Squire is a software for barbershops that wasn’t really doing so hot before the pandemic. They had ZERO revenue for the past four years selling barbershops their back-end management tool, but from March through December of this year, they raked in $20 million in ARR.

Thanks stay at home orders. “We just took off like a lightning bolt,” Dave Salvant, Squire’s cofounder said.

On top of it, they just raised $59 million in capital from Iconiq Capital, even though they raised $34 million in their Series B a few months ago. Their valuation has now gone from $85 million (in June) to $250 million as of December.

Apparently the whole barbershop operation thing can get tricky. There’s several parties making transactions at the same time, and often customers will have different services from different barbers in one visit, needing separate transactions. Squire’s setup makes point of sales like this less confusing. The 100 person team is going to take that funding and expand into the UK, Canada and Australia into 2021, and hopefully pay off their $15 million in debt financing they took on in previous months.

Knock Investors Dead With These Answers

We’re all about making the pitching process easier. As you know, investors are tricky, slow and… we’ll leave other choice words up to you. If you’ve spent hours upon hours reviewing winning pitch decks and pitch videos, you don’t have to anymore. Harvard and Columbia actually transcribed a sh*tload of pitch meetings to come up with data-driven findings you can use in your funding journey.

The research team looked for *all the things*, like patterns in conversations, keywords in language, and how that relates to who got funded (and who didn’t).

What’d they find? It looks like investors are 50/50 ask two questions. They either ask about the potential of your ideas (aka a question to promote yourself and your forward-thinking vision) or they ask questions that make you defend your ideas (aka prevention questions).

Here’s the data: prevention questions led to founders raising $3.8 million less in total funding than when founders were asked a promotion question. On top of it, two-thirds of the time women were asked preventative questions, while two-thirds of the time men were asked promotion questions. Hmm… biased, no?

It’s probably not conscious, obviously, but it’s a clear sign investors need to change their strategies. And if you’ve gone through rounds and have not received funding, you’re probably not doing anything wrong… so quit the “beating yourself up” portion of your funding journey.

Bon Appétit to a Booming Business

Molly Baz was a food editor at Bon Appétit, but quit her job in October to take her personal brand to the next level. She has a cookbook coming out in 2021 and a passion for inventing and sharing recipes. There’s gotta be more than a food editor’s salary out there for that, right? Molly already had a decent sized following, so she decided to launch her Recipe Club on Patreon.

Patreon is really making a new name for themselves, huh…

She charges followers a $5 per month subscription that gets them one “exclusive” recipe each week and the option to join her private Discord where people can talk about cooking and connect with one another. In just two months she’s reached over several thousand subscribers.

Her strategy was definitely a way to set herself apart from the rest of foodie creators who typically show up on YouTube or Instagram with their heavily edited video tutorials. Those entrepreneurs usually rely on revenue from ads for their business.

You don’t have to be a famous chef or food editor with a large following to gain success on Patreon, so don’t get discouraged. Especially if your brand is visual, Patreon makes sense because you can publish all types of media and even send out a newsletter to subscribers. It’s a good starting point before building out a professional website for all your products and merchandise. Plus, there’s tons of polling and commenting options so you can always do target research as you grow.

But, word of caution from the wise, “I just also know that I need to be mindful of my work-life balance,” says Molly.

Are you thinking of starting a subscription service or dipping your toes in the water with a platform like Patreon? Hit reply and give us the details!

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