When it comes to raising capital for a business, Mykolas Rambus, a serial entrepreneur, says finding a partner with a great reputation is key. Making sure your pitch deck is pristine will go a long way, also.
Rambus has sold two previous companies, including Wealth-X, where he served as CEO until its sale in 2016 for more than $20 million. He recently raised early-stage capital for his latest project, Hush, a provider of a digital privacy platform intended to help families and businesses protect their digital identities.
Hush was launched after a conversation between Rambus and Jake Cohen at Detroit Venture Partners.
“Jake and I met several years earlier, when I was considering my next move after selling Wealth-X,” Rambus says. “While we didn’t collaborate then, we stayed in touch, and when I was ready to start something new this time around after a post at Equifax, I made the call.”
Detroit Venture Capital was integral in helping determine if there was an opportunity in the market for what Hush was building and has since launched.
“DVP has been a great partner for us from the very early days, including my time there as an entrepreneur in residence,” Rambus says. “They really helped figure out this idea to build a team around it and ultimately launched the business."
Detroit Venture Capital also got first access to the deal as a result. Since then, other investors have been brought to the table and the company is raising its next round.
As well as that part of the process went, Rambus says better pitch materials would have made for a smoother raise.
“We learned that a pitch deck in 2021 needs to be head and shoulders above what we’ve done prior,” Rambus says. “The expectations from investors for high-quality design have skyrocketed in the last several years. Looks matter.”
Looking back, Rambus says he’d hire a highly experienced third party to build the pitch materials.
“To take our story, push and pull on its essence, and then display it beautifully is as much art as it is science," he says. "Finding such a resource would have allowed us to spend more time on early sales traction.”
In addition, he would build a “mini-board” of “friendlies” who will not pull punches when it comes to their opinions.
“People who will be brutal in their pitch deck and presentation feedback — privately — who without a doubt give advice with your very best interests in mind,” Rambus says.