I was fundraising for almost three months before we closed our round. Pitching to investors was so different to speaking with customers and it wasn't until halfway through the process that I got the hang of it.
Pitching to investors requires resilience. I was surprised with the number of no's that we came up against - I realise now that this is quite normal!
We announced the round a few months later!
After months of prep and countless mock interviews, we interview with YC for a second time and get accepted. We were shocked!
We kept in touch with one of the partners between applications and updated him on our progress. I'm really glad we did this as it showed how serious we were about making measurable progress towards our launch!
After being rejected by YC, we doubled down on getting our MVP done and finding more users. We learned about Startup School through the YC blog and applied thinking it could increase our chances of getting into YC.
We were lucky to have two amazing YC alumni as mentors; Marta and Michael. They helped us focus on moving one metric each week. Early on, it's very easy to get distracted with everything that comes with running a startup as two people, so the structure that Startup School provided was extremely helpful.
I would recommend this to all founders!
We became one of the first startups in the world to be authorised as an Account Information Service Provider ("AISP"). Pulling bank data is a regulated activity in Europe so we couldn't acquire users until this point.
Simon and I completed the form without any legal assistance. Looking back at this decision, it made a huge difference in how we understood our regulatory responsibilities. In fintech, this is really important!
rebank started as a consumer payments idea before switching focus to business banking. After quitting my job in mid-2017, I met Simon and we got started thinking about how to build rebank together.
January 2018 was also when a new European Directive, PSD2, went live. This is what we needed before we were ready to start building.
Whilst I was still working and studying full-time, rebank was accepted into the FCA Sandbox - cohort 3. This regulatory sandbox helps innovative new companies test out their product in a safe way with real customers. It helped us gain credibility with early customers and I've written about this in our blog since then.
A huge first win that helped me make the decision to quit my job!
At my last company, we struggled to complete simple tasks with our banks.
Banks can't support startups and building a faster bank won't solve this either. That's why we're consolidating the startup finance stack.