There’s a better way.
At our last company, Nanigans, we worked closely with hundreds of high-growth companies including DTC standouts like Casper, Peloton, Wayfair, Harry’s, Bonobos, Glossier and more. Collectively, these hundreds of companies used our software to spend over $4 billion on paid social advertising to grow their businesses. Most of the money they spent had been raised from venture capital firms. That got us thinking.
Why are these founders using the most expensive, high-risk form of capital – literally selling shares of their company – to fund a low risk, revenue-generating activity?
So we started asking. After talking with dozens of founders and market participants, we found a painful set of problems that form the basis for founding Bainbridge.
Capital options are under-developed and focused on a VC mindset.
Across the board, better capital options are desperately needed. Equity options focus too much on traditional venture capital models. Debt options are under-developed and confusing. Inventory financing and factoring options are over-complicated and burdensome. In short, DTC founders are eagerly seeking better options designed with their unique needs in mind.
Founders need help with capital planning and modeling.
Among founders, knowledge of capital options and the capital marketplace is inconsistent, and most founders’ mental models for raising capital are based on venture capital dynamics. Capital planning too often becomes tactical (“We need a new deck!”) and divorced from long term goals (“We just need money for the next 18 months, because…that’s when we’ll need more money”). Assessing options is hard, and often thrown at an over-worked CFO or VP Finance who may or may not have the modeling skills and methodology to set up the best analyses. Cost of capital is hard to figure out and often purposely obscured by providers who use misleading headline rates and terminology.
Choices today create implications for the future. The VC who funds your business today expects you to deliver 10X+ growth, and expects you to raise the necessary capital to deliver it. You are signing up for dilution today and a path of future dilution to deliver on the promise of massive growth.
The fundraising process consumes far too much time, effort, and energy.
It’s often focused on the wrong partners, causing founders to spend too much time pursuing dead ends. Every partner requires a unique set of diligence documentation, creating overlap and duplication. From day one, the process is designed to benefit the capital providers. After you close a financing, there is usually a brief pause when everyone can go back to work before it has to start up all over again.
The more founders we talked to, the more convinced we became: there’s a better way. We founded Bainbridge to deliver on that conviction.
To help the best DTC companies raise better capital with less effort
On-demand capital for the best DTC companies
We can’t offer solutions for every problem at once, and it will take time to reach our vision. But we can be impactful and successful along the way, and we’re excited to partner with founders, investors, and others in the DTC eComm community to help realize a better way forward.
Today, we’re excited to announce that we’re launching Bainbridge with the following offerings:
📐 Capital Planning. For all founders, we provide advice in the form of better capital markets knowledge, planning and modeling. Starting with a one-on-one call, we’ll help you understand the landscape, what types of options might be available to you, and discuss key considerations for raising capital for DTC companies. From there, we’ll put together a Dealsheet to help you understand how your company looks to capital providers. For qualified companies, our capital planning services are free of charge.
📚 Benchmarks & Research. We are building a dataset of metrics and benchmarks to help founders and investors identify the markers of DTC success. Over time, we believe shared datasets about valuation and creditworthiness will strengthen alignment between founders and investors and promote better outcomes for all. Visit our benchmarks page to view the first data set and join the conversation.
📬 Capital Sourcing. For founders who are ready to raise capital today, we help source the right options from our network of capital partners, prepare a detailed deal package, secure term sheets, and run simulations to evaluate the impact of each option. If you successfully execute a financing we helped put together, we receive a success fee that takes into account the overall impact of the financing on your business.
🙌 New Capital Products. We’re accepting applications to receive funding via three new capital products we designed specifically to meet the needs of growing DTC companies. In order to reduce the cost of capital for our companies, each new cohort will be funded simultaneously once a minimum threshold for demand has been reached. To apply for the next available cohort, set up a call today.
As we progress, we’re committed to reducing the friction in the fundraising process until we can deliver on our vision of on-demand capital for the best DTC companies. We believe that DTC eCommerce will continue to have a massive impact on the way we live and we couldn’t be more excited to help this community thrive for years to come.
We hope you’ll join us on the journey.
Ben Tregoe Co-Founder and CEO, Bainbridge
📘 More Reading
- Introducing BainbridgeIt started with a question that wouldn’t go away: why are founders using the most expensive, high-risk form of capital to fund relatively low-risk activities?
- Capital Planning for DTC CompaniesFew decisions have a bigger impact on outcomes than choosing capital. Still, many DTC founders avoid capital planning altogether or piece it together on their own. Why?
Bainbridge helps direct-to-consumer commerce companies plan, source, and close the right mix of capital to grow their business. We work with founders to model growth, find the right capital to deliver it, and improve operations through access to research, benchmarks, and a community of peers.