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https://unsplash.com/@bensky

I was recently discussing the value of metrics in an early stage organization like Factorial, where I found myself defending the value of metrics but it seemed that I was instead claiming that strategic business decisions were to be taken based on past numbers exclusively. Nothing further from my opinion.

My point regarding metrics is very simple: we’re emotionally self-centered animals and have a tendency to convince ourselves that our view is the right one. …


Factorial raised a €2.800.000 Seed Round from three great investors, and I want to tell you how it went and everything we learned

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Bernat, myself and Pau the day we signed the contract

UPDATE: This story has been moved to my own domain:

Factorial is an HR Software for small and medium enterprises. By automating HR, employee benefits and payroll, companies can save a lot of time and focus on what matters: their people.

Before getting into the process of raising a round of investment for Factorial, I think it’s important to take a look at an important question: why raise?

We felt a “click”

Do you know those cases when you’re asking yourself “am I there yet?” and you don’t even know how to answer the question? That’s how we felt earlier this year. It had been one a half years since we started Factorial and it felt like we learned important lessons, and we had clear ideas on what we had to do next. …


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UPDATE: This story has been moved to my own domain:

There’s a small bubble in startups where we all consume each other’s products. SaaS startups tend to be extreme about it, using tens of other SaaS products to run the company. Factorial is no exception.

We started the company with a handful of essential tools and platforms to launch our first version of the product, and have progressively been adding products to the point where it’s hard to list them. …


A small group of very talented business angels and two strategic funds joined us on our mission to change the Human Resources landscape for small and medium companies around Europe.

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Sindre Hopland – our media liaison and mastermind behind this blog – likes to joke and take pictures at the same time

So who invested?

If you haven’t, I suggest you read our take on different types of investors first. For our round, we explored many options, but ended up going with those that fit this description:

Investors we could actually work with

Sounds trivial, but it’s much easier to take money from someone than to actually sit and work together with that investor on tough decisions, strategic options, etc. We evaluated all investors the same way we do with employees joining the team. In the case of two of our business angels, we had actually worked together in the past. I’ve also seen over the last few years many cases where angel investors become part of the full-time team. …


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UPDATE: This story has been moved to my own domain:

All the stories I shared in this blog so far came from some sort of success. This is not one of them.

I’m going to share how we went from zero sales to almost hiring our perfect VP of Sales, and where we ended up.

If you never read this blog or heard of Factorial before, I recommend you take a quick look at our beginnings and come back to keep reading.

So we’re at the stage where we found that our value proposition resonates very well with our audience, but we still need to discover our sales model and how we’ll generate enough revenue from our active user base and incoming leads to build the business we founded. …


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Pau and me thinking hard about something.

Startups are often measured against certain milestones: pre-revenue, product/market fit, traction, scale... Those are some terms used to easily tag the maturity of a new business. Many times VCs will even define themselves by them and pigeonhole their investment strategy with those labels.

The problem I see with such binary approach is that it misses half of the picture. …


Where? Who? And the Zuckerberg test

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Our weekly all-hands meeting. Luckily we’re not all dudes anymore.

We’re now eight full-time team members at Factorial, plus a few collaborators. This means that each and every one of us became ~10% of the company’s DNA.

I see our startup as a quest. An expedition. We have a goal, a vision, initial resources and drive to get there. But we need a team.

When we started Factorial we looked at ourselves and we saw a team that could perform all the functions needed for the first few years of our company. …


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Sales, hiring, business development, fundraising and “everything else”

Each step in my career made it harder and harder to explain “what I do” to my family. “I create websites” was the easiest one. From there I went to “I write software for companies” and to “I joined a guy who’s trying to start a software company”, maybe “I lead a small team of programmers… that is, people who write software. And a bunch of other things”.

Now I try my best with: “I have a company that helps other companies and their employees through technology”… Wait, weren’t you a programmer? …


Many times ambitious expeditions require of outside investment. Christopher Columbus couldn’t have crossed the Atlantic without the funding from King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.

Ernest Shackleton had to painfully raise over £80,000 (current value of $8,500,000) from “business angels”, philanthropists and the British Government for his epic Antarctic Expedition.

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Amundsen, Shackleton and Peary sure know their fundraising. Source: Cool Antarctica

These two enterprises had something in common: people willing to take on an enormous enterprise but unable to fund it on their own. They both had to compromise part of their potential earnings in exchange of risky funding.

Why investors?

Factorial got started by three founders — more details in the third post of “An honest startup story” — and we quickly realized the company we wanted to build required more funding than we could afford. …


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One of the most exciting and stressful things of a startup is that everything needs to be done, so our challenge is always to manage when something is so critical that we should put our heart and soul to it, or when something’s good enough (for now) and we can move on to the next battle.

For the first few months of Factorial we had no choice but to create the first version of our product that would deliver value to customers. …

About

Jordi Romero

Founder @FactorialHR. Previously VP BD & CTO @RedboothHQ. Partner @itnig. #SaaS #Startup enthusiast. CS Engineer. Likes climbing, sailing & yoga.

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