David Richards is a true serial entrepreneur. He has raised well over $120M for his companies. He’s faced his fair amount of challenges on the way. Yet, he has consistently found alternative methods to create solutions and come out on top.
In our recent episode of the DealMakers podcast, David generously shared his passion for starting and building companies, his unique approaches to getting funding, overcoming being fired from his own startup, and investing in others.
David Richards was born in the UK. Three generations of his family were entrepreneurs in the steel business. Back when steel was leading the first industrial revolution. One of those companies had more than 200k employees.
Sheffield, England was the Silicon Valley of that era. At one time 80% of the continent’s steel came from that one town. Of course, as with other great cities of the past, Sheffield failed to evolve with the times. It went into decline and many people ended up in poverty.
In just a couple of years out of university Richards would pack up and move to the next Silicon Valley in San Francisco, California to lead a new revolution.
During university, he discovered UNIX and new computing techniques. He wanted to code, structure programs and yearned to do something with practical application.
Not being able to bear the thought of working for one of the really big and boring computer companies at the time he found a gig at Druid. As one of the first employees, he started leading a team.
They went from 10 to 300 people and went public on the London Stock Exchange within just two years.
He likens it to cramming an MBA into just a few months.
Some people just seem to be born entrepreneurs. At least always wanting to start their own business and being highly optimistic about what’s possible. Once they see it done, and especially this easy, they become very dangerous.
You can have a completely different world perspective. You see that you can start something from scratch with technology, hack through all of the barriers and turn it into a valuable business doing tens of millions of dollars in a very short period of time.
He of course also learned the hard work, teamwork, and benefits of hiring for different skill sets, which all make it possible behind the scenes.
So, he made the logical move of packing up two suitcases with his wife and buying a ticket to California.
He started Insevo, a venture back tech company building systems and applications to take businesses into eCommerce. After raising $25M they had a successful exit.
Not one to slow down, three of them from that company cofounded Librados. In just six months they were bought for $10M. They still owned 100% of the company when they sold it.
Then while evaluating investment opportunities from the other side of the table David found another hit business idea.
He had set his sights on investing in brilliant ideas and companies that venture funds wouldn’t or couldn’t. They found a genius who had invested three years of his life creating technology that most still considered impossible. He didn’t have any of the business side going. It was unclear when it would catch on. They partnered up as equals. It created great alignment in interests.
To fund the company David took it public on the UK’s alternative investment market. It was a very creative hack for bringing in very big funds. Including Fidelity, T. Rowe, and Oppenheimer. They were oversubscribed by 4x and gained $15M to make great hires and acquisitions.
Storytelling is everything which is something that David was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) where the most critical slides are highlighted.
Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below
ACCESS THE PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
See How I Can Help You With Your Fundraising Efforts
- Fundraising Process : get guidance from A to Z.
- Materials : our team creates epic pitch decks and financial models
- Investor Access : connect with the right investors for your business and close them