in less than Seven days later, Lunchclub co-founder Vlad Novakovsky had a large term sheet on hand from Lightspeed Ventures, even though his startup wasn’t looking for a raise at the time. How did this happen? The sticky product experience combined with customer feedback and the growth to support it made the startup an investment opportunity that Lightspeed’s Nicole Quinn couldn’t miss.
This week, Novakovski and Quinn joined us on TechCrunch Live for a breakdown of the Lunchclub’s Series A group and details of how they were connected to the start of the pandemic. Lunchclub is an AI-driven networking tool that virtually connects professionals across multiple industries and levels.
TechCrunch Live, formerly Extra Crunch Live, takes place every Wednesday at Noon PDT / 3PM EST. Each week, audiences hear backstory, best practices, and must-haves of the founders and investors who led their tour. In the second half, the founders get from the audience a direct live show for the guests.
Take a look at some of the lessons from our conversation with Vlad and Nicole below, and check out the full recording of the episode with the live show.
Good presentation goes a long way
The influence of early stage investors can go a long way. Lunchclub was discovered by Nicole Quinn through one of the company’s early investors in the early months of the pandemic in 2020.
Nicole recalls: “I got an email from a Lunchclub angel investor, Greg Aris, saying, ‘The Lunchclub just started having fireside chats. I mean, we just launched them and they have thousands of people joining them.”
Initially a call with Vlad to engage in a side conversation and learn more about the company on Wednesday, the conversations developed rapidly resulting in a terms newspaper appearing on Monday, less than a week after the meeting.
Investor introductions from other founders are often touted as the best way to stand up to venture capital. In Vlad’s case, it was the investor who made the difference.
“I think as a founder… he talks to [the] Kind of value having… a strong angel investor network when you sow or pre-seed,” Vlad added.
Consumer feedback is everything
Founders build products hard to solve a problem but the real test is with the customers themselves. Novakovski’s Series A group had customer feedback in the form of social media screenshots but had limited data and case studies — a change he wished he had made before.