Source: San Diego Business Journal
San Diego — Many local founders say startup cash is hard to come by, but Michael Anderson isn’t buying it.
He moved to San Diego from Seattle in 2014 and immediately “got in the trenches to start raising money” as chief operating officer of Doctible Inc., a local software startup.
Doctible develops a SaaS product for health care providers. The company’s platform helps doctors get new patients, better serve existing ones, and automate manual tasks.
“When I moved here, the story I heard was that it was difficult or impossible to raise money in San Diego,” Anderson said. “I found the complete opposite was true.”
The company, led by CEO Ajit Viswanathan, has raised $4.2 million since its 2014 inception. That includes the latest and biggest tranche — a $2.2 million seed round that just closed this month.
This new round was led by a brand new venture capital and private equity firm here in San Diego called ClearVision Capital Partners. Previous investors joined in the round, including local early-stage investor Taner Halicioglu, who’s perhaps best known for being Facebook’s first outside hire. Today, he’s partner of early-stage investor group SEED San Diego while lecturing at UC San Diego.
Viswanathan spoke with the San Diego Business Journal about fundraising in San Diego. Here are some excerpts:
Of that $4.2 million you’ve raised, how much came from local investors?
About 90 percent. We started the company in 2014, and didn’t have any prior contacts here.
Why do you think Doctible was successful at raising this capital?
First, we weren’t going out and raising big chunks of capital. We did it in multiple, smaller tranches. We did a $675K round, a second $675K, then a $500K round and the big one was this $2.2 million round.
When you raise those bigger chunks of capital, you have to have so much more momentum. So smaller tranches definitely helped. We’re using just enough capital to show that we can go to the next level.
The second reason: All the innovation right now in health care is for big hospital systems. But the forgotten piece is the private practices. They’re still serving millions of patients. It’s an untapped market because the innovation is in the health systems where the bigger dollar deals are. But we went for the smaller practices.
How many investors did you approach?
We did not pitch to hundreds of investors. In totality, we probably pitched 60 investors total. In the early days, I would do pitch competitions.