Lemlist, the French start-up that says no to 30 million euros

The co-founders are offering themselves a superb publicity stunt by raising funds.

The ploy is bold, but it works. Guillaume Moubeche, CEO and co-founder of Lemlist, has embarked on a fundraising campaign, just to be able to say “no” to investors and demonstrate that this type of operation does not always make sense. The 29-year-old entrepreneur has skillfully staged himself in a series of videos on YouTube.

He explains the financing process for, a few videos later, finally refusing the 30 million euros offered to him. The transaction would however have valued his company 100 million euros. A nice amount for a platform for sending ultra-personalized prospecting emails, which claims more than 10,000 customers in 100 countries without having raised funds.

« My purpose is to show that there is another way than fundraising. We are in a mad rush », Explains to Figaro Guillaume Moubeche. He said to himself “ anxious to keep his freedom and keep control of his business “. Guillaume Moubeche also denounces the fact ” that only one in ten start-ups will be successful “. Which is the very principle of venture capital! Financial support for unlikely projects is even one of the keys to the success of the American ecosystem. Without failures, there never would have been Amazon.

Guaranteed visibility

This refusal gave Lemlist what it lacked: visibility and therefore, better notoriety. Indeed, the media – including Le Figaro – tend to put more emphasis on start-ups that raise funds, than those that grow quietly by self-financing. Guillaume Moubeche managed to draw attention to his company, as well as if he had raised funds. He also takes the risk of permanently renouncing recourse to investors. After his statements, investment funds should be much less inclined to finance his start-up.

Guillaume Moubeche also highlighted a reality: the relations between entrepreneurs and their financiers are not always ideal. Some business leaders are sometimes forced to sell their company under pressure from funds, when they want to leave. This has, for example, been l.