Founder Story: Verivend by Rodney Reisdorf

Industry

Fintech

Location

US

Website

Stage

Seed

Today, we're excited to introduce an amazing startup, Verivend, led by Rodney Reisdorf, the CEO and Co-Founder. With a track record of turning early ventures into successful companies, Rodney is now revolutionizing the private investment market.

Verivend is designed to make investment transactions as effortless as using Venmo. Their mission is to provide a straightforward, seamless, and secure experience for General Partners and Limited Partners managing capital.

By eliminating the traditional complexities and security issues associated with raising and deploying capital, Verivend stands out as the Venmo for Private Capital. It's the only platform specifically built to address the inefficiencies and security challenges in the private market.

This story is a glimpse into how Verivend is setting new standards in the investment industry by leveraging technology to make the financial interactions faster, simpler, and safer.

Lets hear from them.

Please Introduce Yourself and Tell Us About Your Startup?

I'm Rodney Reisdorf, the CEO & Co-Founder of Verivend. I've had the fortunate opportunity to be part of several early-stage, high-growth startups throughout my career and helped to build and shape them into successful companies.

The common theme in my experiences was disrupting legacy industries with cutting-edge technology, and that's exactly what we're doing at Verivend.

The way private market investment transactions happen hasn't changed since they started. Verivend's mission is to bring a simple, seamless, and secure "Venmo-like" experience to GPs and LPs raising and deploying capital.

Overview of Verivend

Verivend is a dynamic startup led by Rodney Reisdorf, who is on a mission to modernize how private market investment transactions are conducted.

This innovative company is introducing a streamlined, secure, and simple way for general partners (GPs) and limited partners (LPs) to manage their capital raising and deployment activities, akin to the simplicity of using a payment app like Venmo.

Verivend addresses several critical issues in the private markets. Firstly, it significantly reduces the manual, labor-intensive efforts that investment sponsors across various asset classes face when managing capital.

The platform allows GPs to focus more on closing deals and generating returns rather than getting bogged down by administrative tasks.

Secondly, for LPs, Verivend simplifies the process of funding capital commitments and receiving distributions, enhancing the investment experience and potentially leading to increased and continued investments.

Lastly, Verivend significantly enhances security for private market transactions, which are often prone to fraud and cyber threats. By providing a secure platform, Verivend protects sensitive financial information and offers peace of mind for GPs and LPs alike.

With a keen focus on solving real problems with practical technology solutions, Verivend is poised to become a key player in the transformation of financial transactions within the private markets.

What Problem(s) Does Your Startup Solve?

Verivend solves three big problems for the private markets because the status quo of how capital has moved has never been questioned or modernized.

Checks and wire transfers are hundreds of years old and there’s never been a simple, secure, and seamless way for GPs and LPs to transact and interact, which is why we’re doing what we’re doing at Verivend.

1. Streamlining GP Operations

GPs & Investment Sponsors across all asset classes spend countless hours and costly labor raising and deploying capital.

This includes spending days preparing capital commitment and distribution payment notices, weeks of waiting and follow-ups to LPs, and many more days manually reconciling incoming and outgoing transactions.

No one becomes a GP to do a ton of manual, repetitive, and time-intensive tasks. Verivend allows GPs to get back to why they became GPs in the first place – to find and close amazing deals and get their LPs the best returns on their investments.

2. Simplifying LP Investments

LPs & Investors go through an incredibly manual process that’s fraught with friction to fund capital commitments and receive distribution payments.

LPs shouldn’t need to take time out of their days to work with the GPs they’re investing with and if it’s easy for LPs to invest, it’s more than likely that they’ll continue to invest and re-up with GPs. The bottom line is, that happy LPs make a GP’s life easier.

3. Securing Private Market Transactions

There is an absolute mind-blowing lack of security with private market transactions. GPs and LPs should not be ok with exchanging, collecting, and storing each other’s sensitive bank account information.

Case in point, The average amount defrauded from investors per capital call scam is $809,000 and private market transactions continue to be an increasing target for cybercriminals due to the high volume of dollars being exchanged.

How Did Your Startup Gain Its Initial Momentum? Share Successful Strategies or Future Plans.

Verivend gained its momentum by focusing on and aggressively defining our Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).

In the early days, we knew our mission was to solve the pain, friction, and inefficiencies of B2B payment transactions, and while we had the "WHAT" and "HOW" clearly defined, we were missing the critical "WHO" element of the equation.

While we initially targeted B2B verticals that had historical challenges with payments including Logistics, Waste Management, Manufacturing, and Industrials, and also saw organic expansion into Medical and Legal, we still felt that something was missing in our vision and momentum.

That all changed when we experienced our “A-Ha” moment, which we ended up finding with our own use case.

What Were the Biggest Hurdles in Gaining Traction, and How Did You Overcome Them?

Lack of market definition and ICP focus were our biggest hurdles in gaining traction for what Verivend was and who we wanted to be.

As I alluded to, finding our “A-Ha” moment was the critical defining factor that occurred when we were raising our Seed funding round.

When it was time to close the round and take in the funds, it was a no-brainer to use our own platform. By doing this, we had an epiphany that we were always solving the right problems for payments, but just not for the right industry.

We saw the ease of raising capital first-hand with our own platform and many of our investors further validated this need by asking to use Verivend for their own capital raising and distribution payments.

Based on these first-and second-hand experiences and the fact that payments for the private markets were a completely unaddressed problem, we made the strategic decision to narrowly focus on being the “Venmo for Private Capital” and haven’t looked back since.

The experience of using our own platform to solve our own needs put us on the trajectory that Verivend is on today and was instrumental in finding our mission and building our momentum in the market.

From Your Perspective, What’s Missing in the Current Startup Environment?

While there’s a lot of great books, thought leadership, and supporters of the startup environment, I think a missing piece is what it’s like going from 0 – 1, with many founders and companies not fully appreciating what that journey is going to be like.

Self-reflecting on my and Verivend’s journey in that phase, I didn’t fully appreciate it either. It’s easy and fun to talk about the wins and scale-up phases of startups and only focus on the success stories.

But there aren’t many people who talk about the true “startup” stage of going from absolutely nothing to just a small bit of something and how to keep it moving forward.

As a founder, you need to be absolutely sure you and your team are fully prepared for a years-long journey together through all the highs and many, many more lows.

I’ve always thought about it as an analogy to building a fire – in the very early stages, you’re literally rubbing two sticks together to try and make a spark, with that spark being your initial idea.

Then, it’s a never-ending process to make sure that spark never goes out and how to turn that spark into a few burning embers, then into a small crackling fire, and ultimately into a blazing inferno.

As parents, my wife and I always tell our children to surround themselves with people who build up their flame and stay away from the ones who will put it out. That’s the same rule I’ve always tried to follow in building Verivend – surround myself and our company with those who will build up Verivend’s flame.

Can You Share Your Experience With Fundraising? What Was Your Approach?

As much as we’ve automated the transactional processes of raising and deploying capital, fundraising is such a relationship-driven process.

Especially in the early days when raising our first round or two, investors are backing the founder(s) more than the company or product, so it’s critical to forge and build long-term relationships and always keep this in mind.

Whenever someone asks me “Are you raising?” my answer is always “Yes,” and by that I mean even if I’m not actively raising or closing a funding round, I am always building long-term, meaningful relationships with both existing investors and potential future supporters so that when the next time comes to fundraise again, there is already a foundational trust and understanding of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.

What Hurdles Did You Encounter While Fundraising, and How Did You Tackle Them?

I think we experienced similar hurdles as other founders and companies in the early stages of fundraising and looking back, we spent a lot of time with the wrong demographic of potential investors.

Just as crucial as it is for founders to thoroughly define their ICP, it’s equally important to define your “IIP” (Ideal Investor Profile). Not all potential investors are going to be a fit for your company, your stage, or aligned with their own thesis.

The faster a founder can build a list of potential investors based on your IIP, the more efficient your fundraising process will be. It’s no secret that fundraising takes up a ton of time for founders and the less time you can spend on it and get back to building your company, the better.

What’s Next for Your Startup? Any Exciting Developments on the Horizon?

The way that money moves is such an antiquated process, there are so many areas that are ripe for disruption.

We’re only in the first inning of payments innovation for the private markets and there’s much more Verivend is focused on transforming and modernizing.

With nearly $1B in transactions successfully and flawlessly processed, we’ve validated that there is a significant need for solving the problems that Verivend is focused on for both GPs and LPs.

Our mission is to continue revolutionizing financial infrastructure for the private markets with more and more seamless, frictionless, and secure solutions for both GPs and LPs.

We’ve also followed a strategic “land and expand” methodology for supporting our customers since payments are only one part of the overall process of managing an investment vehicle.

Our sights are very firmly set on being the all-in experience for GPs and LPs across all asset classes to make private market investments as easy as transacting with Venmo or buying a product on Amazon.

I’m both excited and concerned by the continual cycles of the “next thing.” A few years ago, web3, crypto, and blockchain were all the rage and of course now it’s all things AI.

Like with any initial breakthrough technology or focus area, there will always be a ton of froth so it’s really an exercise in being judicious on which tech to adopt, back, or support.

We’ve always tried to do this the right way at Verivend by leveraging what we think are the best principals of breakthrough technology and how they can be applied to the specific value we’re delivering to our customers.

There’s no one-size fits all methodology for this, and everyone needs to think about it through their own lens to make sure new shiny things aren’t distracting or diluting the core value prop.

If something is buzz-worthy it probably is, and my advice to other founders is to not run to the buzz-worthy stuff to just be buzz-worthy themselves – take a hard look at what the new shiny things can do for you and your customers and leverage the best aspects of them to evolve your company.

If You Could Go back and Give Yourself One Piece of Advice at the Start of Your Journey, What Would It Be?

Aggressively focus on your value prop from day one. One of the hardest things for a founder to do is to say “no” because you never know which “yes” is going to lead to success.

However, if you say yes to everything, you’ll never be good at anything. Thoroughly define your market, ICP, and the value that your company delivers to your customers. And don’t be afraid to say “no” because defining who you don’t want to be will define who you are.

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