Building a global business - by Vinny Lingham

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Building a global business - by Vinny Lingham

  1. 1. Building a Global Business <br />– Lessons learnt<br />ByVinnyLingham<br />
  2. 2. Building a Global Business – Lessons Learnt<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />1<br />
  3. 3. Yola’s Successes in the Past 3 Years<br />Began with a vision to create easy to use website building software<br />Spun out of Clicks2Customers (incuBeta Holdings)<br />Started as a 5 person company in Cape Town in March 2007<br />Pitched to over 25 investors – locally and globally before successful<br />Raised over $25m to date from JSE-listed Reinet Ltd<br />>3.5 Million Users to date and growing rapidly – market leader<br />Currently employs over 60 people in 3 countries<br />All of the above is only made possible by working with amazing people! The team you build is critical!<br />2<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />
  4. 4. My biggest success in the past year:<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />3<br />Name: Kavin Lingham<br />Born: San Francisco, California<br />Age: 12 weeks old<br />Lesson learnt: Don’t lose sight of what’s really important in life!<br />
  5. 5. Stage 1 – Friends & Family: Building a startup<br />Investment and timeline<br />R3.5m investment via R&D in previous company<br />Spun out and rebuilt from scratch<br />Launched alpha release for R750K in 6 months<br />Raised extra R1.5m to get to Beta<br />Raised Series A of $5 million<br />User base: 10K<br /><ul><li>Lessons Learnt
  6. 6. Get products out to market quickly – don’t be secretive!
  7. 7. Pitch to investors – have one person in the co-founding team look for funding while the rest work in engineering. Don’t get excited until you have a term sheet in writing!
  8. 8. Grassroots Attention (Blogging, Presenting)
  9. 9. Bootstrap</li></ul>4<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />
  10. 10. Stage 2 - Series A: Proof of Concept<br />Investment: $5 million<br />Establish offices in San Francisco<br />Get market traction<br />Prove monetization model<br />Targeted user base before next round of funding: 1 million<br />Lesson’s Learnt<br />Going global is expensive if you don’t know how<br />Hiring cold is a tough strategy – referral hires are the best<br />Building a product team is critical for funded companies<br />Splitting engineering teams is very difficult<br />Making friends in the valley is tough<br />5<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />
  11. 11. Stage 3 – Series B: Growth<br />Investment: $20 million<br />Target user base before next round of funding: 5-6m users<br />Lessons Learnt<br />Use analytics to make data driven decisions<br />Viral growth is critical<br />Focus on a target audience and serve their needs<br />Don’t give too much away for free<br />Excellent customer support can be a strong differentiator<br />Focus on ease-of-use / UX<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />6<br />
  12. 12. Inside secrets to securing investment<br />Great team<br />Good plan<br />Good networking<br />Great pitch<br />Good demo<br />Persistence<br />Passion for your biz<br />Show potential<br />Prove execution<br />Build products, not services!!!!!!!<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />7<br />
  13. 13. South African Technology Re-Investment Conundrum<br />8<br />Traditional Timeline – non-entrepreneurs<br />Dependent<br />0-18 yrs<br />Student<br />19-22 yrs<br />Career Focused<br />23-33 yrs<br />Golden Age<br />54-65 yrs<br />Retirement $$$<br />66+ yrs<br />Creating Wealth + Family Focused<br />34-53 yrs<br />No $<br />Entrepreneur's <br />Timeline<br />Winding Down: Diversification & Conservative Approach<br />54-65 yrs<br />Dependent<br />0-18 yrs<br />Entrepreneur<br />19-33 yrs<br />Retirement $$$<br />66+ yrs<br />Reinvestment<br />34-53 yrs<br />No $<br /><ul><li>Entrepreneurs who make money tend to give back to new entrepreneurs.
  14. 14. Post apartheid, entrepreneurs who are still in their 20’s and 30’s will be giving back when they reach the reinvestment stage. There are not enough wealthy entrepreneurs in their 30’s in SA who understand tech, so the best is yet to come.</li></li></ul><li>Interesting Paradox<br />9<br />Wealth<br />Risk Appetite<br />0<br />Time<br /><ul><li>Generally, wealth increases over time, while the propensity to invest is low
  15. 15. Conversely, people take more risks earlier in age when their wealth is low </li></li></ul><li>Why I moved to Silicon Valley…<br />10<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />Vinny in Silicon Valley<br />Vinny in Silicon Cape<br />
  16. 16. Reasons to be in the valley<br />Building a global business<br />Depth of talent and skills (people who have been there, done that)<br />Networking<br />Fund raising<br />Being ahead of the latest trends (getting an iPad the day it comes out)<br />Conferences<br />Business Development<br />Acquisition – Liquidity… (which hampers investment in SA)<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />11<br />
  17. 17. Reasons to not be in the valley <br />It’s expensive in general, unless you bootstrap<br />Emerging market focus<br />You are not a good networker<br />You are very attached to your family and social networks back home<br />Your funding is very limited<br />You think you can be successful from South Africa<br />Modern telecommunications make it possible to be anywhere…<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />12<br />
  18. 18. How to get to the valley <br />Fly Emirates – they are by far the best value for money (via Dubai)<br />Setup an offshore subsidiary – and transfer across into it (L1x Visa)<br />It’s easier than you think – you just need to want to do it!<br />Total estimated cost to setup an office and move to the valley for a local Cape Town company: R100k<br />Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it…<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />13<br />
  19. 19. Why I’ll be back… <br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />14<br />
  20. 20. Thank You<br />15<br />Confidential & Private document. This remains the intellectual property of Yola Inc.<br />

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