Matthew Scullion got an early start in entrepreneurship. Even though he grew up far from Silicon Valley his latest company has raised hundreds of millions from top VCs. Now one of the first unicorn companies from his corner of the world, his venture serves fast-moving small businesses and global corporate giants alike. The venture, Matillion has attracted funding from top-tier investors like Scale Venture Partners, General Atlantic, Sapphire Ventures, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
In this episode, you will learn:
- How Matillion is fueling businesses and better lives with their data platform
- What he did on his first day to set the foundation of success
- How pricing strategies and business models have changed
- Matthew’s top advice for others considering entrepreneurship
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About Matthew Scullion:
Matthew is the founder and CEO of Matillion. He co-founded his first startup at age 18. Before starting Matillion in 2011, Matthew worked in commercial IT and software development for 15 years at a number of British and European systems integrators. A native of Altrincham, England, near Manchester, Matthew now spends half his time in the United States – primarily in Denver (Matillion’s U.S. headquarters), Seattle, New York, and in the Bay Area, at the beating heart of the enterprise software industry.
Matthew is married and has two daughters with whom he enjoys riding horses on any given Sunday.
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Connect with Matthew Scullion:
Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:
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Alejandro: Alright, hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So I am thrilled with our guest today I mean we’re going to be speaking with the founder of this company that has built literally a rocket ship like one of the very first day unicorns out of Manchester in the u k. And we’re gonna really hear you know the opposite downs. You know everything? you know that really takes to build ah a company like this. So I guess we without further ado. Let’s welcome our guests today Matthew Scullion: Scalllion welcome to the show.
Matthew Scullion: Thank you so much. It’s an absolute pleasure to be here I’m looking forward to the conversation.
Alejandro: So originally born and raised in Manchester so give us a little bit of a walkthrough memory lane. How was life growing up there.
Matthew Scullion: Ah, you know I’m I’m a proud Mancunian that’s what us people from Manchester call ourselves. Ah I like to remind people Manchester was once upon a time maybe the center of the modern world. It was it was the capital of the industrial revolution. And also of course where software was invented the world’s first stored program computer was developed to Manchester University but growing up I would describe my upbringing as normal. Um. It wasn’t particularly traumatic. It wasn’t particularly exceptional. Um, ah I sometimes feel slightly embarrassed to say that I was brought up in Manchester still live in Manchester and my company is co-headquartered in Manchester it sounds like I’m a bit obsessed but. It’s a good town and I had a pleasant enough upbringing.
Alejandro: And at 17 years old something really changed and that is essentially you entering the employment or the labor you know type of market. So so what happened there.
Matthew Scullion: Yeah, you’re absolutely right? It’s a bit embarrassing to talk about now. Perhaps um, hey I was at ah high school or grammar school as we called it where I was out here in the Uk. We do. Um. Ah, period of your education called a levels which take a couple of years and essentially those are the qualifications you take in order to get you into university or or college depending on what you call it and I was studying for my a levels and at my particular school as part of that. Um, you had to do a couple of weeks work experience I think mostly to check you knew how to get out of bed in the morning and and you know turn up to an office on time I ended up working at an end user it department of a local. Fashion and apparel business in in Manchester and um I obviously didn’t do too many things wrong because at the end of the week the The I t director the gentleman in charge said to me hey Matthew Scullion: you seem like a energetic young man. Would you like a part time summer job here while you complete you studies and I thought well yeah, that sounds fun I think people always assume that I was a full-on computer geek and that’s why I ended up there but actually I wasn’t I had always been interested in business and I was. Okay, with a computer you know the same as the next guy but this seemed like a way of earning some money and getting some experience and so I took this job and over the summer they gave me a laptop and a desk and and I ended up teaching myself a programming language. um and um and by ah the end of the summer they’d kicked out the paid consultant that they were using to build software for them and and I was doing the consulting and I was very pleased about it at the time I’ve subsequently learned that guy was getting paid six hundred and fifty pounds per day. And I was getting paid £2 seventy five per hour so it was a good deal for them. But ah, but a great lesson learned for me, but it was that part time job that actually launched me on my career because the the guy that I was working for. A few months later said hey I’m actually gonna leave this company and do a startup um and you know you and I have been working together for a while now would you like to come and do this startup with me and um, it was just one of those moments in life where.
Matthew Scullion: You could say yes to something like that I was on paper going off to university but I thought to myself. Well, what’s the worst that can happen. You know maybe I do a year at this startup. It doesn’t work out but I’ve had some great work experience and then I just go to university or maybe the startup. Does work out and then maybe I never end up bothering going to university and I’m already off on my career. So yes, you’re absolutely right at 17 I entered the world of work and that’s how.
Alejandro: And and at 21 literally this company got acquired and I mean at 21 you know most of us are still in school and we don’t even know what that looks like but in your case at 21 you had the opportunity of going through the full cycle. So. How was that for you. How was that experience from going to point a to point c and coming out you know with success especially at such a young age and and also being your first company I mean first company first exit you know, not bad.
Matthew Scullion: Yes, and I always whenever speaking on the public record feel I should be clear that I was the co-founder of that business I was the cto but there was a. There was another gentleman who I remain great friends with that that took the entrepreneurial risk and set it up I was the co-founder but you’re absolutely right? It’s not that usual ah particularly in the Uk and in Manchester for a 21 year old guy to have built helped build a startup um, you know it was. Ah, um, an amazing experience. Um, ah we set this company up I should say we weren’t very good at it right? And that’s not a massive surprise. My co-founder and never built a business before and I was 17 right? But um, i. Spent some time in my evenings and weekends kind of doing this side project for the company of building an early web content management system and that turned out to work pretty well and some companies bought it and it won some awards and it was really that um that. Made the company end up getting acquired by a ah you know a billion dollar revenue american company. So by the time was twenty one I had in ah in a microcosm experience many of the things that would serve me very well in my later career. Ah, ah. Explained value to customers in such a way where they’d wanted to pay for our software to solve a problem for for us and you know that’s something that we do every day in matillion today. Um I had dealt with stress and risk and prioritization again things that I do.
Matthew Scullion: Every single day the ups and downs the the days where you think are we still going to be here tomorrow and the days where you win the big order and you’re celebrating perhaps though the most important thing I feel that I learned um and got a head start on um, was in leadership and managing people. Getting a team of smart people aligned on doing something together because that’s all business is um, particularly as a Ceo your jobs to build a world class team and get them all pointed in the same direction and. Ah, many of us only get the opportunity to start doing that later in our career. You know we we finish university we start off our career as an individual contributor. It’s much later that we become a manager um or an executive within a business whereas I was lucky to be able to get. Started managing people from 17 years old so by the time I was you know in my early 30 s setting up atillion I already had 15 years of experience doing it which was a great um advantage for me I feel.
Alejandro: And and why do you think it took you because after the company was acquired then you went to to work you know with with with other folks and other companies. But as they say once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur.. What do you think it took you so long and and. Like what was that the the thought process with hey I’m just going to work here and and and then you know you ended up launching your matillion. So Why didn’t you why?? why? do you think you didn’t launch like something immediate after this company.
Matthew Scullion: Yeah, it’s a great question. Um, and I’ve never been asked like question in that particular way. But I think it’s a good one. There’s probably 2 or 3 learnings I could take here so one of them was I think this is true although it would be easy for me to be revisionist here. Um I did realize that I didn’t know.
Matthew Scullion: A lot of what I needed to know to build a stellar onward career. You know it’s really great setting up a business when you’re 17 and selling it when you’re 21 but I was pretty raw at that point right? There was definitely some more basics that I needed to learn. So I think I had it in the back of my head that I probably needed to learn a bit more. Ah, could overindex on that though and that would probably be revisionist just like to tell a good story. You know, being more intellectually honest, some of it was um, financial because when my company got acquired. Ah you know there were um. Ah, share options and things that I needed to work to crystallize in the next company and we can all learn from that right? If there’s a few 0 or million bucks. It was alas a few hundred thousand for me. Um, ah, but if there’s a few 0 things waiting for you over the rainbow then then that helps.
Alejandro: My way.
Matthew Scullion: Ah, you stick around and I did secondly I was still being intellectually challenged and and this is something that I think about all the time now as I’m hiring the world’s best people to work in matillion. It’s really important that they get paid right? It’s really important that they’ve got the right job title. Culture is incredibly important and we should talk about that separately and they need to be able to see that they could potentially have a big outcome at some future liquidity event but in my opinion for talented people. The most important thing is feeling leveraged like are you learning? Are you making a difference. Are you having fun? Does it feel like it matters that you turn up for work every day and for several years after that acquisition it did feel like that for me and and I was still having fun and learning and making a difference. And that was actually the tipping point that made me step away from that business and set up matillion when that ceased to become the case when ah when I started to just feel like a cog in a machine then I was like yeah I’m not enjoying this anymore. Lastly I would say that um to any proto entrepreneur. And ah, definitely think about this next concept which is comfort right? I mean one of the benefits of being a 21 year old guy. Um, that’s just had a company that he part owns acquired is that I earn loads. Compared to any of my peers right? I had like a 6 digit salary and a really nice company car. Um, and yeah I could have happily cruised into my fifty s and bought a nice house and you know not really worried about too much in life. So comfort is like the antidote to entrepreneurial is of it away.
Matthew Scullion: And I had to take that brave decision to say Yeah I’m going to walk away from this comfortable and secure life and go into the high risk world of entrepreneurship. Um, my wife helped helped me make that decision. She gave me the kick that I needed. Um, but I Just. Ah, encourage listeners to be aware of that if you’re if you’re thinking about setting up a business because it’s just so easy to not do it because you’re comfortable.
Alejandro: And in this case really your wife you know gave you that push and I mean at this point you were already like really exposed to the data analytics stuff and how complex it was and and all of that good stuff. So now that the. You were really pushed by by your wife that really saw the potential that you were throwing it Away. You know by by being employed ah tell us about what was that transition like into like the idea of matillion coming to you and then you saying you know what? I’m I’m gonna go forward with this and ah. Gonna launch this business.
Matthew Scullion: Yeah, so there’s the the the personal side and the business side. So the the personal side. Um I’ve often joked with myself that if I ever write a book about how to be a software entrepreneur which I probably won’t because I’m sure there are. Many far better books than I could write out there already. But if I ever was chapter. One would be called be single or marry. Well um, because it’s very all consuming um being an entrepreneur and ah and a Ceo and um, ah. My wife Caroline Mrs Scalllion was incredibly supportive of me doing it and then ah all the time that I’ve been doing it since which has been eleven years and that’s really important because you’re gonna be all in and ah and if your ah family. Um, ah, ah, ah. For probably very understandable. Reasons isn’t supportive of that then that’s gonna be hard. You’re gonna be conflicted so I’ve always been incredibly lucky in that respect I will also say it was remarkably brave of my wife to encourage me to do that because as I say I’ve been financially comfortable in a. Not too difficult job didn’t work a horrendously long hours. Um, we were going to go to a position where there was very precarious financially for many years and we were also just starting a family and I should say we weren’t wealthy. Um, ah you know I was ah ah just a well-paid wage earner. And so when that wage stopped we you know were were financially exposed so incredibly brave of her on the professional side. Um, you know the company that had set up back when I was seventeen years old or helped set up. It had been acquired that had led to a job in a large. Consulting firm and I’d kind of stayed in that industry for like approximately a 10 year run towards the end of that run one of the things that I’d been tasked by this large company that I worked for at the time to do was to build out a data analytics consulting practice in there. Uk. This particular firm was the the largest implementer of business intelligence and analytics solutions in Europe at the time. Um, but they didn’t do much of it in the Uk and I run the Uk software division for this company at the time. So um. What I did do though in other parts of my role is I did a lot of software developments or other my team did for ah british blue chip companies and we were also just starting to do our first forays of work into public cloud and using Aws to build solutions for customers.
Matthew Scullion: So I knew software really well was beginning to know and like cloud really well and then was asked to build this data analytics business and essentially what we observed what I observed was that there’s a big demand. Better data in business and you know this sounds obvious to say to say in 2022 but this was back like 13010 it wasn’t quite as prominent back then? um, but every Cio or cfo I spoke to was happy to spend money to have better data. Projects at the time though had bad outcomes I think the industry stat was 70% failure rate on the projects they were expensive took a long time failed a lot. So I thought well I wonder if there’s an opportunity to make this better using this new cloud technology could we do data analytics on the cloud and. Short those project timescales make it easier to do this stuff for organizations I actually pitched the idea to my employer this big european sci that was working for like hey we’re making a load of money doing bi. But I think we should do it differently and do it in the cloud and unsurprisingly they said no so. It was that plus the push from my wife Caroline that made me quit that job found matillion a company there to make the world’s data useful at the intersection of data analytics in the cloud.
Alejandro: Now day one they won on matillum day one really it was the beginning the beginning but also the beginning of thinking about culture and how you were thinking about principles and how those have been the pillars of. You know of of what how you guys have built the organization when it comes to to the the human capital side. So so how how did you guys think about culture and what did you do on the intranet.
Matthew Scullion: Yeah, so um, thanks for allowing me to share that story. Ah matillian today is ah I still consider as to be early in our journey. But undoubtedly, we’ve made some progress where as you mentioned and you pray see at the beginning a unicorn now and you know. Many hundreds of team members and customers all over the world but back on day one. It was just me and and my co-founder our cto a gentleman called Ed Thompson and by the way he and I had already known each other for 10 years at that point working in our last gig right? So it’s a bit weird. But the very first thing that I did on the very first morning of matillion I think it was January Twentieth Two Thousand and Eleven I think it was twentieth um, ah was we sat down and we made ourselves a cup of tea because we’re british um, and then he started writing some software which was probably the right thing to do and I set up an intranet. Um. The 2 of us that had already known each other for 10 years but but the reason I did that was to give me an opportunity to write down um a page on that intranet called the matillion values. Um. And so been thinking in the prior months and you know after the push that had been given to me by my wife about what a hopes this company would be I wrote down a few things in the business plan I was like well I wanted to work at the intersection of cloud and data I want to develop our own ip on a recurring revenue model. And I want it to be something beautiful something that I can be proud of and and yeah you know done in what I consider to be the right way. Um, and so why did I write down the values on the very first morning it was to hold myself. And I hoped in future other matillionais that weren’t yet part of the company but on day one as much as anyone myself to account on how I thought we should act and behave in the way that we built the company now if you fast forward to today. There’s hundreds of matillion now. Um. And and the values are important to all of them. Um, and the culture. Ah that matillian has I think and I think most of ma hass agree with me is a big part of why we’ve been successful today it and why I hope we’ll go on to have lots more success and that cultures. Underpinned by those values on on day one there was 3 we’ve elaborated it a couple of years later to 6 but you know the first value the very first words I wrote in matillion were confidence without arrogance. You know we’re trying to do something big. We’re trying to make a dent in the universe bigger than ourselves. But we’re not going to be.
Matthew Scullion: Arrogant about it because that closes our eyes and stops us learning at an accelerated rate and also people don’t like it so that’s 1 example of one of those values I look back on it as one of if not the best things that I’ve done so you know it’s all been downhill since there that was the first morning buts um. Um, crystallizing those values holding myself accountable to them. But also all future matillion is accountable to them has helped us build that durable culture which I give the credit to a lot of our success to.
Alejandro: And for the people that are listening to really understand what matillion is and is all about I mean what’s the business model and how do you guys make money.
Matthew Scullion: Yeah, absolutely so. Matillion’s mission is to make the world’s data useful every aspect of how we work live and play today in 2022 is being changed for the better by data with data and that’s happening everywhere right now and incredibly quick. But the problem with that story is that every analytics dashboard you’ve ever used. Um, every ai use case you’ve read about or machine learning startup that you’ve heard about or will ever hear about they all rely on a supply of useful. Analytics ready data to fuel them and and actually that tends to be about 60 to 70% of the project time of doing an analytics project. It’s not coaching the machine learning model or building the beautiful data visualization. It’s getting the data ready. Ah. And there are other ways to do it. You can do it manually in code. But that’s slow and requires scarce skills and is hard to maintain. There are technologies a bit like matillion but invented for the pre-cloud world but they don’t work brilliantly in the cloud and so matillion is trying to solve this problem and it’s a big problem that we’re solving because. Every company experiences. It. Um, they’re doing so more as every aspect of how we work live and play is changed for the better with data. Um, and. We can’t get those benefits in our organizations and until we open that supply chain of useful data and so that’s why we’ve been put on the earth. That’s our mission. Um, how do we do that? We’re delivering. A platform of built for the cloud and built for enterprise data integration technology that helps customers load data from a wide variety of sources everything from salesforce and marketo to enterprise e rp systems like sap and netsuite down to you know. Old heterogeneous systems running banks and insurance companies or new bespoke systems with rest Apis you can pull all your data together into 1 place once you’ve got it. There. Crucially, you can refine. It. You need you need data to be clean and tidy embellished with metrics at the right level of granularity. But that’s not how data’s born. You have to refine it they like iron or into steel we have to refine raw data into analytics ready data. We call that transformation and and that’s at the heart of matillion’ products and crucially in matillion you do it in a visual low-code no code way.
Matthew Scullion: Which means a wider audience of people are able to do it and therefore organizations can go faster and then finally we can orchestrate all of that because it gets complicated particularly in big companies. We can orchestrate all of that in a sophisticated and reliable way at an enterprise scale. So that’s what we do. Um, as a business model. Um, we are um well we’re b two b which is probably obvious by now we sell to other companies. Um, we sell to both commercial scale companies. So this is smart ambitious fast moving smaller businesses. We define those as being sub 500000000 in revenue. Um, or it can be to. Enterprise companies. Um north of 500000000 in revenue and oftentimes north of a billion if they’re north of a billion we count them as the global 8000 and that’s our real stomping ground as regards where we get most of our revenue. Um, um, we are a bottoms up velocity. Sales motion. So what that means is whilst many customers spend certainly tens often hundreds and occasionally millions of dollars on our software. Um, you know they get to a million by way of 100000 by way of 20000 by way of a free trial and we don’t sell our software to a company by. Doing a twelve month sales cycle and taking the cio out for a steak dinner and a game of golf. We started by working with the people with the actual problem making the software as easy as possible to adopt. Um and then as they use it more they pay as they drink and gradually get more value. And pay for that value with more dollars bottoms up right? where um land and expand that’s sometimes also called the last thing I’ll say is that we’re a consumption-based business model which is really in our opinion the the contemporary and best way of selling software. You know back in the two thousand s we had perpetual licensing. You know you bought the right to use software forever and then you’d pay a support fee of like 10 or 20% annually and then through the 2010 s we were mostly saas. So you paid for a twelve month subscription for a given number of users or whatever the unit of measure was today companies like snowflake and databricks and Aws and as your and also matillion we are consumption-based business models. You buy. Um, you either pay as you drink or buy credits and then you burn through those credits as you decide to apply the software to things and and that tightly correlates what you pay to the value you get and we think that’s the way the industry’s going.
Alejandro: Got it and now in terms of capital. How have you guys say capitalized capitalize the business. How much have you raised so far. That’s a lot of millions for a company out of Manchester Matthew Scullion: and I know that for you guys the series b was quite the.
Matthew Scullion: So we’ve raised three hundred ten million dollars
Alejandro: But a very important milestone. So how were you able to really get people from Silicon Valley to come and and invest in a company out of Manchester.
Matthew Scullion: Yeah, the series b investment for me was a real moment for me personally in the company because we had two world class and blue chip silicon valley investors you know 1 of the 10 investors that matter in b two b software are 2 of the 10 investors that matter in b two b. Enterprise infrastructure software in Silicon Valley both joined matillion’s cap table and it just felt wonderful. It felt like a moment of affirmation and validation and kind of putting us on the world stage. It was just such a lovely feeling saying to my team hey um, scale venture partners and sapphi ventures who also between them backed. Hubspot and ring central and fitbit and Linkedin and box and dockyign are now backing matillion. You can imagine the energy that that gave to my team at the time. How did we do it? Well first of all, if if you’ll indulge me I’ll go right back to the beginning because I think there’s ah, there’s a piece of advice here. To get the business started I needed four hundred and fifty thousand pounds which I didn’t have because I wasn’t I didn’t have any independent means particularly um and I approached 3 former bosses from my previous set of jobs. We’ve spoken about my first job when I was 17 and the ten years after that. 1 of the things that I was lucky to be able to do in that ten years was work with some brilliant people and I guess looking back on it I must have sufficiently impressed them or inspired confidence in them that when I wanted to set up a business I had some people that I could ring up and say hey I’m going to set up this company. It’s gonna do this. Do your fancy investing and and 3 of those people did one of them a gentleman called peter mccord shortly after I actually joined the business as an operator as well and he’s been very instrumental to the success of the business I’m incredibly grateful for him being part of our story but the the lesson there for me. Is that even in that prior 10 years and you know you asked me earlier. What were you doing? Well one of the things I was doing was trying my best to always do a good job and keep promises and do business with integrity and that meant that when I came to set up a business I was able to approach a couple of people and they trusted me enough to back me they have. Subsequently admitted that they didn’t think that I knew much more about what I was proposing to do than they did but it wasn’t the business plan that I showed them that they backed it was me and and I think the advice I’d always therefore give to people is just you know, always be thinking about your integrity because. That stuff lasts a lifetime move on you know matillian start to make a bit of progress. We’ve launched matillian etl and some customers start which is the the heart of our product platform today and some customers have started to buy it and we’re at about half a million dollars of arr we’re about 15 or 20 people.
Alejandro: Oh yeah.
Matthew Scullion: Um, um, we um, we thought we needed some venture capital because we’d had this great idea. It’s a big market. We needed to move quick. We didn’t want to get overtaken. You know the biggest enemy of high-growth businesses. It’s not competition. It’s not capital. It’s not you know misshires or any of the 101 other things that go wrong every day. The biggest enemy of a high-growth business is time um and you can feel the timer being away. Um, one way to fight against time is to raise venture capital dollars so you can move quicker hire more people and move quicker and we. Ah, kind of started to realize this so I had 1 friend in Silicon Valley um this gentleman was the Ceo of one of our suppliers I’d met him at a dinner and made friends with him and so I phoned him up to ask for advice and he said well I can make you an introduction to a couple of silicon valley vcs. I was like great so I jumped on a plane. We didn’t have much money at this point by the way I mean I’d only raised 450000 pounds sterling and we were running a cash burning business. So like money was tight I got the cheapest possible ticket I could out to Silicon Valley um you know via about 3 different airports stayed in a motel. Um, went and did 3 venture capital pitches and they all said no and so I assumed that we weren’t to Silicon Valley back of all business. So I flew back to the Uk and we um, we appointed a small corporate finance boutique. Um, and they introduced us to maybe ten or Twenty british investors 1 of whom went on to do our series a round with us which was a $5,000,000 round we then circle back eighteen months later and do the series. B. And at this point you know our story was a lot stronger. We had an office in New York we had customers I think by that point in over 20 kind of countries. We were 4000000 of ar ah rather than 400000 and people had started to hear about us a little bit and so but crucially. The main thing that I did differently at the series Bs to series a is spoke to more than 3 people because the rule of thumb as I’ve subsequently learned is that if you want 1 term sheet. You do 10 pitches and you really want 3 term sheets. So that means you need to do 30 pitches and probably 10 for luck. Should be doing 40 pitches for an early stage fundraising round and I’d done 3 Ah one of the ones that I did was actually to scale venture partners and they came back and invested at the b round and I said to them was my pitch really terrible at a and they were like no and wasn’ that bad. We just happened to be invested in someone that we considered to be competitive at the time.
Matthew Scullion: I didn’t know any of that back then so I just assumed we weren’t a silicon valley backable business second time round did it a bit more professionally. Um was absolutely thrilled to have sapphire ventures and and scale venture partners invest in the business. Another the final thing I’ll say on this is. For non Silicon Valley based entrepreneurs I think there’s a lesson there. Um, ah, it’s not that common that british software entrepreneurs wake up in the morning and think I’m going to make a dent in the universe bigger than myself. Um I’m going to solve a big problem and change the world. And I’m going to go and raise Millions Tens or hundreds of millions of dollars a venture capital in order to do that in Silicon Valley but I did that? Um, ah, you know the happen chance of life led me to doing that and. Um, um, we were successful I may well have been successful at series a had a known to try a bit harder and and I was successful at series b um, the expertise and ambition that those silicon valley investors installed in us the moment after they invested have helped. Completely changed the trajectory and outcome for matillian so not only was that day full of pride for me, but it was also a day that helped keep to us on the on the course to becoming a consequential company does that answer the question.
Alejandro: That does answer the question Matthew Scullion: very well. so um so I guess you know now obviously a matillion incredible company that you that you guys have built um you know unicorn status hundreds of employees. Um global presence. I guess you know like over the course of of this time you know of of this decade a plus now that then that you have all been pushing this I’m sure that there’s been. You know a lot of lessons learned and and and. If I was to put you into a time machine and and bring you back in time you know maybe to that point where you were seventeen years old and and and perhaps you know thinking about going into the employment market and or even you know like maybe jumping into building. You know that first business if you were able to sit that Matthew Scullion: Younger Matthew Scullion: down and. And give that younger Matthew Scullion: one piece of advice before launching a business What would you say What would that be? what would that be given what you know now.
Matthew Scullion: If I’ve been talking to myself the 17 year old Matthew Scullion: Sculllion it would have been ah, be bolder. Um because it took me a while as you rightly held me to account to. Yeah, you know, unusual and fun to start a business at 17 but there was no moment in that business where I thought everybody in the industry would have heard the name of our company I just didn’t think that happened to people from Manchester um, or um. Ah, madrid or places that weren’t San Francisco it just hadn’t occurred to me. Um, and if I’m honest with you that was also true as I founded matillion as well. Um. I definitely knew I wanted to build something beautiful and that I could be proud of and that I thought had been done right? But as I founded matillion in early 2011 I didn’t expect to build a consequential company. And and I haven’t done yet by the way we’re we’re materially on the way. But there’s a lot more growth to come than that’s happened already and which is why we’re all still working very hard. Um, so I think the advice that I would have given myself is you know, be bold like try and change the world that doesn’t mean that the only thing that one should. Take success and validation from is creating lots of enterprise value and raising lots of Venture Capital there are lots of ways to make a dent in the universe bigger than yourself, but it is like don’t be shy right? Don’t be inhibited by the limitations of your own vision. Ah, because you can but wake up in you know a ah rainy gray day in South manchester Uk um, build a company that goes on to have thousands of large customers and tens of thousands of users and slowly but surely. Solving a really big problem I didn’t know that when I was 17 and I’m beginning to realize that that’s the case now. Um I do think that the world would be a better place if if we did that I mean I’m um, a proud man union and a proud british person. Um I think there are many wonderful things about. My country as there are about all countries. Um, but we don’t create consequential. Um high-growth technology companies at the same rate as some other geographies in the world most notably Silicon Valley and yet the 2 places I spend most time are.
Matthew Scullion: Um, Manchester uk and Silicon Valley or actually Denver Colorado as well because that’s where I had offices in the Us. But you know I noticed more similarities than differences between those places and yet silicon valley creates loads of consequential tech companies and Manchester not quite as many one of the biggest. Differences I think more similarities than differences but 1 of the biggest differences is just in that cognition that it can be done because once you’ve got the cognition you then start behaving accordingly you ah you know that you need to learn at an accelerated rate. So you do and you get yourself introduced people that can help you and you dedicate time to doing that you know that time’s your biggest enemy. So you start getting really urgent and purposeful about everything you do you know that you’re going to need capital to fuel it so you go and raise it. Ah, but those things are all born. From thinking yeah in whatever my small way is I’m going to change the world. So that’s the thing that I’d give myself the advice on.
Alejandro: I love it and Matthew Scullion: for the people that are listening if they want to reach out and say hi. What is the best way to do so.
Matthew Scullion: Well I would absolutely love that I’m always happy to talk making data useful and data integration I’m always happy to talk business building and entrepreneurship and if I can be helpful to anyone I’d be happy to you can find me on Linkedin. It’s Matthew Scullion:. Um, scullion I see you do l I o n and the company is matillion. Um, and you can get me on Twitter as well. At Matthew Scullion: Scullion
Alejandro: Amazing. Well Matthew Scullion: thank you so much for being on the dealmaker show. It has been an honor to have you with us.
Matthew Scullion: Oh and such a pleasure. Thank you for having me on the show and and good luck with the next one I Hope some of what we covered is useful and interesting to someone.
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