Through this series “Where Are They Now?” we will be interviewing Endeavor Program graduates on their most recent successes and challenges as they seek to scale in Florida.
We recently sat down (virtually, of course) with ScaleUp Program Cohort Two graduate Martin Urruela, founder of Axela. He told us more about their recent fundraising round and scaling challenges. Read below!
Congratulations on your most recent round! $4M in Series A funding! Tell us what you learned about the fundraising process and what advice do you have for others going through the same thing?
Thank you! This may be particular to our case because we have a unique business model, but there was an intense focus on our financials and accounting practices during diligence. It may sound obvious but it came as a surprise to me and was especially challenging because I don’t have an accounting background. The good thing is that it forced us to make changes and improvements that we probably should have done months earlier (my thought process was we’ll raise money and then hire a finance person to perfect everything, which in hindsight was not a good approach). So I guess my advice would be to make sure financials and accounting are spotless, to avoid having to fix things during diligence.
What has been the most challenging thing when seeking to achieve scale?
We’re in the process of building out our sales force. Until recently, I had the false assumption that the way to scale was just by hiring more salespeople. Someone recommended a book called Predictable Revenue that completely changed my perception of how to grow a sales team. There’s a science to it and involves much more than just hiring salespeople.
As a Miami-based company, what can you tell us about the current tech ecosystem and your hopes for its future? What are some things you would like to see more or less of?
From what I’ve read Miami is having its moment and getting lots of good press, which is awesome. It would be nice to see some of the established local companies making strategic investments in startups. It’s not this simple, but something along the lines of big company invests in startup, becomes a client of startup, and everybody wins.
You were part of Endeavor’s ScaleUp Cohort Two. What can you tell us about the experience and what you took away from it?
I met lots of great people, some of which I stay in regular contact with. It was weird to do it all virtually (because of covid), but Endeavor made it work.