Though Kevin Busque is a co-founder of TaskRabbit. He didn’t get the answer he’d been hoping for when he first introduced his new company to Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures. Even so, he said the result was one of the best things that could happen.
“I’m a little glad he didn’t invest at the time because it really forced me to look carefully at what we were doing and it really allowed us to become a guideline,” said Busque. “This seed round was an absolute slog. I think I spent seven or eight months trying to open a round on a product that didn’t exist.
Ultimately, this idea evolved into a guideline that describes itself as the “Full-Service-Full-Stack-401 (k) Plan” for small businesses. Eventually, Senkut wrote a check – Felicis led Guideline’s $ 15 million Series B round. Today, Guideline has more than 16,000 companies in more than 60 cities with more than $ 3.2 billion in assets under management. The company raised nearly $ 140 million.
This week on Extra Crunch Live, Busque and Senkut discussed the Guideline Series B pitch deck, which Senkut referred to as a “role model,” and how they’ve built trust over time.
The duo also provided open, actionable feedback on pitch decks submitted by members of the Extra Crunch Live audience. (By the way, you can submit your pitch deck using this link here to be featured in a future episode.)
Below are highlights as well as the full video of our conversation.
We record new episodes of Extra Crunch Live every Wednesday at 12 p.m. PST / 3 p.m. EST / 8 p.m. GMT. You can find the schedule for February here.
- How they met: 1:30
- Build Trust: 11:30 am
- In the deck of the Series B of Guideline: 4 p.m.
- Demolition of the pitch deck: 33:00
How they met
Senkut and Busque met almost a decade ago, when Busque was still at TaskRabbit. A few years later, Busque started his own business and collected donations for his original idea. Although he got a no from Senkut, it was not an easy decision.
Looking back, Senkut said he had a lot more freedom to follow his instincts while investing angels.
“As an institutional fund with LPs, we had the pressure to check all the ticks,” Senkut said. “It’s amazing how sometimes you don’t always lead to better decisions when you’re more structured or more analytical.”
When Busque came back on the pivot to raise a Serie B, Senkut called it a no-brainer, especially because of the type of CEO Busque has.
“My take on Kevin as a person is that he was an excellent CEO during the war, but also a product visionary,” said Senkut. “We call them ‘Missionary CEOs’. There are mercenary CEOs out there who can pull every ounce of dollars out of a brick, but we’re much more inclined to CEOs like Kevin who focus on the product first. People who have a really acute idea of what the problem is, and. a very specific vision of how this problem can be solved and ultimately become a long-term scalable and successful company. “
Busque said he was attracted to Senkut because of his beliefs and stated that Senkut doesn’t always have to stick to the book.
“If he wants to write a check because the founder is great or the product is great, he does it,” Busque said. “It’s not necessarily that he has to see any particular metric or growth pattern.”
build up trust
Obviously, years of connections and communication (and not just through guidelines) laid the foundation for building a relationship. Busque said the honesty in their conversations, including Senkut’s initial disapproval, lends itself greatly to the trust they have.