Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

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Sunil Paul is the cofounder and CEO of Spring Free EV which is a financial technology company built to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles through innovative fintech products. Prior to this he cofounded Brightmail Inc. which he sold for $370 million as well as Freeloader which he sold for $38 million five months after launching the business.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Using asset financing to scale your business
  • How much debt you should take on to start your first business
  • The M&A process
  • The art of deal making


This episode is sponsored by Zencastr, my #1 podcast tool. They provide a crystal clear sound and gorgeous HD video. What I love about it is that it records separate audio and video tracks for me and the guests. Plus there is a secured cloud backup, so you never lose your interviews. It is super easy to use and there is nothing to download. My guests just click on the link and w start recording. Go to Zencastr and get 30% off your first three months with a PRO account.

This episode is also sponsored by Vinovest which is a company that allows accessible and affordable investing in fine wines, an investment that is less volatile and often more lucrative than investing in traditional stocks. Go to their site and receive 2 months of fee-free investing. Be sure to mention that the DealMakers podcast is helping you to same on 2 months of management fees.

For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).

Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

About Sunil Paul:

Sunil Paul is an experienced entrepreneur and investor. He loves innovation and making ideas a reality.

Sunil started Spring Free EV to make electric vehicles cheap and ubiquitous. Previously, Sunil co-founded and ran Sidecar where they invented modern ridesharing . Prior to Sidecar Sunil incubated Getaround and made a number of successful investments including several IPOs including Linkedin. Sunil co-founded and ran companies like Brightmail ($370M sale), which pioneered anti-spam, and early web pioneer FreeLoader ($38M sale). Sunil has been active in the non-profit and political worlds as well with organizations like Gigaton Throwdown, Clean Energy for Biden, Cleantech for Obama, and others.

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Read the Full Transcription of the Interview:

Hey, guys. Today’s episode is brought to you by Zencastr. I remember back in the day when I was looking at putting together Zencastr. I was looking for a solution that would help me in putting things together. Essentially, this is what allowed me to bring DealMakers to life. Basically, Zencastr, what it is is an all-in-one solution where you just send a link to the person that you’re looking to interview. They would plug in their computer with their video, with the audio, and then you are good to go. You would piece everything together, give it to your audio engineer or even edit it yourself, and you are off to the races. Now, if you’re looking at getting into podcasting, you should definitely check Zencastr out, and you could also get a 30% discount, and this is the discount code that you will be able to redeem by going to Lastly, I was very much blown away when I found out that investing in wine has been one of the best-kept secrets amongst the ultra-wealthy. This is now not the case anymore. I came across this solution, which is called VinoVest, and they are a great solution that allows you to diversify investing by implementing or including wines into your portfolio. Take a look at this: wine has one-third of the volatility of the stock market, and yet it has outperformed the global equities market over the past 30 years with 10.6% annualized revenues. It’s a really good way to diversify your portfolio, and you could also get two months of free investing by just going to, and by going there, you will be able to redeem your discount.
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Alejandro Cremades: Alrighty hello everyone and welcome to the deal maker show. So today. We have a very exciting entrepreneur I mean the entrepreneurial journey is unbelievable. He’s done it multiple times. Build scale finance exited. I think that we’re going I really have a lot of fun today going into the insights into what it takes from bringing an idea all the way to life and then also to a really interesting exit. But I think that without further ado I don’t want to make anyone wait any longer. So let’s welcome our guest today sonil Paul welcome to the show.

Sunil Paul: Hey thank you so much I am very excited to be here. Yeah from punjab life growing up. Well I was only four years old when I came to the us I think the the most. Ah.

Alejandro Cremades: So originally from India from pun chap go what tell us about yeah life growing up.

Sunil Paul: Ah, one of the most memorable experiences arriving in the United States was ah there are 2 things that made huge difference and made made a big impression on me even I still remember one was just the number of cars running around I mean I was from a town a farm town in Punjab a town called ferosper. And there were not a lot of cars in 1960 Whatever year that was um, a six nine and here arriving in the united states there’s just cars everywhere and and I think that’s actually influenced my ah focus on mobility for so long. The other was snow like I had never seen snow before and even though I was very excited to see my father I ah I remember distinctly reaching down feeling snow before you know then running to the door to go see my father.

Alejandro Cremades: And in your case.

Sunil Paul: Those were those are the formative experiences that I remember from from the arrival in the United States

Alejandro Cremades: And I’m sure that another formative that was very influential into perhaps your entrepreneur entrepreneurial desire or or journey that you took on was your own parents. You know running their own their own thing their own farm. So so what did you learn out of.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: Out of really experiencing them. You know leading their own thing and and and perhaps going through the ups and downs of of running your own business. So how was that for you.

Sunil Paul: You know, ah, my family has a lot of entrepreneurs in it. My my parents were entrepreneurs for almost thirty years running a hydroponic greenhouse farm in Tennessee back in the 80 s and 90 s and in the early two thousand s and. Ah, very unusual for its time and I guess even in usual today my my grandfather was on my mother’s side was an entrepreneur actually on my father’s side as well and my uncle was an entrepreneur and ah and so it’s. It’s part of the family culture. This idea that um you know the part of the way you make your way in life is to figure out ways that you can make something for others and and solve it. So ah I think probably the. 1 of the biggest things I learned from my um from my parents and and their experience was the perseverance like they worked incredibly hard to to make that business work. Um. And you know it. It took them a solid decade before they got it working really well. Um, and and really struggled so I’m grateful for their ah you know, kind of what they were willing to do. And what and the sort of lessons that I got out of that I would also say one of them important lessons was they also couldn’t leave. You know it. It was ah like a lot of entrepreneurs. You have to not only pay attention to the. Um, not only pay attention to the the exit opportunity for your investors but you need to have a personal path that if for whatever reason. Ah you can’t or don’t want to continue to operate your your company. You have an option. And they didn’t really have an option like it was this company or you know having no money. Um, and so I I never wanted to be in that spot I never want to be in a spot where I had no choices. Um, and so that that also has affected me in the way that I think about things like.

Alejandro Cremades: And thinking about choices and and also the way that you think about things. Why do you think it took you so long to to start your own business because I mean you did Obviously you graduated you did engineering

Sunil Paul: Want to have choices.

Alejandro Cremades: Then you really got into space you know with Nasa policymaking in in Dc but why why that sequence of events. Why did it take you a little bit of time of going at it. You know versus just going at it right away after after school. Yeah.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, you know I asked myself that question too I think fundamentally it was concern about debt and concern about ah like what happens if it doesn’t work and a big enabler for being able to. Be able to start my first company was paying off my student loans and ah making a little bit of money at America online and that combination gave me a bit of a safety net that I was willing to take the bigger risk of. Okay, I mean I actually I left a ton of I left $1000000 of invested stock on the table at Aol um, in order to go do my first company so it was it was very risky in that way. Um, but I had I had. Vested into enough shares that I could pay off my loans have a little bit of money in the bank. It. It provided a little bit of comfort level and um and I think that’s fundamentally the reason I think that’s kind of like the pure rational reason I think the more. Emotional. Ah answer is that entrepreneurship takes some guts and it’s you know the guts are enabled by having a soft landing pad. In other words, you’re not going to be destitute if you if it fails. But even now it takes guts right? I mean ah being an entrepreneur in your fifty s in Silicon Valley is not a ah ah straightforward or obvious thing to do and it it takes an emotional willingness to. Um, you know, ah to not only ah, put in the time and the money and the effort but also take the emotional and social risk There is no good idea out there that starts out with There’s no awesome company that starts out with all of your friends saying oh Sunil Paul:il you’re so smart for doing that company. Oh you’re so I’m I’m talking about the beginning right? if all my advice to entrepreneurs is if all your friends and your family tell you that this idea is great. And that they like and that it’s you know, just such a smart idea. It’s probably not a good one to go pursue because it’s too obvious like you want the idea that a big portion of your friends. Not all of them but a big portion of your friends are like yeah

Sunil Paul: Some other people might use that but I wouldn’t use that or you know are you sure you want to go do this company there’t. There are other things can’t you go get a job at a somewhere else or you know isn’t there. You’re too late and if other people get it.

Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, it’s like people if people get it that means that probably you’re too late. Ah.

Sunil Paul: It also means that as soon as you put it out into the field and make it publicly known what you’re doing someone else is going to go do it because everyone else thinks it’s a smart idea too. It’s not just your friends and think it’s a smart idea. So I think there’s it’s important and part of the reason why Silicon Valley works is that and I mean Silicon Valley culture works is this tolerance for okay like you went and tried something that everyone that people around you thought was stupid and didn’t work. It’s okay, like you gave it a shot. And ah I think that that is that tolerance for failure that people talk about a lot as you know as as one of the ingredients for successful Silicon Valley culture it’s It’s not that. It’s not that we celebrate failure. It’s that we we respect the willingness to try and that’s ah, that’s a big difference.

Alejandro Cremades: Now the first company freeloader I mean that was ah that was a quick one from start to finish because literally I mean that that’s kind of like unheard of nowadays six months you know from beginning all the way to exit I mean no. Tell us tell us what were you exactly doing at freeloader because I mean we’re talking about the mid 90 s here the early internet. What were you guys doing there and and why did the transaction happen. So fast first.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, yeah.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, well first I think you got to put listeners back in the mode of ah of that era we’re talking about the the mid 1990 s 1995 90 ninety six when ah the internet was you know dominated by companies like Merrick online. where where I was internet product manager and um and getting online involved a modem. You know that? e.

Alejandro Cremades: Yeah, yeah, so.

Sunil Paul: Like that experience and a fast modem was 50 Six kilobits per second that world was the one that that we were in at freeloader and the idea behind freeloader was you could load for free. The content on the internet ah in the background while you’re doing other things or overnight if you were preparing for the next day you’re going to be on a trip or whatever. Um, because there was no wi-fi there was no cable speed and high-speed network. It was. The idea that you could load a bunch of content onto your hard disk from the internet you could play back the videos you could play back the webpages and you wouldn’t have to wait for them to to download. We also had a screen saver where that content would show up on the screen saver and kind of make it. Easy way to interact so that you could show up at your computer and instantly have the experience of the internet and that was the that was the idea it. Ah we had a we had a competitor that. Ah, some listeners will remember called pointcast um, I’ll tell you an important lesson out of that is we? Um, well I’ll say one very important lesson is have great cofounders. Um my my cofounder at that company was Mark Pincus who is. 1 of the best like dealmaking pace setting entrepreneurs alive and so that’s one of the reasons why we were able to get that that. That transaction done so quickly is is Mark’s just insatiable drive and ability to get um, you know we had multiple bidders for um, for what ended up being a sale of the company. We know we we thought maybe we’ve made it raise money instead. Ah, but I think another important lesson is that was one of many bubbles that I’ve been through um that one isn’t as well known as the is kind of the push bubble. There’s this whole wave of the internet called push and pointcast was at the forefront of it. And it all got shut down by basically sys admins who got tired of the content coming onto the networks. Our decision to sell ended up being in hindsight brilliant at the time it was a tough call

Sunil Paul: We weren’t sure should we sell should we keep going and um I mean I learned you don’t always know that you’re in a bubble when you’re in 1 ah, in fact, you hardly ever know and um, you know. It also taught me that when when you see someone offering something way out of bounds from what is Ah yeah, you know you know everything has to go perfectly for a very very long time in order to to kind of match up. Then you’re better off taking that that offer. Um yeah, because pointcast you know the way I put it is you know we sold at thirty Eight Million Pointcast got an offer for I forget how much it felt like it was around 10 x that maybe only. 4 or 5 x that um from newscorp I think it was and ah and they turned it down and maybe another six months after that the whole thing fell apart so we went from you know morons for starting the company because ah. Left all that stock on on the table to geniuses for selling to morons for you know, not so you know not holding out for even higher value to geniuses again because we sold it at at a price that you know whereas pointcast ended up selling for for. You know some to minis amount. Um, yeah, so also you know that that cycle of you a more on your genius goes back and forth and so you just you can’t get too hung up on everyone thinks you’re a moreon or everyone thinks you’re a genius like.

Alejandro Cremades: So I mean I’m sure that but that that this obviously gave you full visibility into the into the full cycle of a company you know and into how you start how you build how you finance because obviously there you had people investing like the young.

Sunil Paul: It’s going to go back and forth.

Alejandro Cremades: Fred Wilson or Softbank where they were not like as big as they are today but they then you go to the exit and now you have you know, kind of like a full lay of the land on on how you really you know do the the full cycle now. In this case, you know as they say once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. So then you know you win at it. You know again? so.

Sunil Paul: Test.

Alejandro Cremades: Tell us you know what was that process because you know after the the company shut down I mean you you you had moved to the Bay area and you decided to stay there but then you went at it again. You know with bright mail. So how did the idea of bright mail come about.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, you know the ah bright mail was a lot about seeing a problem and and noodling on ways to try to try to fix it. Um I started getting spam in my Aol Account my wife started getting spam and I started thinking about different ways to try to solve it. Um, one of the more kind of interesting moments. There was I had a particular way of of solving it in my head that I started working on actually with a bunch of former freeloader. Engineers and I took the idea back day. Well as well as to a bunch of other isps involved client software and every one of them said we don’t want to do that. We don’t want more client software and so I assembled the team. Ah, in a in a conference room at dulles I remember and to tell him okay look I’ve taken this out to the marketplace marketplace says there’s a dead of idea. Let’s we’re gonna kill it and um and I literally. Went to the whiteboard and thought well is there a way you could do this on the server and sketched out what ended up being the architecture and the system for bright now and I was like huh. Yeah, that could work and unfortunately all the engineers were all client side engineers. So i’d. Didn’t end up using any of their skills or or any of that. But um, yeah I mean it took many months to to actually get it. But I think it’s a good example of you really want to get I mean look this is like standard practice now with startups that you know. The whole lean startup methodology of get your idea, get your product out in front of customers as soon as possible and get feedback from the marketplace. Um, it was already in ah, kind of our in the way that I thought about things. So. Ah, but this is a good example where I took the idea to potential customers and they all thought it was terrible and that might have been the end of it. But then you know applying some more creativity and ideation on it came up with the variation that ended up being highly valuable company. Um. You know bribell was instead of six months or 6 years built to profitability instead of you know a 0 revenue company. Um, which is yeah freeloader versus bright mills very different multiple rounds of of capital. Um I also

Sunil Paul: Learned the value of of of strong execution ceos learned that I didn’t know how to do that and Enrique Salem who was Ceo when we when we sold the company. Um. You know, very strong execution and he went on to be Ceo of of symante many years after after the sale. Um, and I think that was one of the you know freeloader was so fast and so ah, you know I don’t know. Kind of like the bluebird kind of experience. Ah Brightmail was much more formative because it it really? ah, kind of brought home. How do you actually build a real company. With profits and revenue and growth and an executive team and a full and a full operating team and a full board like all the things that that that come with that. Um, and it was great. Exit I mean we were ready to go public. We followed us one and. Um, decide to sell to Symantec in part because in part because ah after the dotcom bubble crashed I went back and um, kind of I went to went to school literally to classes on value company valuations. And went to back to basics and realized that again the the value of selling at that moment was um, was better than ah than given the price than what the. Potential was for for the company. Um

Alejandro Cremades: And what an exit to I mean 370000000 so so good outcome now after this happened you really got into investing and one of the investments that you made as an angel investor is Linkedin so.

Sunil Paul: Deft.

Sunil Paul: Yeah.

Alejandro Cremades: What what? a good outcome I mean obviously during this time too. You got intolin and and all this stuff but 1 of the questions that I wanted to ask you and I’m sure that there’s gonna be many investors that are gonna be. You know, really listening to this answer that you’re Goingnna give is how what what? What do companies like Linkedin. You know that end up becoming a Linkedin and an exit. You know, like the one that they did to Microsoft for billions. What do those companies look like when you are you know, becoming an angel investor or thinking about making an angel investment in a company like that at that stage. So.

Sunil Paul: Well I think consistent with what I said earlier there are always many people who think it’s not a good idea now that’s not a good screen for an investment because almost every idea. That you see as an investor ah other people think is is not a good idea. Um I think the the sort of like I can’t claim any kind of crystal ball on these types of things. Um. Ah, knew read and ah was interested in this broader category of social social networks and and social media and the idea of of a business oriented Facebook um made sense to me and. I had no idea that it would end up being worth so much. Um, but it was clear that there was a there was a need the marketplace I think honestly it since then I and the broader investment community have gotten much. Ah, much more clear about the characteristics like it’s kind of interesting because of the internet because of all the sharing. Um, there’s there’s a more of a discipline around what makes for an interesting and ah. Yeah, an interesting venture-backed company or maybe maybe maybe the true practitioners of it have always known but it’s more widespread knowledge. So and fundamentally in order to have a successful venture outcome. Yeah, have to have big market. You have big margins and you have big growth and for someone for for a company like Linkedin Big market big growth potential is already growing pretty fast but you know you could see that especially read and the rest of the team. Very focused on viral loops and things that were still the new thing back then um, the big question at the time was monetization and especially in http://the.combustera. Ah, the idea of. Ah, you know companies that that just grew like mad and had no real revenue plan attached to them were extra scary and so one of the appeals of Linkedin is that Reid from the beginning had. 

Sunil Paul: Ah, vision of lots of different potential ways of extracting revenue from once the network was mature. Um, so that’s part of what attractive and it’s actually linked. Linkedin is a little bit unusual in that they have multiple streams of revenue most most these big media companies. You know. Almost always advertising but they have a a kind of single or a very small number of of revenue streams um and kind of the same with saas companies. You know they kind of sell their product. They sell variations their product but they fundamentally have a. A business model. Um.

Alejandro Cremades: Now in your case, you didn’t want to get stuck really on the investment side because you know you you you keep doing that and and and you were doing that very well. But but as an operator and entrepreneur I mean you you kind of like fill the the bug again. And that happened with Sidecar and Sidecar ended up evolving to what you’re doing right now with spring free ev so I think it will be Great. You know if you tell us what was the sequence of events that needed to happen to you Really you know, bringing your latest baby to life. So tell us a little bit about that process that Journey. So.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, well as I mentioned before or sorry that was in our pre conversation. So I’ve been thinking about this idea of how do we make electric vehicles more affordable for a long time. Um, actually. Was digging through some other patents and I discovered that I’d filed a provisional patent that I didn’t pursue back in 2009 on ah on a related idea. So it’s it’s something that’s been kicking around in my head for a long time. Um, what. Got it going ah into like let’s try to make something happen honestly where the fires here in the bay area. Um, you know the all of the the fires that the force fires that I think at this point we can safely say. Have at least been made worse much worse by climate change and um, you know as everyone kind of understands. It’s hard to have a causal direct causal link but we know that that it’s getting worse and worse because of climate change and I started asking myself what more can I do. My first answer was I started a contest around you know could we get to product market fit around this idea of of the mileage purchase agreement mileage purchase agreement is a pretty simple idea. It’s that an electric vehicle costs less over its lifetime way less. And a gas powered car but it costs more upfront and that upfront cost is a big barrier to to people buying it. So what? if you could take what what if you could charge a small fee per mile a use fee and use that to bring down the upfront cost. So simple idea. Um, honestly I like simple ideas because they allow you to come back to the same theme over and over again, you know I mean the simple idea rideshar and car sharing bright mail and antisent like they’re all very simple ideas at their essence turning them into reality is never simple, but. Um, but it’s nice to have a simple theme. So. The simple theme is how do you make electrical vehicles. Affordable and this innovation and mile first agreement I started in on a contest I remember because it was my birthday and I I was just frustrated that I hadn’t done anything about it. So I was like what if I could just get some people to help me on Linkedin. So I just I posted on Linkedin here. There’s some entrepreneurs out there that are willing to help me with a new idea and a few responded and so I thought okay well maybe I’ll turn this into a contest and so I created a contest around just how do we get the product market fit um, got.

Sunil Paul: You know over 20 teams to participate over the next roughly four to six months um had modest prize money. One of the important lessons out of it was that while the prize money was a motivator The big motivator was simply to engage with me and with some of the other judges. Um, other judges included Andrew Beebe at at obvious Jigger Shaw who was at general now running the loan program at at Doe. Um, so so that was interesting and you know because basically just because there’s an interesting idea. As again, we all understand in the sort of Silicon Valley culture yeah you got to get to product market fit you need to have an actionable thing a specific product formulation a specific market niche to go after and so you know was it was it ridesharing or car sharing was it. Was the us or another country was it was it trucks was it buses was it like what was the category that would that could they could get this idea to to really take off. Um, so that was kind of the very beginning. But. And there was a first place winner out of that. That’s gone on to raise angel money and is is fielding a consumer-oriented mileage purchase cream come to call flux um, but the other big thing that happened was again the wildfires. But this time the day of orange which. For everyone in the bay area remembers 2020 the fires caused so much smoke in the over the entire bay area that the entire day was orange. We never saw the sun it was um, it was a kind of apocalyptic day. And we all just wondered what the heck has gone on what’s happened to our world. Um, and it was it was those kinds of experiences that really made me realize okay I can’t just continue to be on boards and invest I have to apply my. Now decades of experience and mobility my experience and discipline as an operator and and and my innovation and fundamentally I’m an optimist I feel like there’s much more that can be done so that’s what that’s what. Kind of push me over to okay, let’s go do some an operating thing I’ll be honest, the original version of this idea was a fund um and through a number of pivots but the most important pivot being the realization that we could have climate level impact.

Sunil Paul: So I believe based on you know now increasing amounts of evidence that this innovation and kind of closely related innovations can literally have an impact on the climate. By causing electric vehicles to to be adopted at a rate way faster than than is currently predicted projected um you know lots of folks I think think that electric vehicles are already. They are already growing very rapidly. There’s ah that’s. Obvious what most people don’t understand is that it’s still not enough if you look at the amount of electric vehicles. We need on the road in order to get to net zero in ground transportation by 2050. There’s current projections are about 124000000. We need almost 200000000 electric vehicles on the road and so roughly 75000000 vehicle gap. In other words, there needs to be a way to dramatically. Increase the pace of adoption adoption. Um, and we believe that this can do it and now we’ve gotten. You know we’ve gotten a product market fit. We’ve gotten a go-to Marketet Fit we’ve gotten got a scalable team. We’ve got we got all the ingredients and yeah, it’s exciting because.

Alejandro Cremades: And and talking a hundred percent and now now now talking about all the ingredients here I mean the investment site is an important one but on a company like this the way that you go about structuring that a fundraising.

Sunil Paul: Now it’s it takes time to get all this stuff figured out and yeah, we got it. It’s fun.

Alejandro Cremades: It’s a little bit different and unique. So so can you walk us through it a little bit and.

Sunil Paul: Yeah, well I think it’s ah it’s definitely different than the traditional venture capital world because ah because we are actually acquiring vehicles where we’re buying the electric vehicle and or indoor financing it. And honestly, what’s really helped is that there’s a fintech playbook out there and um also the precedent established by um, finance companies like in solar companies like sunrun that have demonstrated that you can build big venture. Backable. Big growth companies that ah also are asset heavy. In other words, they are able to tap the markets for asset finance in order to dramatically scale up that portion of their business and so whether you’re talking about. Mortgages you know, traditional house mortgages or solar um or point-of-sale loans or peer-to-peer loans like it goes on and on there are lots of examples of fintechs that are able to to. Enable the connection between capital and whatever the um, the asset is and and set up a platform that connects those 2 and grow their business based on the success of that platform. So that’s. That’s the approach. We’ve taken to date what we’ve done is used ah asset capital in other words purchasing vehicles by accredited individual investors and um, you know where we’re we’ve. Raised basically pre series a corporate equity and that’s the model that will continue to to scale up so continue to raise more corporate equity in other words vccapital and also. Raise additional asset asset investment and start moving to institutional sources of capital simply because they’re more scalable right? We can go raise hundreds of millions of dollars in in asset finance especially with a you know because we’re. Talking about ah an asset that everyone understands it’s a car. Um, that is. That’s the basically the model and it’s different than I don’t know certainly different than all the previous companies where there was no question about how do you How do you.

Sunil Paul: Finance the asset it was always about you know, either creating a marketplace or creating a big piece of you know, bright Mail was this incredibly complex Enterprise software. Um, yeah, each one has been.

Alejandro Cremades: Now now now talking about that because you you actually did touch on on on many of the lesson that that you did learn you know throughout the way on on these different chapters that you’ve gone through as an entrepreneur but 1 of the things that I wanted to ask you is if I was able to put you into a time machine.

Sunil Paul: A little bit different. That’s part of why they’re fun.

Alejandro Cremades: And bring you back in time maybe to that moment where you were still working in corporate America and thinking about going at it with your first business with freeloader if you had the opportunity to have a chat with that younger Sunil Paul: maybe that younger sonila was still at the Aol and they give that younger sonil 1 piece of advice. Before launching a business. What would that be and why given what you know now

Sunil Paul: Ah I think I would probably say something along the lines of um, it’s going to be okay, just just ah by that time I had. Like like many entrepreneurs thought about lots of different variations. Um and had been involved in any number of little businesses. You know my my first little tiny mini business was selling stickers in I think it was third grade or fourth grade for which I got in trouble. You’re not supposed to be selling stuff at school or something like that anyway, um, the I think the the advice to to me as ah as a first -time entrepreneur or to other first-time entrepreneurs is. Ah, don’t believe the hype around everyone goes into debt on whatever mortgages their house and all that I don’t think that is a good way for ah, entrepreneurship to to operate in the united states um or or anywhere in the world like entrepreneurship is a risky thing and ah we need better tools to enable people to to launch and grow their businesses and honestly. There are a number of things that ah that us society helps enable in that way. Ah, there are also a lot of things that hold us back but 1 of them 1 of the enablements late lately has been things like um, the affordable care acts like having a safety net of insurance. It’s scary to. Even as a young person to go out there without health insurance right? I mean who knows whether or not, you’re gonna do it. But I think I think the other big dynamic that we’ve already talked about is the the sort of lower so social stigma and of of. Ah, failing. But more importantly, the the social endorsement of trying. Um, yeah I think the it is I so part of what I’m what I’m reflecting on is that. There were all kinds of obstacles for me to to launch my first business. Um I didn’t want to I didn’t I didn’t want to end up in even deeper debt that was one of my big concerns because I was already in debt and had been in debt for for quite some time. Um.

Sunil Paul: And once I was out of debt. It kind of created the freedom to to go do this thing I’d also seen my parents struggle because they had had so much debt in their business. It was one of the reasons why there was no exit for them like they had to just keep at it and. And kind of make those payments because otherwise their house was on the line like I Just think that’s ah, it’s a crappy way to to live to to feel like you have no choice. Um, so it’s actually 1 of the inspirations behind this company is.

Alejandro Cremades: And that’s why you were alluding to having choices you.

Sunil Paul: Like we we make it Possible. We make it possible for these small entrepreneurs to add cars to their fleets and grow without having to mortgage their house or or whatever you know like that’s um. It’s kind of an important principle and I I constantly advise entrepreneurs to not buy into the hype because the media really likes to be able to talk about Oh they? Whatever they they took this big risk and people do take huge risks in order to go. Become entrepreneurs. Um I Just think you shouldn’t end up in deeper debt as a result of it. That’s my that’s my kind of advice and and maybe I didn’t need that advice back then because I already.

Alejandro Cremades: Very very profound.

Alejandro Cremades: Ah, ah so so so Neil for the people that are listening. What is the best way for them to reach out and say hi.

Sunil Paul: So I’m kind of cheating your question sorry about that.

Sunil Paul: Well, you know, um, honestly I could say oh follow me on Twitter but but you can do that you know at Sun Neill Poll or Linkedin same thing Sue Neill poll ah but honestly because just for your listeners. I’ll give out my email address. It’s Sp at spring

Alejandro Cremades: Amazing. Well so Neil thank you so much for being on the dealmakerr show today. What? Ah what an honor to have you with us.

Sunil Paul: Well thank you very much for having me. There was a lot of fun. You ask really deep questions I was not prepared for it All That’s good though for you.

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