Watch TEN13 Co-Founder Stew Glynn sit down with Mr Yum's Kim Teo and Carted Holly Cardew as we dive into your questions and chat fundraising from US VCs, international expansion, and company culture as a moat.
TEN13 - Ask Me Anything with Kim Teo & Holly Cardew
Watch TEN13 Co-Founder Stew Glynn sit down with Mr Yum's Kim Teo and Carted's Holly Cardew as we dive into your questions and chat fundraising from US VCs, international expansion, and company culture as a moat.
TEN13 - Ask Me Anything with Kim Teo & Holly Cardew
Watch TEN13 Co-Founder Stew Glynn sit down with Mr Yum's Kim Teo and Carted's Holly Cardew as we dive into your questions and chat fundraising from US VCs, international expansion, and company culture as a moat.
Transcript - AMA - Stew, Holly and Kim
[00:00:00] Stew: Fantastic team. so my name's Stew Glynn, I'm one of the partners who had TEN13, and we thought it'd be a fantastic, time to get two of our favorite founders together to talk all things on their journey of starting the respect of startups being, Kim with Mr. Yam and Holly Cardew from Carted.
Uh, so we're, excited to cover a whole bunch of different topics today. Uh, I think we're going to see what the format is going to be.Probably the first half an hour, we will do we'll cover off on a bunch of questions that came in earlier, uh, when people were signing up plus a few that we have ourselves.
And then please, if you, if you're looking to ask questions, just submit in the Q and a should be on the right of the raise hand button. And if you put that in there, we will monitor it and sort of try and weave it into conversation so we can cover it. Uh, so please, we want this to be an Ask-Me-Anything AMA style, The learn from the two, founders here on their journeys and on building out the businesses.
And so we came to kind of dive in and cover off a fair bit of ground. So the general topics that we have at the moment, is the early beginnings of their businesses ideation and their backgrounds before diving into into their businesses. How they build culture, how they've been hiring in such a tough hiring market, scaling problems.
So how do you build out how they build out, I guess, teams and structures there and how do they set goals across their businesses? how do they set, I guess, the tone for their future roadmap and trying to understand,I guess, the vision for the business. And how do they sort of understand what needs to be built?
and, and when, we're talking a few, a bit about some of the challenges in the businesses and having to navigate just sort of macro environments and things like that. Uh, and then we'll also cover off, I guess one of the cool things, which is fundraising, which, uh, both Holly and Kim have been successful in raising quite significant amounts of capital for their for their stage.
And so we'll dive into a little bit of detail around, their businesses and, and how they sort of close out their funding rounds to. Two and pitch their [00:02:00] business, you know, to,I guess, respect like sort of very well-credentialed investors around the world and managed to be successful in the fundraising strategy.
So, I'll introduce, uh, the two folks online. So. Basically, we've got, we've got Kim. Uh, who's currently in Las Vegas. Uh, I sit on the board with, uh, with Kim, uh, Mr. Yam. Uh, so Kim's an ex multiple times of ex founder. Uh, she was at JP Morgan for a, since back in the early days. Uh, she had a great business called pitch-black, uh, there wasn't Brizzy then moved down to Melbourne.
Uh, which is helping sort of early stage founders, uh, create businesses. and then, so this, so she's been around the block I guess, and had a lot of learnings, performance DM. Uh, she partnered up with a co-founding team to start to solve the business. Probably coming on three years ago, might be maybe wrong and the exact on the exact timing, but it's been an amazing story to see the ramp and, uh, distribution of Mr Yum
starting in Australia and then, and, and sort of taking QR code mobile, ordering to the world. And so it's been awesome to be, we're, we're [00:03:00] early stage investors at the sort of, I guess I'll give you the seed stage and post seed, uh, and we've, you know, it's been great to support, support them on the journey.
And then we have Holly Cardew from Carted. I've known Holly for a long time. I remember having dinner with her in San Francisco and stuff. When I first started in the venture space, probably five or six years ago. And actually, and actually I think we were, we were debating on stage one time around where they should take funding from, from investors.
And I think you're building pixie at that time, I, which is the Shopify. Uh, she's built four apps that serviced over 25,000 merchants around the world, uh, in the e-commerce space. So, so nosy category exceptionally well, uh, was a 30, under 30 sort of Forbes, 30 under 30 for e-commerce in Asia.And then now she's building, I guess, the future of the checkout, you know, for, I guess, checkout anyway, with an API product in the e-commerce space.
And so it's awesome to have you both online, looking forward to it. So, uh, I guess you'll kick off. At the first, the first question I guess, is act, maybe Kim [00:04:00]will flick to you QR code ordering. How did you get onto us and how do you think that that was a, that was the way you wanted to spend your time?
maybe we'll start with that.
Uh, I don't know that I knew that it was where I wanted to spend my time when we first started. I must admit, it was actually quite a silly idea. the QR code was just the best implementation we could find, but the original insight was, people are visual. And we want to say what I feel in drinks look like.
And so we either like, look around the room when someone's walking past and we check out other people's spirit or we go on Instagram or, or in the U S Europe and try and like put the, put the photos together with the, with the menu. Cause menus haven't changed in the kind of word based PDF format and a long time.
so the original insight was like, Uh, more interactive, more interesting, more dynamic, more helpful version of a menu. And, we did earn from our previous NS and, previously failed and, [00:05:00] mediocrely successful businesses that, we didn't want to build an app because we knew it'd be hard for someone to have to download an app, just to look at a more helpful menu.
web based tech at the time three years ago is luckily becoming like way. way more way more easy to build on than it was five, 10years ago. And. QR codes had just been put into the iPhone camera and we thought that was a gateway for, simple access to web based tech. So your QR code to web always just been like the most frictionless experience, her pharmacy.
and the ordering came later. We didn't really like know much about, how that might help the industry or some of the challenges that would solve. we're just inspired. Building better versions of menu who had actually started like a very silly idea at the time. And it's evolved a bit since then.
Non-consensus yeah, no, it's from rapid adoption. I think like [00:06:00] going offline online seems seems kind of simple now, like intuitive, but I, you know, I guess when you first kicked off it wasn't, it wasn't exactly like that. And Holly, I guess on your side, you originally started the businesses VOP, which is.
Culpable Tik TOK effectively. So, maybe talk us through like how you ended up, uh, you know, I guess building what you're building now with kata, which is that API infrastructure to enable sort of that sort of business, but I'd love to hear the story. Yeah.
I mean, I guess as you mentioned, I have four apps in the Shopify app store.
and in 2020 that was a lot of Instagram feeds on they comment stores, Tik TOK was taking off video commerce was taking off. And so I really wanted to build a shoppable Theo feed or shovelful Tik TOK feed and brands started implementing the Tik TOK for years on the e-commerce site and then influence it, started implementing their Tik TOK videos on their blog andthey were tagging their videos.
existing affiliate links. So those affiliate links would redirect to merchant a merchant beam much at sea. And [00:07:00]I really wanted to build a multimodal checkout. So instead of redirecting users away to a different checkout solution, it was really about how can we have a checkout with multiple merchants in one solution.
I realized that we weren't the only ones who needed this.Anyone who wanted to build a new commerce experience was going to have to signup every single merchant and integrate with every single merchant. So I said, why don't we take that tech out? And this is way bigger than just us with bop and give this to other people who wanted to build live shop.
Voice commerce apps, gaming, shopping apps, anywhere where you could have commerce with multiple merchants is what our tech could beuseful. and I know we raised money from 10, 13 off the back of bop, and I came in two months later and said, scrap that cottage way beyond what we're doing. Probably freaked you out a little bit, but I felt like we had a
Yeah. I remember, I remember the discussion. It was actually in this room, like we've changed the whole plan and it made sense. It's like, look, we've been [00:08:00] trying to build a solution and we can't get to the end goal that we, that we started with Bob, because we don't, we can't integrate with all these set of underlying vendors.
Imagine. So, you know, platforms like Shopify, et cetera. So trying to understand how do you actually do that? And then the API, you know, infrastructure. As is, is a, is a playbook, I guess, that has been used by alot more, more recently. And there's been some really successful businesses that are building like the plumbing of the internet.
So when you told us that, and it made a lot of sense that we have it as a dive in and support a brochure and it's been super exciting. so that probably brings it onto question around how do you actually validate like, uh, So one of this was a question from, from one of the effects in the audience who actually sort of signed up before, but it was like, how do youactually validate the hypothesis or idea of, you know, before diving into solution mode and given like, so, and it's probably second question, which will be around sort of industry background and knowledge, but maybe I'll start with you Holly, around, you saw maybe it was because you're building your own solution and then trying to dive in off the back of it.
But I'd love to hear your thoughts around, like what gives you confidence before you sort of dive ahead and go and start. Yeah, I
think for [00:09:00]me, having built for now five Shopify apps and you know, the numbers now,30,000 merchants, you speak to a lot of customers and there's a lot of repeat problems, both on the merchant side, but then also people who want to build new commerce.
So an example is years ago, I was talking about standardizing product listings because for Pixi my previous company, we call demand. Product photos, which is ultimately a listing and that listing gets pushed to multiple channels. So E-bay Amazon Etsy, any new marketplace. And in some ways with cost, if we're doing the exact same thing, we just bake neat multichannel solution for a merchant, but empowering and develop for a platform.
so for me, I think it would, it's definitely industry experience and just seeing the same problem come up. And again, it's just reverse engineering and building a different solution.
Yeah, it's super interesting because I was actually having to think about like your backgrounds and relate and like you, you've got very sort of solid vertical, some knowledge, and then [00:10:00] Kim probably got more sort of general horizontal startup experience.
so keen to get your take on that Kim given, like you probably didn't have the industry knowledge, but very quickly of becoming an industry thought leader. I would, I would say in your, in the hospitality space, so keen to hear your thoughts, like, must you have the insight before, or do you just sort of blindly go in, you know, and then just find your way through.
Yeah, it's a, it's a good shot. I think, industry knowledge makes a lot of sense. So if you've got industry knowledge in a particular sector, and you've got a problem in that sector that you're really passionate about solving, with the contacts and the networks and the like, and the connections, it makes so much sense to leverage that.
read it. Uh, Mr. Yarn. So I guess there's some evidence that it can be done, but I must say it's a little bit harder. I didn't even like know a single person in hospitality when we started the C-arm, or didn't think that I did anyway. Uh, so the prettier, like we would walk into [00:11:00] restaurants at the start and we had a very, the product was super simple, so it was just a, an air table.
Like spreadsheet on steroids, with a super simple, like two week bode, junior dev, like react front-end that just read the whole database.I mean, it wasn't really database. It was just like 30 menu items per venue.And there were maybe 20 venues in there. So it wasn't very, it wasn't like a big, data set David at the point.
And we got the product out, in a couple of really short weeks and started. Chat to cafes and restaurants and the Collingwood fits our area where we were. and we set the goal that if less than 5% of. Use the product in the first three weeks that we just put the experiment in the band and probably never tell anyone about it.
and it was like 16% and we got the commitment from the first three locations to tell us what their number of cupboards were. So like, we could see how many scans [00:12:00] there were and they would tell us how many people ate at that restaurant in that week. and it was like 16% of people in the first three weeks at the first three locations, where like scanning a QR code to see.
Basically a photo menu. Like it really didn't have, you know, much staff at the time. and I think that actually, like not really knowing much about the industry probably helped us in this particular, industry, because lots of people told us at the start that like getting integrations withPOS companies would be like, The biggest heartache and, you know, the absolute bull breaker and it, and it actually was, and it was really, really hard.
And, it was hard to get commercial agreements, hot pot, to give them hard, to get them to care about us. And it was hard to do the integrations because a lot of the API, like end points weren't even available. but I think not knowing how hard it would be. Probably just not, we just say. Continued to try.
so yeah, I think, [00:13:00]I think if, but if you have industry experience, like I would go down that path, maybe, maybe don't maybe don't do what we did and just like pick a random my dad and like try and make it work.
Makes sense. so I had a question like sort of leading on from that a little bit, but it's effectively around.
how do you use, like using your profile, et cetera, to sort of spread the word. Well, I guess, going to be called building in public, whichI know has been pretty effective on, especially around sort of fund raising and calling for, you know, folks on Twitter, et cetera, you know, calling out for angel investors and stuff like that.
But it also, I guess, like having, having a unique insight into your industry was really, you know, it was super helpful sort of building a and getting, I guess, what you needed to do from a fundraising perspective. We won't get into that just yet, but. I would love to hear your thoughts on building a public, you know, your blogs like, Kim, I know you've done a bunch in pro industry, you know, lobbying and things like that.
And, and setting up, you know, like a, a delivery delivery within 10 kilometers of where, of where [00:14:00]you are, et cetera, to meet up with the regulations. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you think about building profile and like, you know, being advocates in your industry and building public.
Yeah. I mean, I think it's definitely helpful at the end of the day investors or.
Hi, as people who joined your team, I'm going to research you. even with pixie, that was mostly self-funded it strapped. I would always write content, but more so not to, for investors, but for customers. we did a lot of partnership content. So back in the day we worked a lot of the photography content for Shopify.
and then I guess I continued doing that. But more so to attract investment or attract team members. So they could see where my thoughts were, what I was building, what our plans are. and then it allows people to see what you're thinking about rather than Hoss you all the questions. So that definitely helped.
I know you reached out to me when you saw that we were building up. so talking in [00:15:00]public, talking on LinkedIn, writing on medi helped with that.
Yeah, for sure. On if you have any thoughts.
[00:15:07] Kim: Yeah. I mean, I think I hear the same, I think, Uh, successful businesses in the world would say payer had a very big part to play in the role in getting that.
and I was hanging out with someone from Xero recently and, he talked about just how massively important like payout was for them. And they use things like, all the data around like unemployment, et cetera. And we continue to take that to the news and like, you know, they became like the source of truth to go to for.
job information, parent. It just so it's just so, scalable. And so, actually low cost and quite cost efficient as well. we hired a bunch of PR agencies though, along the way, and that's never, ever really worked for us. And then we ended up investing in someone internally, and building the capability in health, which has been awesome.
But I used to like, absolutely hate getting on video and like, Oh, like, get like doing a paddle or like getting on stage or like doing an interview. Like I would like have to film videos and Aiden would like force me to do these videos. And I, I just like, I'd, I'd like write like full scripts and like totally freak out about having to, do them.
Or if you sent me like, you know, the questions like you did three hours ago straight, I would've like written like so answers to everything and. And one day Adrian said to me, I was like, man, I really don't like this.And he, he was like, you you're just going to have to like, get over it.You're just going to have to get over it.
and he said like, don't think about it as, like a selfish. What I did like about it is I thought it was very self centered andI'm not, I don't have like an instant. page, like there's no photos on that. I'm not really a public person. And he, I felt like it was very self consuming and that's what I didn't like about it.
And he said to me, one thing that just changed my impression of it forever, which is, if you want to actually like, make a difference in your life, you need a platform todo that. Otherwise you'll say really good things and no one will hear you. So.Just don't see it as like, you know, a personal endeavor to like build a personal brand.
It's like you're building a brand so that you can do something good with that platform in the future, whether it be now or in the future. And then it really just like, I just got over it. I just realized that I had to do heaps of this shit over time. And now I don't even like, think about them anymore. but yeah, it's super important, but I think, it's super important to like probably.
Just duet the way that you feel comfortable doing it, like doit, do it, how you want to do it, and try and find a way to do it. That feels good too.
Yep. A hundred percent. well I think you're doing a good job. I'm pretty sure you put a picture [00:18:00] up of you doing a sort of boxing pose inSan Francisco had like 500 likes, last week.
So it was awesome to see. And so we're going to talk a little bit around, culture. So do you think that kick your cultures for your businesses were set up from day one? And did you engineer much there or did it just sort of happen organically? And how do you think about that?
Yeah. I would say a lot of it's authentic to. But I specifically hide had PayPal and culture as employee number five, which a lot of people would not do. They would not advise to do that. they would only wait till 30, 50, 60 people. I think that's far too late. The next round, our team has been incredible.
It's really, it's not just about culture, but it's about looking after our people, right from the beginning when they integrate. With uson that whole process and journey. I think that really helped, especially during the pandemic is having someone there to [00:19:00]support everyone when things are hard. Things are still hard with what's going on in Ukraine.
We have engineers in Ukraine and supporting not just the engineers in Ukraine, but supporting the team through that. so yes, I think we have definitely made that focus, building a conscious culture from the beginning and we'll continue
Not to go on a tangent, but is there other things you can do for, I mean, we have a few of our companies to fulfill the companies that are, that have, staff that are in Ukraine and trying to figure out how to help them if you've got any
Well, we have, we can obviously get them basis. one of them was already out. Three and a half weeks ago, we're in constant contact with them. We've offered to bring everyone out here, including their families and their partners. But I think at the end of the day, how they expressed is that they would really like to stay and fight for their country and help their country and help their fellow countrymen.
So I think we need to respect that. And I think the best thing we can do is check on, check in on them and make [00:20:00]sure that there is a job for them. When they finish up, you know what they do do a bit of work at that one to take their mind off it, but there's no pressure to do to work. But I think at the end of the day, you want to work in, you know, a job when it's over.
And so we need to do
that. Yeah. Spell showing support. Yeah.Okay. Uh, and Kim, maybe you can talk us, uh, I love your manager, your four mantras. So maybe, I don't know if you want to pick your favorite or does it have a quick, quick whip on them, but I it's been awesome to see those sort of distilled in the, in the organization.
I think they run from, from the top down all the way through and are shown throughout. And I think you've got an amazing culture. So keen to hear, if you able to share a bit more about that.
Thanks to, yeah, we've got four mantras. There are no website. They get talked about a fair bit. There's some ideas flying around with them at the moment.
but that actually, we didn't have them at the start. And, uh, we had, I think we've always, we had like nine that we kind of carried [00:21:00] through from pitch black and our first 10team members were, mostly not all from a previous company. So we kind of already had like an existing culture, I would say. And it just kind of, morphed or.
Got, you know, re re shuffled or repurpose for, for, for this kind business. but I think you'll, Athos like Carrie, Adrian and I, this is our third company together. They, uh, and Andre joined on this, on this company really, really early. I think the foundations of who the founders are. What kind of starts the culture.
And you do have to act the way that you say that you're going to act. most of them talk about. You're going to do it's I think more important for us to set the mantras and then set the behaviors and then, try to just live up to those behaviors. But when Laura came in our head of people, she [00:22:00] actually like every week or every, like every month, she'd be like, how are you going with those managers, guys?
Have you gotten them down? Or like, I think she'd say starts to like six months and like, just trying to solidify. The word, even though I think nothing, nothing was she, she made it really clear. She said quite tactical. When you're thinking about your values or we call them mantras, try not to like come up with stuff that doesn't feel like what the company already does.
You're just like crystallizing into words, how you're already behind. Rather than trying to invent like a new way of behaving, but that seem sunnatural. so she really wanted to crystallize. We wonder if five and we just got so stuck on what the last one was. And then in the end we at let's just, let's just run with four.
I think we can live with Paul. Let's just go with the four that we like. so we got them out pretty late, but, they'd been like really awesome. Probably my favorite one is one chord run towards the fire, which is just like when you see a [00:23:00] problem instead of. You know, ducking away or, you know, burying your head under the sand a little bit with problems that you can, talk about them and talk about them as opportunities and turn the opportunities into, really good moments like us, trying to figure out how to do a takeaway when people couldn't go more than five Ks away from their home, like that could have been something quite detrimental.
Business, but instead of it becoming a, a fire, like let's stay, if we can, capitalize on, on, on the fire and put the fire out and then like try and win on it.
Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. Uh, maybe just continuing on there, Kim, uh, I'd love to hear you always, you share a little bit around how you, excuse me, developed the couch internationally.
So you, you launched two markets last year, in the, in the midst of sort of lockdowns and, and you know, Australia being closed off, and then you, you guys jumped on a plane and moved, but I'd love to hear like how you, how you think about sort of distilling the right culture [00:24:00] in. so that it crosses borders.
yeah. Yeah. Your thoughts on that would be
awesome. And it's honestly, it's really hard. it's, it's, uh, it's challenging to expect like every team culture to be identical, I think, it's not even really realistic or possible. So, we moved to the U S uh, at the time. Uh, last year. So in fed and we were outof the country from February to like the start of December, because we couldn't come back to, to, to Australia without doing a two week current thing,which we didn't want to do.
I think that it's really important for the founders to track. And, even if you had like a, you know, a big shot in another country, someone that you think can do America better than you or London better than you. the team like really, really love FaceTime with the founders. even a week, two weeks, for example, [00:25:00]Carrie, my co-founder has just gone to London.
She's only there for 10 days and she's coming back. But in those 10 days she spent one-on-one time with every person, you know, she understands the. How they're feeling, how they're feeling about the opportunity, how they learned about Mr. Young and the market, how it's really about the team. Like just even 10 days that is so dramatically different.
So I think high hiring is like, you've like the leadership team and getting that aligned with, with the way that we're the way that we behave is the most important. and then the second is just trying to have as much FaceTime, which is, which just means a lot of travel.
Yeah. Yeah. Lots of time. I'm playing this now that we can, And so maybe that leads on to just thinking about attracting talent into the team.
So it's a pretty, I would say that the venture capital industry is probably fueled a lot of, interesting times for startups and trying to attract talent. There's a lot of, there's a lot of capital in Latin. The last couple of years it'd be invested into, into early stage technology [00:26:00] companies. And so I would say that it's the fiestas time at the moment for attracting good, good people to your team.
It probably usually what we're finding is it transcends, you know, just like sort of pay and people want us to align with the mission and the, and the opportunity ahead for the business and stuff like that. So we'd love to hear your thoughts on, how you're competing in the market.What do you do to sort of attract great people to the, to the team?
I'll start with you. Holly will be good to get, to hear your thoughts on hiring and. Yeah.
I mean, I think we've been extremely lucky, I think, way, uh, solving a really, really big problem and a very complex one. And a lot of people want to be a part of that. and I think that's had its advantages. I think the other thing is just generally having a good culture and showing people that culture of right from the beginning, which is kind of what I touched on in January.
Brought everyone out to Australia. A whole team we all got together. So I think also sharing that with potential candidates to show like what our [00:27:00] vision for the company is not just from a product and the business side, but also what it means for their career. I talk about Cottey careers, how people can progress at cotton to therefore do other things afterwards.
Reality is as much as I'd like everyone to stay around forever.Everybody typically has a lifecycle in their jobs and what they want to do. So it's really thinking about how that plays out and what can they learn at Carter to they go and take it elsewhere. so I think we've been really fortunate and obviously having great investors behind us helps, spread the word and again, pay or talking about it.
Then people hear about you and
want to know more.
it was incredible. It was fun. Yeah.And I guess what Kim was talking about is face to face time that allowed everyone to have face to face time together in Australia, all of our international hires had never been to Australia. So they got, we all got to spend time together in what we call COVID house, which is our house in surry hills that we've converted into an office and [00:28:00]do other activities.
Michael and our team organized a scavenger hunt around Sydney, and we literally ran around. Something like 10 kilometers, trying to find things which is awesome. And then, you know, go to the blue mountains on the weekend or have team lunches. So it was really good.
Uh, Kim, can you talk to us? Your retention and like sort of employee happiness or engagement is, is through, uh,I don't, I'm not sure how many people you've lost, you know, I've left the business, but it's, yeah, it's a very low stat
and if, if any, so I'd love to hear your thoughts around like yeah. Do you use that as leverage to, I mean, I've seen people would have seen your videos and things for attracting talent, but how do you think about this?It's like, it's probably quite a different problem set to. To Holly, who's got very complex sort of like, you know, API infrastructure products.
and then, and Mr. Yum is quite ubiquitous knowledge of what it is. And people kind of generally understand the concept, but how do you use that from like a hiring perspective, to get the best people on the ship [00:29:00]
it's uh, yeah, it's definitely a productt hat's a bit easier to touch and see. So you can like, you know, go out and here's at a cafe or a restaurant about et cetera.
So, lots of people have interacted with it as like a guest before, which does make hiring a little bit easier. there's no silver bullet, I think in like how to hire great talent. when we first started, it was very much. head hunting and referral base when we didn't have a brand and like trying to convince pretty entrepreneurial people.
So if you look at someone's profile and say that they've like tried to start some of their own businesses before they've, you know, being a founder in the past, whether it was semi successful or not successful, it doesn't matter. those people are typically like your best, your best, you know, one to 20.
Highest in the first kind of one to 20 people. and I say that a lot to like founders and asked me about how we hire, how we hire now is different to how we hide back then. [00:30:00]And all of those early team members, they're like super high risk appetite, understanding about having a job in six months. but they're like attracted to being a generalist.
And, you know, if they're an engineer that can do the full stack, typically if the, you know, a marketer that can also do sales and you can also jump on, ops and they can do lots of things. So I think at the start look for generalists, look for people that have some kind of, you know, entrepreneurial background, like tried to start a few things before, and then eventually now.
So much, like you said, we have a pretty insane retention thatI don't know how we will, hold on to, but I hope that we hold on to it fora little bit longer. Like one person's left in the last two and a half years. and, we don't have like a referral bonus or anything, but a lot of that. A lot of our candidates come through, the teams networks and the team posting about their roles.
one thing actually, Andre does really well. My tech co-founder so no he's managed to do this, [00:31:00] but he has managed to create like this amazing culture. Hiring inside his, uh, dev team and devs, although, you know, some of the hardest roles to hire and they, one person joins and that one person has like the best two weeks.
And then they go and rope in like, and they, they, they don't, they're not, it's very hard actually. It's not that. Fast, but they'll start working on their friends. Like, they'll start, they'll start like messaging their friends and messaging, all of the engineers that they've worked with in the past that they've really enjoyed working with or product people, designers, whatever.
It's a very close network. and then one day, two, three months later, I'm like, oh my God, I've been working with this guy for like three months. And he's eventually said that he's happy to talk to us and have an interview. He has a channel called tech hiring and slack. And it's busy like every single day at palms, like engineers are putting messages from people that they're getting in at work and friends and our recruiters out engineering recruiters are posting about [00:32:00] Canada experiences and stuff in that.
So, yeah, he's almost created it as like a it's it's our responsibility as a team to build a really good team that we're super proud of.And it's not just. Recruiters or talent, uh, or his responsibility it's everyone's responsibility. so yeah, I think that's how we've managed tohire and high quickly, and, and also retain because, you know, if you're, if you're recruiting, if you're recruiting, then you know, you're probably happy in your role, which, which is a bigger Testament than going out and, and having either an agency do it, or, you know, like a third party
Yeah. So. Yeah, I think you both have got such interesting cultures and also like it's not, and, and also different in many ways. So it's, you know, I think you're like, you don't have to have, like, there's not one culture fits all. It's, you know, it's basically built up over time and with a lot of effort.
So, uh, but yeah, I think [00:33:00]you've, you've attracted some of the most amazing talent to both of your businesses. And, and part of that is we'll get onto the dreaded or a fun part from where you look at it. But talking about fundraising. Given that to, to bring on the team, uh, you know, an early stage venture when you're into an early stage venture, you're trying to obviously go and build a product and sortof get to a level of revenue, et cetera, where you can start covering, uh,yourselves, et cetera.
But how do you think about, uh, So Carted had raised a 10million US dollar seed round. and Mr. Yam raised 65 million us dollar series a round, which were both two of the biggest fundraising rounds for the stage in, in sort of Australian history. So we'd love to hear your thoughts around, and I know the answer, but I'll, I'll get you to, so tell it is probably like, how do you think about fundraising process?
How do you go about it? Like what, you know, we'd love to hear,I guess like how you engineered those results from early days in preparation and stuff. So other people can learn.
And would you like to start on this, this chart to share? He's [00:34:00] got all the answers. He told me what to do.
Yeah. I, yeah, honestly, Stu like totally Jordan, this idea of running a process. Uh, the founders are either myself or not the best at process in the world. self identified, so that's okay. and I think, I think a few things like the, you have to have a great, like rising, rising tide, I think like rising tide.
Probably like the number one thing, investors look for, you're in a category that is growing and they can see that there's a trend that's about to change in the future and that they want to be part of the trend. Okay, cool. The second question is like, is this company going to. Number one and that rising tide.
And can they, you know, row the boat faster than everyone else can and that, and get to the, category later position or are they already a category [00:35:00] leader? Let me get to the category leader position fastest. and that's all, that's really like execution, you know, strength. And then, what customers say about you and what your, what your products like, what your team's saying about you?
So it's like, are you the right company to back and that, and then it's like, okay. And then the third one is all down the process. It's like all down to running a really streamlined, uh, Like I think was six weeks or something. from the very, very first conversation of an intro call with a venture firm to having a term sheet signed, and the process.
Like insane. We would re we were doing five to seven calls a day. Adrian and I like cleared out our entire calendar and did nothing else for like [00:36:00] six weeks. All we did was, luckily we've got two other co-founders and an awesome leadership team, and we're like, you're going to have to run the business for six weeks.
We will be back. and we just did. Uh, really focused, pretty condensed timeframe process. Holly, I know you wrote, like there's a pretty good article outlining how you guys did it, which is super helpful. and we read that when we were about to do our series a and that really helped us. but yeah, I think like anything else you're trying to get.
many, like if you can get, you know, five to 10 firms to the same stage later, stage off one or two, like not one or two, like two or three conversations, then you. In a good position. And one thing that she said to us is like, don't start conversations too early, and then they'll let other people fall behind because it's difficult for offers if they don't learn.
Like it was only eight days, 8, 8, 8 calendar days with playing when we got off first term sheet. And when we signed the term sheet and you've got to try and get multiple offers in various. Timeframe period together to try and create some tension, which is what helps you get a bigger round away and high valuation.
but yeah, it's, uh, it's a, it's definitely a process crisis than a half.
That's exactly what I did. And I agree with the three points that you made. And I decided also to not distract me from the company, I wanted to run a really tight process. I wasn't pulled away from the company.
and it was.
Yeah, no, I would say, I think that the other thing like w yeah, timing is massive.
making sure just from a momentum perspective, I think arising tide happens in not only in your industry, but also in your fundraise. what you're start finding is if you start talking a lot of different people then where [00:38:00] it starts spreading that,Hey, you know, Carter is doing around and Misty, I'm swinging around.
And then all of a sudden you get people inbounding you and trying to manage that whole process and sort of keep good momentum. Cause everyone's, you know, people. I'm not sure if they know this, but basically VCs will talk to each other. Right. And then there'll be like, have you seen this company? What do you think?
Like, you think it's exciting? Uh, what are your views on it, et cetera, et cetera. And then if you start hearing people are with passing, etcetera, then that, you know, that's negative, rising tide or know sort of the tide's going out. So you don't want to have that. You want to keep trying to keep moment but then also the challenge.
And those come before the acid yeses. And so, uh, it's also easy to get down a little bit when you're sort of having
so emotional, nearly cried multiple times.
I think he cried on a breakup call. You said even on one of them,
there was like one from that I really wanted to advocate. We didn't get there.
Like price, essentially. So like they didn't want to pay the price that others would pay. and they didn't want to co-invest with the FA [00:39:00] with other funds that we wanted to bring on. And, when I called the partner, like we both got. Well, I cried on this call. She was like crying and I was like crying. I was like, oh my God, the saddest thing ever.
So yeah, it's like crazy. It's like crazy. It's crazy how you can get so emotional when you've only like spoke to someone, smoke it to someone like three or four times. but yeah, it's, uh, it's not, it's not fun. It's uh, it's. It's a lot of work and it's so emotional. Well, it was, for me, it was for us. because the nodes come before the yes, like she said, and there'll be firms that you really like, and you thought you're going really well with.
And then they stayed out pretty quickly. and then at the end, you're trying to work with the people that you want to work with and not be, and be really tired and. and transparent about the process at the end, but you can't always be super [00:40:00]transparent either. So.
Tricky process that's for sure. And there's no perfect way to go about it, but I think if I'm to summarize, definitely running a process.
So, you know, we've talked to a lot of, all of our founders about this and it's, it really helps you sort of get the best result for your company. So it is it's distracting. Take time. It's, you know, it's tough, it's emotional. You've got to go and pitch a story to lots of different investors and try and get them online.
If you can do so I think it's just sets you up for the right, you know, to go and build what you want to achieve anyway. So, I think it's, you know, it's, it's worth the time and investment to actually do it through. So, we've got a couple of other questions. One is, uh, how do you go about then getting ready for your next round?
So do you, are you so keeping up to date, uh, with prospectiveVCs for your future round, how do you keep them engaged? Or what do you, what do you do if anything, or you just wait and sort
of keep running.
I think for
me, it's not getting distracted. A lot of people invest this right shout after around like just a [00:41:00] couple of months off dot, wanting to talk about the next one. and I found that distraction site often contact us this year, which they now it's now 2022 and then now contacting us. But it's about putting them, like, just putting it off until you're ready to have those conversations.
It is important to keep the ones that you, that do have context updated if you would like them in your next round. But I also don't want to stop all these new conversations where needs not priority in the business.
It's also hard to be on your egg. Like sometimes I'm talking to someone I'm like, man, I'm so bad at this.
Like, like when you're not in pitching mode, you always forget how to pitch the business and like in an investor contact. So it was that it, when you're in the mode, you're like, you know, audit because it's all you're doing all day every day for like the course of six weeks. And you nail all the risk-based questions and all the questions about things that you don't know how to answer, you try your best.
but yeah. And then when you're talking to [00:42:00] investors yeah. The time when you're meant to be executing. I find I'm not really like very good at it. And so I prefer to not distract myself with, like ad hoc ad hoc conversations.
So I've got T I totally agree. And it can be distractions. So you want to minimize it, but still keep people warm.
especially given the funding environments, I guess it's slowing down a little bit, given what's going on sort of globally in the technology ecosystem. Uh, so one and get given. It is international women's day tomorrow. We've got two of them, the most awesome sort of female CEOs on the line. But I guess like one of the questions that we had was the last year I saw a report came out, on the state of the old startup sort of, Uh,I'll start ups in general and say the female founders received 22% of funding,which actually down from the year before, just not, not great.[00:43:00]
but interestingly, only 10% of female founders were confidence. They would raise the next round versus 63% of men. I'm not sure if you have any thoughts on yeah, that's quite stuck, right? So I'm not sure if you have any thoughts on being a female founder yourself. Uh, whether you felt hamstrung at all and you're in your own fundraising processes or not at all, like, I'd love to hear your thoughts and it was, it, was it a confidence thing?
Like what, what, what, you know, what did you, did you takeaway anything we'd love to hear if you've got any thoughts around this particular sort of topic?
I mean, for me, I think, I don't know what it would be like on the other side being male and raising. So I guess I can, okay. What I'm doing. I don't necessarily put that down to being female or not. I think if I was to look at it, if I was like, like anything, wedo humans have a bias to hiring or fundraising or investing in things that theyknow or like, and typically.
That could be someone that you went to school with or [00:44:00] went to university with, or have worked with. And so being in tech, there's probably more men who invest in men. and it would be, especially not, I mean, not in our case and not in the case,but when there's, you know, fashion companies or problem that, a founder issolving for the female demographic, that can be harder because there's moremale investors.
And then unless they really understand the problem. They probably don't necessarily see the opportunity. but I didn't really put that into question. I, I think it is important that we have confidence that we can, can raise the next funding round. I truly believe that we can with what we're doing. I think we're in a massive category.
I think we're in the rising tide moment, all the infrastructure, but eco mess. So I'm not concerned about that, but I know other people have different views on that.
Yeah, makes me a bit sad, Sue, that you've told me that. I think I I've always thought that, similar with what, honestly, very similar to what Holly said.
[00:45:00] once, once you get past the point of having, like, once you get to having numbers, and you've got like raw metrics, real attraction, real customers, real product and not. I do think it probably becomes a little bit less about the bias and more about cause you've got stuff to go off and. You know, something to show for what you've done.
And so even if someone doesn't know you, or maybe it's never that the female founder or a female CEO before, they're not like oblivious to what they're seeing and in the patterns of, of what makes a good looking seed stage company or a good-looking series, a stage company. but I think in the early days it can be pretty.
Because, it does a lot depend on connections in the start, like having a couple of startups that didn't work out before and having pitch-black, and having a bit of a network in the [00:46:00]startup community, I think really helped. Ask, it are kind of first rounds away. And, when I reflect on how hard that would be for someone who maybe doesn't know anyone in the startup ecosystem and hasn't had a startup before, then like at the beginning, you're really backing the person.
And if you don't know the person, it can be quite a big leap. so Kevin and I, uh, We're all were pretty much open. Like I only, I only ever say yes to having coffee with a female. I know that sounds like unless I, you know, really know the person, I don't have time to go and have random coffees with people, but we try really hard to make ourselves available, to get to know people in the earliest stages of being a founder.
Cause if they. Then go on and want to raise some money. At least we spent time like three months, four months, maybe we'll write them an angel check. Maybe we can help once you've started to get to know them. So, yeah, I think it's, [00:47:00] I do think it's more difficult in the early days because, a lot of women don't have as many friends, but, uh, engineers, especially.
So if you want to get into tech, then you're like, oh, you need to find a friend. Who's like an engineer. It's like, how am I going to find a friend? That's an engineer. Like, I don't know. That's an engineer. Whereas most guys have friends that are gamers or like, you know, you have a brother, you have a friend that has a brother, who's an engineer.
They're like only one step away, not 2, 3, 4 steps away. so yeah, I think we need to do a better work in the, uh, like getting to know, getting to know people a little bit. Yeah,
and I think it's about celebrating great profiles such as yourselves and making sure there's great stories and people get, you know, have the confidence to go out.
and for the record, I'm just gonna throw this out there.But we, out of the 50 million that we had deployed at the end of last year, 44%was, was, was female, their company. So we're trying to do our bit from 10, 13perspective. And obviously a lot of that has also invested before. Hey folks like Holly and Kim, obviously, but others, but, [00:48:00] you know, I guess like not having a lens on it, is not the right approach, I guess, but I'm trying to make sure that everyone has the rightaccess, uh, from an invest, you know, an opportunity to get investment from theright or the right sort of people.
Cool. So we might move on to from fundraising and talk a little bit, uh, we've got a couple more topics. So one is, like how do you build your roadmap? Uh, is it customer driven, like experience driven or is it kind of. So vision hypothesis, it's like, we believe that this is the direction and we're going to push it or do, or do you know, how do you, how do you think about putting in front?
Like what are we going to do with it in the vision for the business over the next few years? and I think that you might have different answers. I'd love to hear, how you think about it. So maybe Holly, you can kick it off. given yeah. Given the space that you're in is very exciting and there's lots going on.
Think for us at the moment, it's really about vision. uh, what's really interesting is we have. What we are assumptions. And [00:49:00] we literally had odd companies write down what they in the paid version would look like with us.And it literally steps out step-by-step what we were building anyway, which is fantastic to say.
So at the moment would vision based. I think the other thing is we will have a look because we are an infrastructure company. We'll have a lot of people asking for certain things, but it's really important that we don't get dragged down one path, especially when you're building .
Yeah. How do you think about it?
Like a longer term? Uh, vision is definitely, one that's pretty close to us that like, we don't even really talk about with our customers. cause we feel like it, maybe they're not quite ready to hear it yet. Like it's a bit of an evolution and we need to take them on the journey to, to getting there.
But I think like we've got, you know, 8, 20, 22, uh, product objectives. I would [00:50:00] say all of them have at least some level of customer sentiment peppered through them. but it's, I think how, how we execute on it is less guided by, what the customers say exactly because hospitality is not a very tech savvy industry.
so. Challenge you with a pretty big problem that, and then we've got to go in and figure out how to make that, a possibility. So, yeah, I think it's a bit of a mix of two for us, but as we've grown, we found it like, oh my God, like the stuff of the list of stuff they want us to be, it's like endless, like couldn't even call it a backlog.
Like it just gets so insane. And then you have. You actually have to become better at knowing where you're going and then quickly being able to identify the things that just don't fit in your path. Like someone asked us today, would you build the hotels? Cause America is like hotels of math. I mean, we're in Vegas.
[00:51:00] people like, would you build hotels? we don't have many hotel customers at Mysterium. And the reason for that. A lot of hotel software is quite specific with the, you know, TV situation does the check-ins as the PMs, the property management systems as the QR code ordering is like one piece of a very big piece of technology that sits around running a hotel.
And for us to build for hotels looks like having to think about all of this stuff that we've never really done or had to think about before.And that would take. Like a hole, you know, 25% of our dev team for the better part of six months. and that's just like, you've got to probably say, no, you've got to go to say, that's not a low hanging fruit right now.
And it's not what we wanted to do. We'd rather work on a staff product, for example. so yeah, I think it gets harder and harder because you've opportunities. [00:52:00] Your way and they all look good. You can justify doing them all. Yeah.
A hundred percent. So we're gonna have two more questions. I think given the time we've got a hard stop.
So, one is around. Uh, I guess like the biggest challenges.So trying to sort of navigate to like Missy on, for instance, uh, we've had pretty severe lockdowns throughout Australia, which your biggest market, like that's been pretty, pretty rough to sort of manage through obviously as a business because, uh, you know, no one's allowed to go outside and sort of eat out in restaurants, which is what, you know, doggedly where your customers are going.
and Holly, yours is building a very complex sort of products. Uh, but I'd love to hear maybe, maybe Kim, you can kick off, like, how do you navigate, you know, these sort of. Yeah. An environment that you can't control, which this, this is often what happens in the challenges that you, you don't, you know, you don't pan for it, very hard to plan for, but then you hit, hit you from the side and you have to try and figure out how to navigate,
I think we [00:53:00]try to, try, we tried like golf point of view and tracking our numbers.
It became like basically impossible or so difficult to show, you know, proper month, a month growth and staff when restaurant like your customers, they just getting locked down every five seconds in different states. so we tried to find some more, leading indicator metrics instead of nagging.
Metrics are looking at like input rather than, and rather than output to guide our team as to whether we were doing a good job or not. And then capitalizing on the situation, like if we could find a reason to, you know, become a more suitable product for the moment that they opened, that we were there, to, to leverage that scenario.
Yeah, I think it also comes to the, to the team, just being able to problem solve, uh, in the mix of, you know, poems and actually being creative about finding solutions, as you said, like run towards the fire other than [00:54:00] anything else. and, and Holly, how do you. You're building a pretty complicated products.
you know, it's, it's going to be building forever, but like, you know, in essence, like it's a complex complex, but you can't, you can't sell a product because it's not sort of built, but then you start trying to sell it's. How do you, how do you think about that? Like how do you actually go out and actually sell a product that is not, you know, it's still being built, although it's amazing what you already have and the outputs, but, it's hard to sort of sell before you can show people actually what it can do.
Think is certain pieces of IEPI. We now have our API docs send a live sandbox, which is in private beta with these customers. And then it's talking about what's on your roadmap now on what they can build with now and what's to come. And I guess that's like any product, you know, you can go like, Company and share them, share with them like what you've got now, and they can use that one piece and then what they canultimately build as an infrastructure company, they too are building theirproduct.
So it's actually working closely with them to build out their [00:55:00] MVP version of the feature and getting them launched and widely their customers, and then expanding on that. So they've been fortunate enough that we've, they're working with us to do that.
No, it's pretty awesome. Very exciting times, uh, across, across both businesses.
So last. I'm trying to see what my favorite last question is going to be. I think one that's come in, which I, which I like, which is probably for you can, which is, setting up in different markets and trying to understand, uh, do customers behave differently? The dynamics, I guess you, you, you. Been a cornerstone in Australia, launched into the U S and theUK and had different experiences.
And, but, uh, just the way, you know, just the, this is the matureness of each market, while you're how you integrate custom end customer usage to stuff like that. I'd love to hear your thoughts on, like, how do you navigate a launch in a new market as quickly as possible?
We actually just [00:56:00] talking today about house, the way it would be for us to like take Ms.
Young Australia and copy and paste and put it in the U S and expect it to work. so like heaps of localization around, the expectations of the product and the service levels that exist in hospitality.It's a very typical. Culture and America, which is super different to anAustralia. Australia is more like the UK.
I think I would like if I had to do it again, I would definitely choose the most similar market to the one that you've already done.So we went to the us, which is a not so good idea. I don't have a good idea in hindsight, but it was also a very difficult thing to do at the time. and we have actually like, Uh, tripled down and the UK harder than we have tripled down in the U S this year.
So after closing around in December, we decided to focus all of our energy for kind of three months or not all but most on making the UK Relucrank. [00:57:00] And it's just absolutely like flying at the moment it's doing so well. now we've, now we've got that,l ike in a better position, we're thinking. The U S, which is why, I'm here this week with the team it's so it's soup.
It's actually like, it couldn't be more different hospitality market for us. also we've got these big behemoth partnerships that we had the lock away in the U S and steer, you know, and we've got a few really like,Challenging, just extra big companies that you kind of have to do business with, or you probably can't be the successful in this country at all.
And that took time and market presence, you know, showing a face, trying to meet them in person as possible. And, the round definitely helped in credibility. I don't think we would have got some of the sekey partners away if we did. If we, if we didn't, if we didn't get us, there is by [00:58:00] series. I are way faster because the American companies and they much, as they like, oh, these, they don't think that much of Australian companies, you know,
Well, we might, I think we've just hit one o'clock or our time and wherever you are, so enjoy. thank you so much for the session. It was really, really awesome to hear, a bit about sort of backgrounds. Building your businesses. And I think you're, I think you've both got such amazing opportunities in front of you and building awesome team and culture.
And, we're very thankful to be part of the story for both of you at TEN13, I'm looking forward to seeing you next, seeing you later this week, Holly, and I'm enjoy south by Southwest by that I believe both of you are going to be there in Austin next week. so have the best time. Uh, but yeah, we might wrap it up there.
Thanks for all the questions. Hopefully you found that valuable everyone on the line, but, we'll catch you on.
Thank you. Bye.
Investor Spotlight Series - Daniel Johnson
Introducing our Investor Spotlight Series, highlighting the leading supporters of startups in the Australian ecosystem. First up, Daniel Johnson, a successful founder turned angel investor with over 70 startups in his portfolio so far.
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