Unit’s Itai Damti explains how the company fundraises using culture and value

“In my 20-plus years, I have never seen a document like it,” Emmalyn Shaw, managing partner at Flourish Ventures, said during TechCrunch Live. The episode was nearing the end, and Unit CEO and co-founder Itai Damti had just explained how the company’s long-running Culture and Values document helped pitch the company.

“I’d seen, obviously, high-level values in culture documents with bullet points and whatnot — but nothing to this level of specificity or commitment. … Of course, it expanded over time, but you get a real sense of how he’s planning to lead, particularly across two different headquarters and how Unit scales. I think it’s impressive. It’s important for [Flourish Ventures].”

Damti explained the document (embedded below).

“When we were just two people before we even knew what we would do, we sat down and wrote a half-page on the type of environment we wanted to build. The same Google Doc we started back then is the doc we use today, but it’s grown to 11 pages. It touches on many, many pieces of learning that we accumulated over time.”

Unit raised its Series A in 2020 when COVID prevented face-to-face meetings with investors. “It was important for us to give people a window into how we execute as a team, and this document gave them a chance to almost spend an hour in the office without being in the office with us. The best way to do it was to share what was then a seven- or eight-page book on culture and values.”

“This got us a lot of excitement from investors,” Damti said. “We do it because it’s important for the business. We do it to set expectations with employee candidates. And this is something constitutional in the company that drives how we execute. I also found that one of the cool byproducts was taking this asset and sharing it with people I know. Some people would keep it confidential. I was, like, ‘Investors should get a window into how the company thinks.’ And that’s always been important.”