Despite all evidence to the contrary, there’s more to building a startup than raising venture capital.
Founders are finding success without overly relying on VC dollars; some are even sharing profits with their respective employees and customers without the help of traditional funding and Silicon Valley power dynamics.
As some investors slow down their funding pace, it has become clear that profitability trumps funding and venture capital can only take a startup so far when the economy tanks and outside cash streams dry up.
In the Indie.vc portfolio, profitability is its driving force. In fact, its main criterion for funding is that a startup must be on a clear path to profitability with durable fundamentals like high gross margins or the ability to start charging for a product right away, as opposed to companies that need a significant amount of upfront investment for research and development.
Profitability, Indie.vc founder Bryce Roberts tells TechCrunch, needs to be a habit, and founders need to recognize that it’s not a switch they can just turn on. Startups looking to prioritize profitability need to start out as revenue-driven businesses that replace funding milestones with profitability goals.
“Genuinely, it’s not rocket science,” he says. “Profitability isn’t this crazy, elusive thing. It’s literally more achievable than a Series A round. It’s way more achievable than a Series B round. If you look at the kind of fall-off between those rounds, most entrepreneurs would be better off finding their path to profitability and scale.”
Indie.vc, which recently announced its latest batch of investments, advises founders to make sure they have what they need to be stable and then to create and measure value, Roberts says. That value, which differs depending on the company, must be quantifiable as some metric or revenue.
To do that, Roberts says founders should adopt a mindset where they’re focused on creating revenue opportunities, rather than cost savings. Indie.vc’s model also does not prioritize hiring ahead of growth, a strategy that seems to be working for its portfolio during the pandemic.