Joro founder offers advice as a first-time solo founder – Crunchbase News


Editor’s note: This profile is part of Something has ventured, an ongoing series from Crunchbase News examining diversity and access to capital in the venture capital-backed startup ecosystem. In this project, we follow seven early-stage entrepreneurs for several months as they build their businesses. Read our previous profile of Sanchali Pal and her journey as a startup founder with Joro here, here, here and here, and access the full project here.

Sanchali Pal started his business, Joroas a solo startup founder in 2018. The company, which builds a consumer app that tracks your carbon footprint, has now raised a total of $3.5 million across multiple seed funding rounds led by the one of the most notable venture capitalists in the Valley, Capital Sequoia.

But it wasn’t always easy. Looking back on seed fundraising, Pal acknowledges that she didn’t realize “how different it is to be a solo founder, to be a founder, and to be a first-time founder in same time, especially in the field of climate technology”. space.”

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Despite the fact that Pal had access to powerful networks as an alumnus of princeton university and Harvard Business Schoolshe didn’t realize how difficult it would be to found a startup.

As a non-tech founder, she’s gotten feedback for “calling me when you have a CTO.”

“Maybe women are more likely to undersell, not speak with authority, have a more conservative market size,” she said.

Pal said his friends at work have also received comments that they “look young”.

The fundraising journey

Surprisingly, “many investors had a big impact on my ability to be successful, even though they didn’t give us capital,” she said.

A female entrepreneur gave Pal early-stage advice, and a male investor took the time to coach her on her turf. Angel investors also played an important role.

“The investment community may be more aware of their pre-conceived patterns because so much of venture capital funding depends on patterns,” she said.

Funding for female founders alone is the lowest in years, at just over 2% of funding in 2021according to a report from Crunchbase News.

“Because there is very little data in the early stages, it requires a lot of investor awareness,” Pal said.

Entrepreneurs can also play a central role by supporting other founders.

Raising funding for underrepresented founders “requires a lot of support from entrepreneurs for each other, being honest with each other, helping each other and giving it back to other founders, especially founders that might not look like you,” she said.

Pal found that the steps needed to close a deal can be difficult for new founders or founders from different backgrounds. “There’s a lot of persistence and uncomfortable tracking that you have to do,” she said. “And you have to be aggressive and you have to be really convinced that you deserve the money.”

Added new markets

Joro is planning to launch in its second market, Canada, in mid-February. However, there are various legal and privacy requirements to operate in a new country.

The company registers a trademark in Canada and already meets privacy requirements due to its adoption of GDPR. Plaid, the service Joro uses to connect to users’ credit/debit cards and banks also operates in Canada. Joro has also updated its carbon estimate specific to the Canadian market. The final step is to publish a country-specific app to the App Store and Play Store.

The UK will be next, which requires the establishment of an entity in the country to manage all financial transaction data.

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What contributed to the creation of a business

Pal acknowledges that those three years have been strange, as nearly two of those years have been during a pandemic. His team, which now numbers nine people, is closely involved in strategy and long-term planning.

“I found peer support groups to be incredibly powerful early on,” she said. And entrepreneurs who are a few steps ahead of where Joro is – the founders of Head space, candy Crush and Strava— have been helpful along the way.

There is also a group of female founders that Pal talks to every month. Plus, she has family in the Bay Area in the tech field — her mother is the CEO of a Series A-backed biotech company.

These factors all contributed to Pal’s understanding of the startup landscape and funding.

She also worked with a business coach during the pandemic, which she found helpful, and thinks investors who offer coaches would be a differentiator for single founders.

For now, Pal enjoys the “how i built thisand food entrepreneurship podcasts as she sees parallels to her journey with those building a restaurant business and trying to succeed as a chef. She also likes to see other founders succeed and follows several of them on instagram for a “small dose of what is possible”.

Drawing: Dom Guzman

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