What CEO Joshua Oates Learned During His Most Recent Fundraising Round

For startups of all sizes, fundraising is a key tool for growth. But from founder to founder, the fundraising journey is unique and requires a lot of patience and perseverance. To take a deeper dive into what the fundraising process looks like, WeWork Labs sat down with Joshua Oates, CEO and founder of Tooth, an eco-friendly toothbrush based out of the UK.  

WW: Tell us about your recent funding round. How much did you raise?

JO: £45,000

WW: How long did it take you to raise your round?

JO: 45 days.

WW: How did you identify the investors you wanted to pursue for this round?

JO: The Kickstarter platform allowed us to approach a large demographic of existing backers. Then using some targeted ads to our custom audiences we acquired the rest.

WW: What steps did you take to prepare your company for funding?

JO: Evaluate the market, product pricing, video creation, hiring interns and a well thought out pitch page on Kickstarter.

WW: What surprised you most about the fundraising process or what did you feel least prepared for?

JO: It's pretty straightforward to be honest, on Kickstarter or not. If you have done your homework and prepared yourself, you can raise money. There's a lot of work to get there but I believe anyone passionate enough can do it.

WW: What’s one thing you feel you did really well during the fundraising process?

JO: Customer service. Its imperative through a Kickstarter fundraising round that you have someone there to help with all the questions you have from customers and potential customers. There are a lot so be prepared.

WW: Looking back, what do you wish you’d done differently or better?

JO: Going with a gut feeling is not the most scientific thing but it would have saved us a huge amount of time and money on this round. We should have gone with our original agency to run our ads across the waters.

WW: What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to Labs members about fundraising based on your experience?

JO: Do your homework, practice with friends, family, labs members and make sure they are brutally honest and help refine your dream on paper. They are there to be critical, don't be offended just listen. If you do this you are in for a good chance of success.

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