6.7 C
London
Sunday, February 5, 2023

‘I pitched 100 investors in a week where I could barely stand due to Covid’

Must read

Arctic blast responsible for the death of a baby in Massachusetts as dangerously cold temperatures envelop the Northeast

Arctic temperatures and gusty winds are responsible for at least one death, as Friday's high winds were blamed for the death of a baby...

Elon Musk Says Twitter Will ‘Today’ Share Ad Revenue With Creators • londonbusinessblog.com

Twitter's new owner is taking steps to build in more creator revenue streams — or at least he's tweeting about it. Elon Musk announced Friday...

VC Kerty Levy Discusses the Northeast Seed Market • londonbusinessblog.com

Information is power, especially if you're just starting your startup journey. Whether you're in the ideation stage or building on the plan for...

“Harlem” Season 2 will be released soon on Amazon Prime Video

CinemaBlend reports this, Harlem Season 2 will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 12:01 AM ET. The series...
Shreya Christinahttps://londonbusinessblog.com
Shreya has been with londonbusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider londonbusinessblog.com team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.
P

eony Li , 28, is the former head of investments at accelerator Founders Factory and founder ofJude, an incontinent healthcare company which sells supplements and pads and runs an online community for pelvic-related issues. Li recently closed a £2 million seed round after pitching to 100 investors in a week she was suffering from Covid. Here she recalls the experience.

“I could barely sleep due to thinking about the potential to tackle this health issue that’s seen as ‘taboo’ — incontinence — yet is a problem experienced by 14 million people in this country. So I decided to set up Jude to champion education and offer a range of solutions and options so that people can find the right one that works for them.

“Research was the first step: I met and spoke to people who had been suffering with bladder issues silently over a long period of time (on average, people put up with these issues for 10-20 years). A common thread that I saw in all of them was their optimism and ability to take something challenging and difficult and approach it with a positive attitude. That’s what helped me to stay optimistic and push through with Jude.

“After months of work, I finally got a pitch together and lined up weeks of investment pitches in early January 2021.

“Then I caught Covid. I hadn’t had the vaccine yet — it was well before the roll out for my age — and whilst I delayed a few less important investor meetings, I didn’t want to cancel my big ones because I just wasn’t sure if I would get a second chance.

“I wasn’t feeling at all well, though: I had extreme fatigue, I couldn’t stand up for more than two minutes, plus I had a fever, heavy cough and flu symptoms. Knowing it was Covid added a layer of fear, too. It was scary because I wasn’t quite sure how bad it could get and I was living on my own. I’d lied to my parents, telling them I was ill but it wasn’t Covid because I was worried they would fly over to see me from Hong Kong otherwise!

“Overall, I was excited about what Jude could offer to the world and the prospect of ‘announcing’ Jude for the first time trumped how my body felt. So I went through about 50 pitch meetings online that week. I pushed myself quite hard, because I felt so fortunate to have that many opportunities to pitch my idea. It’s not every day that a young Asian woman talks about something like bladder care and incontinence so openly. I watched investors’ eyes go wide when I spoke at length about bladders and how they work.

“It was hard work — and so many meetings. On average, it takes five to six meetings per investor to close out an investment. And I was very lucky to have 30 investors believing in the issue we are tackling at Jude, so that alone meant 180 meetings.

“Then I had around 70 investors rejecting me in the first and second meetings. I learnt a lot more from rejection than acceptance: I recorded my pitches and listened back to see what areas I can be more concise and confident in. It was a real journey of putting myself out there, experimenting with different presentation styles and cheering myself on.

“The hard work paid off: that January I’d given myself a goal of securing £500,000 of funding. I didn’t know whether people would really be interested in bladders. But by the end of the month, I’d had £1 million committed, and then it was oversubscribed and Jude ended up bringing in £2 million from backers including Samos, which was also early investors in Ocado, Bloom & Wild, and Charlotte Tilbury, as well as individuals working in healthcare. It was the biggest pre-seed round for a solo female founder in the UK: only 2.3% VC funding currently goes to women founders, but one in three entrepreneurs in the UK is a woman. Something doesn’t quite add up here.

“Funding diverse groups of entrepreneurs and encouraging diversity in healthcare innovation is so important. I believe we are at the start of this revolution and I am so excited to be part of this movement. And of course, I don’t just want to be seen as a female founder, I want to be seen as a good one, a responsible one and an effective one, regardless of my gender.”

More articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest article

Arctic blast responsible for the death of a baby in Massachusetts as dangerously cold temperatures envelop the Northeast

Arctic temperatures and gusty winds are responsible for at least one death, as Friday's high winds were blamed for the death of a baby...

Elon Musk Says Twitter Will ‘Today’ Share Ad Revenue With Creators • londonbusinessblog.com

Twitter's new owner is taking steps to build in more creator revenue streams — or at least he's tweeting about it. Elon Musk announced Friday...

VC Kerty Levy Discusses the Northeast Seed Market • londonbusinessblog.com

Information is power, especially if you're just starting your startup journey. Whether you're in the ideation stage or building on the plan for...

“Harlem” Season 2 will be released soon on Amazon Prime Video

CinemaBlend reports this, Harlem Season 2 will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 12:01 AM ET. The series...

Samsung’s Galaxy Chromebook 2 retails for $499 at Amazon and Best Buy

The midrange Chromebook 2 certainly isn't the most powerful Chromebook you can get - blame the 10th Gen Intel Core i3-10110U processor - but...