He spoke to us in this interview just after his company, Rapportive, was acquired by LinkedIn in 2012. It’s still valid today.
Rahul studied Computer Science at Cambridge University before moving to San Francisco to build Rapportive. I caught up with him on a visit back to his alma mater. He shared some great advice about how to raise money and build a useful network when he moved to the Valley.
On how to raise money…
“The easiest way to raise money is to build something that investors use”.
“Get to a point where investors are contacting you because you don’t want to waste too much time raising money”.
“Find a professional web investor – someone whose job it is to invest in web startups. Our anchor investor wasn’t the biggest investor but he bought a lot of additional investors”.
“We ended up with about 30 investors from around the world. (Including Neil Davidson, founder of Business of Software Conference and RedGate). I didn’t meet all of them, some of them we spoke to on Skype – Dharmesh Shah and David Cancel”.
“The final $150k came from AngelList”.
On moving to San Francisco.
“I felt at home on the first day”.
“Having a degree made it much easier to get a Visa”.
“People are surprisingly willing to meet with you and give you their time. Many people remember when they arrived and want to return the favour”.
You recently sold Rapportive to LinkedIn. What next?
“I don’t know yet but we want to keep building the product”.
[Rahul stayed with the company and, unlike some entrepreneurs post acquisition, thrived on the experience. He shared some excellent ideas about how founders can stop worrying and love being acquired in this blog post.]
Anything else you want to share?
“I have a message for one of our investors, Neil Davidson”.
Watch to the end of the video. Very sweet.
Rahul Vohra is now co-Founder/CEO of Superhuman and speaks at Business of Software Conference USA on ‘The Product-Market Fit Engine’
Drawing on his experiences as startup entrepreneur and employee in a public software company, Rahul will discuss what product-market fit is and why it’s so important whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur on your first startup or IBM. He will show you how to measure product market fit and how to build a world-class product based on both vision and data.
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