Vishal Sunak, CEO and co-founder of LinkSquares, has raised over $160 million for his thriving startup.
In a recent interview for the DealMakers podcast, he delves into the world of entrepreneurship, shedding light on overcoming obstacles, understanding the power of sales, mastering fundraising, and cultivating a robust company culture.
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Navigating Transitions and Constructing a Thriving Business
Vishal Sunak’s life journey began in Brazil, transitioning to the United States as a young child.
This early shift fostered the resilience and adaptability that later became instrumental in his entrepreneurial venture.
Pursuing engineering studies in Boston, Sunak’s vision for his future in the tech landscape began to crystallize.
Galvanized by the achievements of global tech trailblazers, Sunak aimed to carve out his unique niche in the B2B software realm.
With a shared vision and a tight-knit group of friends, LinkSquares was born.
Introducing LinkSquares: Revolutionizing Contract Management
Based in Boston, LinkSquares stands as an embodiment of innovation in the realm of contract analysis and management solutions. Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI), LinkSquares empowers legal and finance teams, helping them analyze contracts, streamline processes, and extract strategic insights from contract data.
Their premier offering, LinkSquares Analyze, uses AI to swiftly and accurately comprehend contractual rights and obligations, aiding businesses in decision-making, minimizing risks, and reducing manual labor.
Another key product, LinkSquares Finalize, offers end-to-end support in the contract creation process, from drafting and collaboration to approval and execution, saving valuable time and resources.
From humble roots, LinkSquares has blossomed into a respected name in the tech industry, catering to a diverse clientele that spans startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Their unwavering commitment to customer-centricity, innovation, and simplifying contract management sets them apart.
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The Power of Focus: The LinkSquares Story
LinkSquares’ journey is a testament to the transformative power of adaptability and strategic foresight. Initially, they offered a broad suite of services, aiming to cater to a wide customer base.
However, experience and market understanding taught them that the key to a strong value proposition was not breadth, but depth.
Realizing the untapped potential within the legal tech sphere, they redirected their focus towards contract analysis, a field ripe for disruption and ready for innovative leadership. This bold shift allowed them to bring an unprecedented level of automation to contract analysis, leveraging artificial intelligence and advanced analytics.
The decision to specialize turned the tides for LinkSquares, placing them firmly at the forefront of the legal tech revolution.
Looking back, this strategic pivot was not just about focusing on a specific area but about envisioning the future of legal tech, identifying disruption opportunities, and boldly venturing into uncharted territories.
Their success today stands as a testament to their insight, dedication, and relentless innovation drive.
Unlocking Growth through Strategic Acquisitions
LinkSquares’ growth strategy effectively incorporates acquisitions. However, as Sunak emphasizes, these acquisitions are not about buying growth – they’re about strategic fit.
According to Sunak, successful acquisitions hinge on three key elements – strategy, organization, and people. Ensuring an acquisition aligns with the company’s existing and future strategy is critical, as is the fit and alignment within the organizational structure.
The Road To Fundraising Triumph
In the world of start-ups, a fundraising journey can often tell a compelling story about a company’s evolution.
LinkSquares’ story is an inspirational tale of consistent growth and investor confidence, starting from a modest grant of $9.8K in 2016 to raising a phenomenal $100M in a Series C round in 2022.
Storytelling is everything which is something that Vishal Sunak 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.
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With each successful funding round, from the seed rounds led by Hyperplane Venture Capital, to the Series A round supported by Jump Capital, and the impressive Series B round led by Sorenson Capital, LinkSquares reinvested in innovation, expansion, and its team.
The climax of their tale came when G Squared led their Series C round, placing a high-stakes bet on the company’s vision and potential. This monumental fundraising success is not just about the numbers; it’s a testament to the faith of 14 investors in LinkSquares’ capacity to revolutionize legal processes and create efficiencies.
Their journey continues to evolve as they leverage these funds to redefine contract analysis and management, making LinkSquares a celebrated name in the legal tech landscape.
Championing Employee Retention and Culture
LinkSquares, home to nearly 450 employees, places immense importance on fostering a positive and productive company culture.
Their success in employee retention is a tribute to a culture of transparency – acknowledging mistakes openly and collectively navigating adversity.
A distinct feature of their approach is the identification of culture leaders within the company.
These individuals play a critical role in embodying and promoting the company’s core values throughout its operations and everyday life.
Guidance for Future Entrepreneurs
For budding entrepreneurs, Sunak underscores the importance of prioritizing profitability and liquidity throughout the entrepreneurial journey. This involves raising capital from private or public markets ahead of time and making hard choices to keep the business financially healthy and resilient to market changes.
Listen to the full podcast episode to find out more, including:
- Vishal’s transition from Brazil to the United States and his formative years in Boston
- His early career aspirations and the inception of LinkSquares
- The evolution and growth of LinkSquares, from a broad-spectrum start-up to a specialized leader in contract analysis
- His approach to company culture and team building
- The future trajectory of LinkSquares and its impact on the legal tech landscape.