In 2017, Ironclad Founder and CEO Jason Boehmig wanted to raise a series A. As a former lawyer, Boehmig had a specific fundraising process and an ultimate goal of finding the right investor for his company.
Part of Bohmig’s process was to ask people in the San Francisco Bay Area about their favorite place to work. Many praised RelateIQ, a company founded by Steve Laughlin, who sold it to Salesforce for $ 390 million and was brand new to the enterprise at the time.
“I wanted to meet Steve and was like two and two together,” Boehmig said. “I was like, ‘It means to add this founder anyway, just to pick his brain, how to build a great company, and he also became just an investor.”
On this week’s Extra Crunch Live, the pair discussed how Ironclad’s pitch encouraged Laughlin to score a goal. (So excited, in fact, that he signed the paperwork at the hospital on the same day his child was born.) He also discussed how they worked through disagreements and the challenges of pricing and packaging enterprise products. How to manage trust.
With every episode of Extra Crunch Live, he also reacted to the pitch deck presented by the audience. (If you’d like to see your deck in future episodes, send us using this form.)
We record additional crunch live every Wednesday at 12 noon PST / 3 pm EST / 8 pm GMT. You can watch our previous episodes here and check out the March slate right here.
- Pitch – 2:30
- How they work – 23:00
- Pricing problem – 29:00
- Pitch Deck Tearing – 35:00
When Boehmig arrives to pitch Axel, Laughlin feels ambiguity. He had heard about the company and knew that a former lawyer was coming to pitch a legal tech company. He also relied on the context that introduced him to Boehmig, and thought, “I’ll take the meeting.”
Then, Boehmig dove into the pitch. The company had about a dozen customers who were enthusiastic about the product, and some who were expanding product usage across the organization, but it wasn’t until Ironclad’s final vision was teased, Laughlin finishes it.
Laughlin felt that the contract could be seen as a core commodity that could be used to collaborate horizontally across the enterprise.
“When the lightbulb went off and I realized that it’s really huge,” Laughlin said. “It is not a legal technology company. This is major horizontal enterprise collaboration in one of the areas that is yet to be resolved, where there is no great software yet for legal departments to collaborate with their counterparts. “
He listed all the software that his counterparts had given him to support: Salesforce, Marketo, Zendsk. Any investor would be excited to hear that a potential portfolio company can match the likes of those behemoths. Laughlin was hooked.
“There was a slide that I’m guessing didn’t think much of Jason, because it was the data around the business, but I was really excited about it,” Laughlin said. “It has been said, Ironclad has been added for every legal user, they added nine other users from the sales, marketing, customer service, etc. departments. This was evidence that this principle of cooperation can be largely true . “