Collabspot

Collabspot, a sales email platform which integrates customer relationship management (CRM) with Gmail, has announced that it had secured a SG$80,000 seed funding.

Founded by Jeremi Joslin and a team of developers from the Philippines in 2012, Collabspot is a sales email platform that integrates CRM with Gmail. With Collabspot, users are able to enjoy simplified data entry, with the ability to save emails to their existing CRM, instantly view contact info, upcoming and recent activities in the Google mail, as well as managing sales leads and cases without launching the CRM.

The funding will be used to scale up its marketing activities, with an aim to increase its current paying month active user base. The company has doubled its paying monthly active user base to 1,000 in the four months since June, when it completed the JFDI accelerator program.

Collabspot joined the JFDI.Asia accelerator program in February 2013, receiving its first investment from JFDI.Asia along with intensive mentoring through the 100-day program. It was the first from the 2013A JFDI.Asia batch of start-ups to confirm follow-on funding.

Collabspot CEO

Collabspot did not need to raise fund, shows that self funding is possible for B2B businesses

Jérémi Joslin, Founder and CEO of Collabspot, said, “I think, I surprised investors at the JFDI demo day when I said we were growing organically and didn’t need their money… but some wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer! So we ended up putting together a network of really well-connected people whose expertise and connections can help us make the most of all the international interest. Frankly, that’s more valuable to us than cash right now.”

Probing deeper into its funding announcement, Laurent Gasser, Business Development Manager for Collabspot shared with e27 that they are currently not looking for more investment. Laurent mentioned that the company is currently self-funded, and that the team was more or less covering their running costs from June onwards.

Laurent added on that Collabspot’s decision to fundraise is to look for investors partners who can contribute to the business growth by bringing value in the day to day business, as well as an entry ticket to be part of the business future.

e27 also spoke to Hugh Mason, CEO of JFDI on the funding announcement.

“I don’t think there is any plan to raise more cash at this time – they don’t need it. To be honest I would always advise startups to work that way if they can, because the longer you can hang in there the more equity you will hang on to for an exit. First time entrepreneurs don’t realize that the seed money they raise is the most expensive money they will ever buy!

I sense that there’s a myth out there that says you have to raise external financing to be a proper company. Like you MUST have a real estate agent to resell your HDB because otherwise somehow it’s not a real deal. But the truth is that there are great businesses out there that are total cash cows – 37 Signals comes to mind – I don’t know if they’ve ever taken cash but if you do the math you can see they are milking it every month. I think they only have 18 employees and they have so many customers around the world. Collabspot is a business in that kind of mould and that’s why investors were so keen to get in on it.”

JFDI, one of Asia’s business accelerator program, takes teams of entrepreneurs to investment in 100 days, typically securing SGD500-700k (USD400-560k) funding for more than 60% of participants.

While the seed round into Collabspot might be a smaller quantum as compared to its seniors in the program, John Tan, partner at 8 Capita, is comfortable with the small ticket size.

“When we are not the lead investor, we are very comfortable with smaller tickets. I’ve invested $25k for valuation upwards of US$10M. It’s not just about how much equity you own, as you also need to consider how big the exit can be,” added John.

Read also: JFDI Season 1: 7 Funded, US$3.1M raised, 33 jobs created