In late Q4 of 2019, our board member Christoph and I were discussing the business and the challenges we would face in the next 12 to 18 months. After hard work, Dan was in a healthy position, growing between 10% and 31% a month while making an impact. However, as the conversation was evolving, it became clear to us that we would not be able to handle the growth we have accomplished if we did not raise capital. In order to facilitate the transition of Dan from a startup looking for product market fit towards becoming a stable scale-up, we agreed that this was the right time for us to partner up with a value-added VC (Venture Capitalist).
This gave us a dilemma: Who do we raise from and do we start a VC roadshow or not? A VC roadshow would be very distracting to the team and would yield a better valuation of the company for us, but was that the best way for us to move forward? Beside this, our experience with investors had taught us that they are your partners for life. We concluded that we should not emphasis too much on the monetary part of raising funds. When you do this, the decision to work with a VC is structured around which VC is willing to provide the best deal terms instead of which VC matches your company’s culture best. We put a lot of effort in building a future proof and healthy company culture, why would we skip this part when raising capital?
Christoph had coincidentally met one of the founders of AEP (Airbridge Equity Partners) the week before we had our call and suggested us to meet with them to explore opportunities. He already sensed that there would be a match between our team and the team of AEP. The added value of being based in Amsterdam is that everything at least feels to be located around the corner. In our case, that literally was the case since we discovered that AEP’s offices are located 5 minutes from our (former) office in Amsterdam and just 3 minutes from our seed investor’s office (Axivate Capital).
After our first meeting with AEP we already felt that there was a great match between Dan and the AEP team, which consists of heavy hitters from the affiliate, e-commerce & marketplace industries.
Three weeks after our first meeting, we had already agreed on the initial deal terms and a term sheet was signed. All in all we are very happy to close this chapter and to work with AEP at this important stage of the company.
The capital raised will be used to accelerate making our vision as described in this blog post a reality.
We are now doubling down on all our activities and expanding our product offering & team significantly in the coming period.
In order to accomplish our ambitious and above all, industry-shaping roadmap, we are looking to expand the Dan family with the best of the best.
Joining Dan is often described by new team members like joining a close-knit, open, and value driven family of ambitious individuals. We’re all working hard to make our shared vision and mission, a reality.
If you are hungry to innovate, driven by excellence, a strong team player, want to do good and treat others with respect & have an entrepreneurial spirit— then Dan.com will be the right place for you to continue your personal development & career. Check out our current openings at our careers page.