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How to interrupt into Silicon Valley as an outsider

Domm Holland, co-founder and CEO of e-commerce startup Rapid, appears to be like to be residing a founder’s dream.

His huge conception got here from a diminutive second in his proper lifestyles. Holland watched as his wife’s grandmother tried to portray groceries, however she had forgotten her password and wasn’t ready to full the transaction.

“I finest undergo in tips pondering it became once preposterous,” Holland said. “It defied perception that some arbitrary string of text became once a blocker to commerce.”

So he built a prototype of a passwordless authentication machine the place customers would devour out their data once and would by no plot desire to fabricate so over again. Inner 24 hours, tens of hundreds of of us had vulnerable it.

Nothing beats building human networks. That’s the manner that you just’re going to salvage this done in relation to fundraising.

Purchasers weren’t the supreme ones on board with this conception. In now now not up to two years, Holland has raised $124 million in three rounds of fundraising, bringing on partners love Index Ventures and Stripe.

Even supposing the success of Rapid’s one-click checkout product has been immediate, it hasn’t been easy.

For one thing, Holland is Australian, which plot he started out as a Silicon Valley outsider. When he arrived within the U.S. within the summertime of 2019, he had precisely one Bay Home contact in his cell phone. He built his network from the ground up, a strategic direction of he credit to one thing: laborious work.

On an episode of the “How I Raised It” podcast, Holland talks about how he built his network, why it’s crucial — now now not finest for fundraising however for building the full industrial — and prefer faraway from the mistakes he sees new founders maintain.

Attain out with relevance

Holland’s essential technique in building networks sounds love an glaring one — attain out to relevant of us.

“After I first purchased to the States, I wished to invent networks,” Holland said, “however I didn’t with out a doubt know somebody here within the Bay Home. So I spent loads of time reaching out to relevant of us — of us working in funds, of us working in technology, of us working in identity authentication — finest with out a doubt relevant of us within the gap working in Huge Tech who were building mammoth-scale networks.”

One of the most of us Holland linked with became once Allison Barr Allen, then the head of world product operations at Uber. Barr Allen managed her own angel funding fund, however Holland wasn’t with out a doubt shopping for money when he reached out to her. He became once worthy extra in her standpoint as the leader of a large monetary products and providers operation.

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