Fundraising project

Capbase helps startups with all the cumbersome and expensive processes of running a business. The project that I am presenting covers a critical event in the lifetime of a company – Raising Money.

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Disclaimer: To comply with my non-disclosure agreement, I have omitted and obfuscated confidential information in this case study. All information in this case study is my own and does not necessarily reflect the views of Capbase.

-01 INTRO

My Role

I led the design process of this project from the initial kick-off to the final delivery for the desktop, including the responsive experience. For this project, I worked with colleagues from different departments such as engineers, product managers, people responsible for customer support, and the main stakeholders.

The design process included a constant feedback loop not only from other departments but most importantly, from our users.

During the time of working on this project as a contributor, I have also been supporting the design team from a partial leadership position, being responsible for team objectives, planning, and prioritization. The constant combination of two different mindsets challenged me and gladly showed me new perspectives.

-02 PRODUCT THINKING

Raising funds as a start-up

Raising capital is a CEO’s most important and time-consuming job. From education on the matter to finding the right investors, it is a stressful and expensive process to go through.

-03 PRODUCT THINKING

We listen to our customers

Over time, we received a lot of feedback and requests from our users regarding the existing implementation of the Fundraising feature. So, I decided to get to the root cause of all of these issues, and here is how I started:

-04 PROBLEM STATEMENT

Problems identified

Based on this research, here are some problems that have been identified:

-05 PRODUCT THINKING

Opportunities

-06 PROCESS

Design process

The process for this project was the following:

-07 SOLUTION

First iteration of the design

The design and how did we cover the problems identified:

-08 PRODUCT THINKING

Waiting for signatures state

An interesting problem that I had to solve is the following: the founder of the company starts a fundraising round and creates offers for the investors. At this point, the offers will not be sent out to the investors until the rest of the board signed the documents that approve the fundraising opening. How do you present this state so that the status is clear?

Well. Here is my solution: give some details about the action that is taking place, who completed the action, who are you waiting for, and what happened to the offers that you already created.

-09 VALIDATING WITH USERS

Testing the designs

The next step, after the prototypes have been created, is to test them with our users.

The goal of the research was to investigate how founders would use this feature, if the logic change will offer them an easier and clearer fundraising process, and to get the overall feedback.

The participants were founders who were actively using the product. We considered that we want to use this opportunity to discuss with our clients and to get their overall feeling of the product, as well as test a new feature that will be added. For the session, we spoke with 6 participants, 50% of which already gone through fundraising with their company, and the rest 50% were users that just founded their company and did not participate in fundraising.

It was a semi-structured interview that was divided into 3 parts:

-10 VALIDATING WITH USERS

Results of the testing

The testing phase is followed by the analysis of all the data gathered. Foremost, what is the completion rate of the performed tasks? From this perspective, that was a success as we got a 100% completion rate, and our users did not have any issues completing the tasks.

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I always record the sessions with the approval of the participant. Then I use Dovetail to transcribe them and process the information.

Using the transcribes of the conversation, I started tagging the relevant information so that I have all the similar themes grouped. Having the general themes with the quotes from the participants, I was able to come up with some insights that we will start working on.

Here are some of the findings:

-11 PRODUCT THINKING

Letting go is difficult

One of the observations that we made before the redesign from the way users were utilizing the tool was that even though we had functionality to keep track of the conversations with the investors in the portal, only a few people were using that functionality. After discussions with the rest of the team, we decided to keep this feature in the new design, but test it out. During the test, we found out why people are not using it: in their mental model, they come to our product when the terms are determined, and they use the tool only to generate the contracts, receive the payments, and get their cap table updated.

β€œI get that you can do this better, but you know, I've got everything in a Google sheet, I've got all their names and I've got notes. I'm sharing that with my co-founders and you might be able to replace the Google sheet and make a better experience, but I'm willing to bet that I already had that way before this.” (Participant 6)

β€œInvestor management, prospecting, things like that, I've just done it like in-house, on my own Excel sheet. I like the flexibility that I have to just like move people. I like it, it's just like a spreadsheet that I have complete control over and no restrictions on how I organize it. I could just like build it for the way my mind works.” (Participant 2)

Considering these findings, we decided to remove this functionality and just simplify the process, to make it as easy to use as possible.

-12 SOLUTION

Final designs

Considering all the findings from the usability study, we got back to work. We discussed what are the items that we want to act on, created the new designs, the documentation for the developers, and the list of events that need to tracked by analytics. Subsequently, the development team and I had a kick-off call where all the additional questions have been answered. Now, let’s get it implemented and ship it to the world!