The Hamburgian Understatement -From Beta to Series A in 15 months

We raised our 8M€ Series A 15 months after our Beta. So let’s talk about how we got there.

The Hamburgian Understatement

All founders of cofenster are from Hamburg, Germany. The people from the second biggest city of Germany are known for one thing most prominently: the Hamburgian Understatement. People from Hamburg like to keep things for themselves, don’t like to brag and often sell themselves short.

In this post, I will throw our Hamburgian Understatement overboard and celebrate our cofenster team and the fantastic journey that we experienced in the last 15 months.

15 months after our first monthly payment for a cofenster licence and 12 months after our seed round with Capnamic, we came a long way. During this time we hit the 1M € ARR mark, closed our Series A and kept every member of our growing cofenster team.

2020: Our first loyal customers, stitching videos by hand & our seed round

If I look back 15 months ago, things looked a little different.

In September 2020, we launched our so-called “beta”. This was our half-ready (and only half automated) cofenster product mixed with our first employee Steffi and me literarily stitching and editing videos by hand. Our CTO & cofounder Finn was at that point living and sleeping in our 1-room office working on an already running machine while we were refreshing the backend to see if anything got uploaded.

Ahh, those were the days.

Steffi and I holding the backend

After our launch, we quickly realised that we got something really special on our hands. Large corporations took us seriously and we closed bigger and bigger tickets allowing us to fully automate our product by November. Most of our clients back then are still users. They are the reasons we could evolve so quickly. Internal Communications managers from across industries helped us bring the simplest and fastest video management experience to our clients.

Proving speed and traction also drew attention from several investors. Again, we were fortunate to find our perfect match with Capnamic. Comparing the process that we had to all other suitors was astonishing. We had sessions with all partners on specific topics, were challenged in every angle of our business and felt of becoming partners, even before our final term sheet.

2021: The video renaissance, 1M ARR & our growing cofenster

After raising our seed round with Capnamic you could feel that things shifted into a new gear.

The creation of our three-headed monster (Growth, Sales and Customer Success) was finding customers across industries and were exploring new use cases and ways to integrate cofenster by the week. We had over 70 medium to large-sized enterprises at the end of the year and hit our €1M revenue goal. All this was accomplished with 2 AEs. Our CEO Tom will go into depth regarding the ride and the success of our revenue teams in 2021 in our next blog post.

But the biggest success of 2021 was our growing cofenster team.
Since the beginning of the journey, we have invested a lot in the culture of cofenster. Finn is leading several culture initiatives from culture days every eight weeks to cofenster videos with the whole team to every needed occasion (blog post incoming). I felt first-hand that we had something special when my daughter was born, and I received a 5 min video with numerous lovely wishes and warm words. This early investment was worth it: We grew from 4 people to 26 in less than a year and what is most amazing is that every single one of our full time hires still works at cofenster.

2022: A new partner and a lot to come

After finding a great partner in our seed round we are more than happy to welcome signals Venture Capital into our cofenster team. From the first call, I had the same familiar feeling again that we had in our first round with Capnamic. From first contact to closing, there was always a genuine candour in the air during the whole process. No ghosting. No ego-led deal-making. No bullshit. We finally had a truly founder-friendly VC at our hands. A strong and promising outlook is that signals is an absolute B2B Enterprise SaaS expert — most of their portfolio companies have similar markets and challenges. We are already exchanging knowledge and experiences with the portfolio which is not a given!

Lastly, signals understood how we thought about communication with video. No questions video and asynchronous communication is a hot topic right now, but getting our approach to the problem that people in businesses are facing was absolutely necessary for us.

final thoughts

We came a long way from stitching video by hand to our Series A, and we are very proud of our achievements. Building a company is a rollercoaster, don’t get me wrong, but at the end of the day, I am grateful for the experience, and we are set for the ride.

Big things will come this year with cofenster. We will keep you posted.

All the best

Olli

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