Halo Investing is a platform for structured notes or, as the company's Co-Founder and CEO Biju Kulathakal puts it, defined outcome investing.
"It's a financial product that's a $3 trillion market globally, but very few people have heard of," Kulathakal says. "When we got into this market, it was being sold to just the very rich throughout the world — it was mostly sold in private banks and brokerage firms catering to the ultra-high net worth. But our philosophy has always been about getting this to everybody."
The company raised a seed round in 2016 and a Series A in 2017. In 2021, the company raised $100 million Series C. The decision to fundraise was about customer growth, but also about knowledge growth.
"You have an idea, and you have a way to bring the people and the solution set to the market. But to do it faster, and not just bootstrap your company, you need external capital," he says. "Our decision to raise capital is one to accelerate the growth and the adoption curve for our product."
The other reason, more than accelerating that timeline, is to bring on other partners and stakeholders.
"If we don't raise outside capital, the only stakeholders are going to be the people who work in the company," Biju says. "And what we realized is that there are a lot of other smart people outside who don't want to work inside your company but can work alongside you as outside stakeholders — people who know about the markets, people who know about technology, people who know about marketing to customers, and what the product needs are. And the best way to bring them in as stakeholders is to raise capital."
Kulathakal spoke on the Smart Business Dealmakers Podcast about launching Halo, fundraising, and what fundraising offers outside of capital.