Startups Are Stories: 18 Months With Bond Street As They Raised $110m

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We like to turn startups into graphs — valuation graphs, usage graphs, market share graphs. But they’re actually stories; stories about people. After 18 months of quiet, now we get to share stories about Bond Street, a SMB lending platform which announced their $110 million equity + debt Series A raise today.

Our Bond Street story starts in the fall of 2013 when we’re introduced to CEO/cofounder David Haber by a founder we backed earlier in the year. “David and Peyton are really sharp.” We’d hear variations of that line many times.

Our Bond Street story is about a bunch of drinks, meals, phone calls in the subsequent weeks. About me walking into a West Side coffee shop one evening for back to backs. First with Nicholas Chirls (then at Betaworks), followed by a face to face with David. “Who are you meeting after me,” Nick asked. “Oh, he’s smart. And he’s sitting right over there,” pointing to a guy in a sweater, earth-tones, sitting on a bench in the lobby. It was raining.

Our Bond Street story is about getting them a termsheet on Christmas Eve to lead their seed round and receiving signatures from them on New Year’s Eve. There was no specific pressure forcing those dates, it just kinda happened that way, but I think we’ll always remember those sheets of paper because of the unique timing.

Our Bond Street story was joyfully helping them convince an experienced banking executive Jerry Weiss to join as first team member, leading credit. “Wow, they just de-risked this company,” we thought to ourselves. Getting to meet Jerry’s son in 2014 during a trip to San Francisco. Seeing that Jerry’s a wonderful culture fit and leader for Bond Street, not just adult supervision.

Our Bond Street story had me and Satya remaining silent while they started growing their business — David and Peyton didn’t want tech press coverage yet. Lending first off their balance sheet and then from a small fund they raised. We got fingerprinted and did a whole bunch of other things the State of California said was important.

Our Bond Street story saw a team grow, saw new challenges appear and new plans to navigate those challenges. Usually involving food.

Our Bond Street story had them entering a competitive process for their Series A and being delighted that Spark, David’s old firm, sought to work with him again, this time as a founder. We also learned a lot about raising money to lend, of which they now have a nine-digit sum to put to work. I think the kids today call that Commas.

Our Bond Street story has the team excited about where they’ve come but, not surprisingly, looking forward to the hard work ahead. And we get to join them, continuing on as an investor in this round as well and with Satya remaining on the Board through the next fundraise.

Startups are stories. Bond Street Chapter One sure has been a blast.

Want more of me? I blog at www.hunterwalk.com & tweet @hunterwalk

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You’ll find me @homebrew , Seed Stage Venture Fund w @satyap . Previously made products at YouTube, Google & SecondLife. Married to @cbarlerin .

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