics that were more directly meaningful to Mati, such as customer acquisition, net retention, and payback ratio. This allowed him to control the narrative around Mati’s growth and potential.
In a process that was equal parts terrifying and exciting, Filip charged into his Series A fundraise with the confidence of an entrepreneur who knew what he wanted. He used social dynamics to incentivize angel investors to make warm introductions, and benefitted from scarcity tied to his strict timeline in order to create urgency and demand.
What we realized is that this is ultimately a numbers game, and the only reason why you’re talking to these wonderful people in the venture community, is a means to an end. Ultimately, you’re there to get capital and get back to your business.