Earlier today I spoke with Nate Stevens, CEO of Natpal of some big news for this Philly-born Tech Startup. Natpal helps drive leads and traffic to local businesses like restaurants, spas and opticians using their "track and enhance" online marketing methodology.
I met Nate a couple of years back while acting as his advisor through the Wharton SBDC. At that point, Nate had a dream and not much else. He was assembling a team from the UPenn student body. I remember talking to Nate about the best way to test out his idea ... get it out there and see what people say. He listened and quickly signed up his first five clients. When the clients suddenly started getting real traffic through Natpal's offering, they were more than willing to give testimonials on their results.
I was thrilled to learn about Natpal's raising $5 million in a combined equity/debt deal with Bessemer Venture Partners. I asked Nate what the keys were to getting Natpal ready to raise money and VCs ready to invest. He rattled off three things right away.
- They got good at the roadshow. Communicating their vision effectively was an iterative process that yielded results once it was tuned
- They reached critical mass. Once Natpal crossed the $1mm annual revenue mark with a lot of forward momentum, investors became interested
- They spent time making sure they had good answers to the hard questions. For Natpal that meant they had good answers to questions about margin, building their sales team and scaling the business
If you are interested in movers and shakers, keep an eye on Nate Stevens and Natpal. If you are interested in driving traffic to your favorite local business, have them give Natpal a call.