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💰 Meet the Fundraising Genius Behind Liquid Death and Dollar Shave Club

And steal his playbook for raising a quicker seed round

Hey, this is Napkin Notes: the only newsletter you read that knows how flipping hard it is to raise money as a founder, so we work our tail off to build tools, content and events to make it easier. 🛠

Today we’re chopping it up with the earliest investor behind Dollar Shave Club ($1B acquisition) and Liquid Death (Valued at $1.4B).

His name? Mr. Peter Pham.

If you haven’t met him, he’s got a bio and a half 😮‍💨

He’s the co-founder of Science Venture Studio where they co-build companies at the intersection of Culture & Tech. Out of his studio has come:

  • 🪒 Dollar Shave Club ($1B Acquisition by Unilever)

  • 🐕 Dogvacay/Rover ($2.3B acquisition by Blackstone)

  • ☠️ Liquid Death (currently valued at $1.4B valuation)

  • and a bunch more

Aside from that, you should listen to Peter b/c he

  • 📸 Grew Photobucket to the largest photo-sharing site in 2007 before exiting to Myspace for $300M

  • 💰 Angel invested in Kabam (acquired for $1B), Ring (acquired for $1B) and Scopely (acquired for $4.9B)

  • 🎶 and is all around a good time, especially on the dance floor at conferences (check his IG if you think we’re bluffing)

Most importantly, Peter’s helped raise almost 200 venture rounds (Seed, Series A, B etc) so he knows his shit.

And since we know a lot of you wanna learn more about how to raise a round quicker, that’s what we’re gonna dig into.

And if you didn’t know… Peter’s also 1 of the 4 big-name VCs on our panel at the April 24th virtual Battle Royale Demo Day. So if you wanna hear Peter rip it up on stage, join 400 others and grab a seat 🪑

📰 In Other News:

Instagram is doing $32B per year in revenue. ByteDance's revenue increased 60% in 2023 to $40 billion. YC released the 260 founders in their 2024 Winter batch. Keevin from Brainstroms is selling his newsletter. Sam Parr talked about giving up drinking. And Twitter now has a jobs section now.

Now dim the lights, pour your ChemX coffee and put up your feet. It’s time to turn our attention to the fundraising king, Mr. Peter Pham.

💸 Peter Pham’s Fundraising Playbook that helped him scale Liquid Death, Dollar Shave Club, Flexport and more

Peter knows his way around a pitch deck. In fact, he’s helped close nearly 200 venture rounds (Seed, Series A, B etc). But it hasn’t all been green runs on the ski hill.

In a recent fireside chat he gave with Anthony Pompiliano, he dropped some gems about fundraising every early-stage founder should know.

And since you’re busy building apps, raising kids, and trying to score 8 hours of sleep to please your Aura ring. Your fam at Kernal are gonna summarize his top tips to keep it stupid easy for you to implement. Sound fair? Let’s get down and dougie:

Some Context

Liquid Death (the company Peter incubated/invested in at the Seed, Series A, B) just announced its $1.4B valuation.

So he may have a gem or two to share 😮‍💨

But screw it, since it’s April 12th and the sun is shining on my patio, we’re gonna give you 5 💎

1. “Prepare for VCs to give you 70 to 100 no’s for every 1 yes”

  • it’s the name of the game Peter says

  • regardless of your clout, business model or pitching finesse, be ready for 70-100 no’s, before you get a yes

  • but as long as you’re resilient and follow the math, you’ll be good to go

2. “At the early stage (pre-seed/seed), nothing ruins a pitch more than sharing numbers”

  • Peter says the worst thing for your pitch is numbers.

  • As soon as you share numbers. VCs think of multiples. Revenue in 5 years, cost of acquisition etc. Then they know you’re making shit up. Because they know numbers 10 times better than you.

  • Instead, give them a compelling 1 liner and talk about how the world is changing and how your business is going to take advantage of that

  • VCs want 1 line they can remember so they can share it with their investment team, their GP or their friend at the bar they’re gonna see in a few hours

  • This means you need a short deck, with clean bullet points and a big ass vision that inspires people to get behind it

  • anticipate the telephone game of VCs — if you can’t explain a simple story of why someone is excited that the story won’t spread

3. Cast a big vision that the VC can get excited about. Use this 3-step process to do that

  • Instead of talking about numbers, talk about vision and explain

    • 1) how the world used to be

    • 2) how the world is changing

    • 3) the trend you’re taking advantage of

4. Early-stage VC bets are on people. Prove why you and your team are badass and can pivot

  • AI and ChatGPT can copy your early-stage business in a heart beat

  • you need moats, which often is 1) your community and 2) your team’s background/execution ability

  • prove why your team is the best people for the job

  • the product will evolve, so prove how your team will be ahead of the curve

5. Always be editing your deck to speak to your top questions/pain points meetings bring up

  • Peter says - In the first couple of meetings, set them up with friendly people in your network who will give you feedback

  • Take the top questions they get hung up on, write them down, then weave them into your deck

  • Ensure your pitch answers the top pain points that get former meetings hung up

Like these tips?

You’ll love seeing Peter on stage later this month.

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P.S. If you haven’t RSVP’d to our April 24th demo day with Andrew, Michele, Peter and Ryan, join 400 others and sign up now

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