Editor’s note: This profile is part of Something Ventured, an ongoing series by Crunchbase News examining diversity and access to capital in the venture-backed startup ecosystem. As part of this project, we’re following seven seed-stage entrepreneurs over the course of several months as they build their businesses. Read all of our profiles of Kim Stiefel and Sarah Wissel and Los Angeles-based Repeat, here, here and here. Access the full project here.
Los Angeles-based Repeat has hit a major startup milestone since Crunchbase News last profiled them in July: the raise of its Series A funding.
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Repeat had intended to raise a “seed plus” round, CEO Kim Stiefel said during a recent interview, but ended up raising $6 million—more than they intended to raise.
“Our plan was to raise $2 million to $3 million, and when we started the process of raising, it became clear, based on feedback from investors we were speaking to, that we had some early signals of product market fit,” Stiefel said.
The company’s SaaS platform helps consumer packaged goods brands turn one-time buyers into repeat customers. Its technology analyzes individual and household behavior to remind customers when it’s time to replenish a product, like toothpaste or toilet paper. Backed by investors including Harlem Capital and Act One Ventures, the company is led by Stiefel and co-founder Sarah Wissel.
The first handful of meetings the pair took to raise more money were with investors they didn’t think Repeat was necessarily a fit for, given that it was a seed-stage company, Stiefel said. But the partners believed it was a good opportunity to practice their pitch and begin to proactively form relationships with investors.
One of the first calls they took was from Battery Ventures, which ended up leading the $6 million Series A. As part of that raise, Battery General Partner Neeraj Agrawal joined Repeat’s board of directors.
One thing that helped during the fundraising process was going into it with the mindset of raising money as a founder, rather than as a female founder specifically, Stiefel said. Dropping the pronoun helped her focus on the business and the progress it had made, instead of getting caught up with the idea that female founders tend to raise less money than founders who are men, she added.
“I was almost believing the narrative before it even happened to me,” Stiefel said. “So it was a small shift in perspective: I’m not a female CEO raising a round of funding, I am a CEO raising a round of funding.”
Repeat is using the new capital to hire engineers and product managers, and to invest in sales, marketing, and customer success. The company has grown to 15 employees (there were 11 when we last profiled it) in locations including New Hampshire, Tennessee, Berlin and Canada. And prior to the COVID-19 Delta variant taking off, Wissel and Stiefel flew the cross-country members of their team out to meet up in Los Angeles, where Repeat is based.
Hiring as a founder has been interesting, Wissel said, because “you keep hiring people to replace parts of your job, essentially.”
The product and engineering teams, which Wissel oversees, grows by about one new member each month. More people means more possibilities for communication breakdowns, which means processes have to be instilled across the board.
Hiring is hard because it should be–the people make a company successful, Wissel said. But Repeat has found success with hiring so far, Stiefel added.
“I think we really value hiring the right people for the job and giving them agency and getting out of their way,” Stiefel said. “And making it really clear that this is a team of people that trust each other. This is a team of people that work really hard to give people room to do what they’re really good at. And I think that comes through in our hiring process.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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