How to break into Silicon Valley as an outsider – ClearTips

Dom Holland, Co-Founder And CEO of e-commerce startup Fast, living a founder’s dream.

His big idea came from a small moment in his real life. Holland noticed that his wife’s grandmother tried to get groceries, but she forgot her password and could not complete the transaction.

Holland said, “I remember thinking that it was unsuspecting.” “The belief that some arbitrary chord of the text was a blocker to commerce.”

So they created a prototype of a passwordless authentication system where users would fill in their information once and would never need to do so again. Within 24 hours, it was used by thousands.

Nothing beats building a human network. This is the way that you are going to get it in terms of fundraising.

The buyers were not the only ones on board with the idea. In less than two years, Holland has raised $ 124 million in three rounds of fundraising, bringing in partners such as Index Ventures and Stripe.

Although the success of Fast’s one-click checkout product has been quick, it has not been smooth.

For one thing, Holland is Australian, meaning he began as a Silicon Valley outsider. When he arrived in the US in the summer of 2019, his phone had exactly one Bay Area contact. He built his network from the ground up, a strategic process he attributes to one thing: hard work.

In an episode of the podcast “How I Raise It”, Holland talks about how he built his network, why it’s important – not only for fundraising but for building the whole business – and from mistakes. He looks to the new founders to escape.

Reach with relevance

Holland’s primary strategy in construction networks seems like an obvious one – access to relevant people.

“When I first moved to the states, I wanted to network,” Holland said, “but I didn’t really know anyone here in the Bay Area. So I started working with relevant people – people working in payments, in technology. Spent a lot of time creating truly relevant people in the space for working people, people working in identity authentication – people working at Big Tech who were building networks on a large scale. ”

Was one of the people associated with holland Allison Barr Allen, Then head of global product operations at Uber. Barr Allen managed his own messenger investment fund, but Holland was not really looking for money when he reached out to him. He was more interested in his approach as a comprehensive financial services operations leader.

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