Alloy Automation, Fiveable and Parthean founders discuss raising first dollars at TC Disrupt

When you’re building a startup and thinking about what it’s going to take to raise your first dollars in a slowing capital market, perspective can be very helpful. In this case perspective, like any story worth telling, has two sides — founder and venture.

Of course, we’ll cover both sides of the venture capital coin at TechCrunch Disrupt on October 18-10, and we’ve already announced the investors who will offer the venture perspective on the first fundraising question. Now, we’re thrilled to tell you that Amanda DoAmaral, co-founder and CEO at Fiveable, Sara Du, co-founder and CEO at Alloy Automation and Arman Hezarkhani, founder and CEO at Parthean, will join us on stage to share how they navigated the capital markets.

In a session called, “How To Raise First Dollars When Investors Are More Cautious, The Founder Perspective,” these panelists will discuss not only what it took to get where they are today, but how their perspective has evolved in light of the changing economy. All three founders bring funding bonafides to the table.

  • Amanda DoAmaral’s Fiveable landed $10 million in a Series A round in 2021, led by Union Square Ventures.
  • Sara Du’s Alloy Automation closed a $20 million Series A led by a16z last February.
  • Hezarkhani’s Parthean, raised $1.1 million at a $12 million valuation last January, from Litani Ventures, Gaingels, Amino Capital, Morning Brew’s Alex Lieberman, Republic Venture partner Namrata Banerjee and others.

What strategies did these founders use to secure their funding? Will the slow down affect their plans moving forward, and what advice can they offer early-stage founders contemplating their first venture play in a sluggish market? Learn more about the folks who will break it down for you.

Amanda DoAmaral is an educator, activist and co-founder and CEO of Fiveable, a social productivity platform for students. She spent five years teaching high school history in Oakland, California, which ignited her passion for creating equitable educational opportunities. DoAmaral is a vocal advocate for inclusive history curriculum and active within the Milwaukee tech community.

Sara Du is the co-founder of Alloy Automation, a no-code automation platform for e-commerce. Founded in 2019, Alloy is backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Y Combinator and a group of unicorn founders from companies including Attentive, Klaviyo, Shippo and more.

Prior to starting Alloy, Du spent one undergrad year at Harvard before leaving to work at Snapchat as an engineer and then at Wish as a designer.

Arman Hezarkhani is the founder and CEO at Parthean, which offers a way to learn about and manage personal finances. Prior to Parthean, Hezarkhani founded Ahez Inc, a technical marketing consultancy with clients like Google Cloud, Android and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).

Hezarkhani also served as an adjunct professor at CMU, where he taught a full-stack web development course and was an engineering intern at Google. Hezarkhani holds a bachelor’s of science in electrical and computer engineering from CMU.

TechCrunch Disrupt is back in person on October 18-20 in San Francisco. Early action equals bigger savings. Buy your pass now and save up to $1,300. Student, government and nonprofit passes are available for just $195. Prices increase July 29.