“Fundraising is mostly about failing. Success is really the wartime,” says Trisha Kotari, founder and CEO of Unit 21, a risk and compliance infrastructure which helps companies and financial institutions combat fraud. In 2019, she started the...
“Fundraising is mostly about failing. Success is really the wartime,” says Trisha Kotari, founder and CEO of Unit 21, a risk and compliance infrastructure which helps companies and financial institutions combat fraud. In 2019, she started the business from scratch, cold calling potential investors and raising seed. She discusses the way she differentiated herself from a saturated market, and convinced a particularly risk-averse crowd to get on board, all despite having no idea how to do sales.
Throughout the process and to this day, Trisha pays attention to customer reaction. The customer was her source of truth and helped her iterate. It helped her realize that there was a real need for her product and that she could provide an actual solution.
Trisha discusses the challenges of the process that might be surprising, especially those with Type A personalities, the problem with following advice, and what she wishes she had discarded after hearing it.
This is an actual pain. And it's not a vitamin, it's not the small improvement that we thought this would be. (7:31-7:38 | Trisha)
“Every company is slightly different, especially in the financial services space. And the types of users they target are different, the vectors of attack are different. And that was the main thing that we learned from talking to hundreds of people is that no one is looking for exactly the same type of rule to find fraud.” (9:43-10:03 | Trisha)
“These people are naturally risk averse. They will go to jail if your software fails, and so it’s very difficult to get a full set of customers.” (14:48-14:57 | Trisha)
“The only advice that I would have for people is when starting a business is just expect a lot of rejection. And people are going to reject you because what do they have to go off of? And I think especially for a lot of high achievement focus people, it might become really startling to see that, ‘Okay, I'm going to talk to 50 people and 49 as a no.’” (16:29-16:57 | Trisha)
“Fundraising is mostly about failing. And the success is really the wartime.” (17:29-17:34 | Trisha)
“I wish I did not listen to all advice because every piece of advice and some kind of it's really based on someone's past experience. But your company, what you’re building, who you are, the situation, the industry or in the time that you're in even the same company 10 years ago, or 10 years from now, will this advice apply to me now?.” (28:56-29:20 | Trisha)
“It's pretty hard and it's something that is continuous. It's never a one time round thing. You are continuously learning, the market is continuing to evolve and it's a continuous effort.” (42:55-43:08 | Trisha)
Connect with Brendan Dell:
Buy a copy of Brendan’s Book, The 12 Immutable Laws of High-Impact Messaging: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780578210926
Connect with Trisha Kotari:
Check out Trisha Kotari’s recommended book:
Shoe Dog: A Memoir By the Founder of Nike by Phil Knight
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