No VC Needed: Business Platform Empiraa Secures Half a Million Dollars in Seed Round

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Empiraa, a business planning platform, has raised $518,000 on a $7.5 million valuation without relying on venture capital for the second time.

In 2021, a startup called Empiraa was established in Melbourne. It raised $637,000 in December of the same year, following an initial pre-seed round of $110,000.

Ash Brown, the founder, stated that the business had to make a half-time pivot due to the changing market conditions. Additionally, they decided to take a more careful approach to raising capital because they received low valuations from VC firms. Instead, the company sought high-net-worth angel investors who better understood the business and its goals.

“The recent seed round posed a significant challenge, as the market underwent significant changes, resulting in difficulty in reaching agreements with VCs. Consequently, we directed our attention towards individuals who were empathetic towards the issue and desired to invest in the solution,” he said.

After experiencing failed business plan executions while working as a senior manager in three companies, Brown devised the idea for Empiraa. This platform helps teams to effectively manage their strategy by setting key business pillars and creating actionable objectives for all involved team members. 

“It is very encouraging to see significant growth in sign-ups, usage rates and overall adoption, especially within the last three months,” Ash Brown said.

Brown believes his platform has great potential, considering that 98% of Australia’s 2.4 million businesses are small or medium-sized.

He thinks that more people are starting to share that perspective, but some avoid acknowledging it because they’re scared of how much influence VCs have on potential investments.

“Certain venture capitalists may overlook excellent businesses and startups that don’t conform to a particular model or spreadsheet.”

Empiraa is a success story that shows that with the right tools and strategies, alternative sources of capital can be used to take businesses to the next level. It demonstrates that when it comes to business planning, sometimes thinking outside of the box can open up more opportunities for success.

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