In this Founder Stories video, Paul Paget, CEO of Black Kite, shares his company’s connection with Volition Capital. Paget appreciates Volition’s thoroughness before investment, including talking to Black Kite’s customers independently and demonstrating discipline in their due diligence.
Paget applauds Volition’s assistance in recruitment, an area where he acknowledges they’ve been exceptionally helpful. He also stresses the importance of building relationships with investment firms, considering the firm’s name and the individuals involved.
Factors like work ethic, track record, and the ability to collaborate with a company’s management team and board are crucial.
Finally, Paget looks forward to Volition’s continued support as Black Kite progresses into later stages, specifically citing the value of their extensive network and experience with portfolio companies in making critical decisions.
Hi, I’m Paul Paget, CEO of Black Kite. The way I connected with Volition Capital was through outreach done by Jake Wasserman, and when he told me where he was located and I realized you were just across the street. I said, Well, why don’t we meet and get together there? And Chris Bush, who runs our customer success, and I commute in together. And I didn’t really have much of an expectation. And so I came into the room. Jake was there, of course, a terrific guy, and he introduced me to Tommy Hahn. Tommy is so enthusiastic. And then, all of a sudden, Sean comes into the room. He has that sort of that swagger of the, you know, the partner-level guy. And I’m like, Oh, I wonder how this is going to go. And so we started to tell the story and we’re having fun. Of course, we’re tired at the end of the day and we’re not trying to put on a show at all. We’re having a good time talking about life, but we’re also talking about the challenge that we have. And I could tell Sean was starting to get interested in it, and we felt a real connection to Sean, Tommy, and Jake. Some of the things that we’ve talked about, the obstacles you face, you need people that are going to be with you on that. And I just felt that we could we could build the trusted relationship that mattered.
The other thing that led to choosing Volition was the fact that the team really did their homework. I mean, they talked to our customers, but they talked to customers on their own. They worked extra hard on that. And that really just showed what kind of a firm they were. They were disciplined. They did their homework. They didn’t just throw numbers at you. And a lot of people in the business will throw numbers at you and dangle numbers that may or may not be real. And they wait till later to do their homework. But these guys did their homework upfront and it was very impressive. So and we liked the fact that they’re right across the street. So it’s been and it’s been a great journey. You know, you’re in the CEO role. You have to adjust to what’s happening. And what was happening was we were actually experiencing some success. And so you get into decisions on how you’re going to build out the team further, right?
We had great players, but we needed more help. And one of the areas that Volition was super helpful in was helping me recruit. Recruiting takes a lot of time and effort and boy, oh boy, if there’s one area that that volition just absolutely hits the ball out of the park on, it’s helping you recruit top talented people. First of all, you have to build a relationship. Don’t. Don’t just look at the the name of the firm. Look at the people. It really matters. The people really matter. What what you want to do is look at them from a number of dimensions. First of all, how hard do they work, right? What is their track record? But also, how are they going to work with your management team, get your management team involved, get your board involved, and your other investors? Can everybody play nice in the sandbox? There’s a lot of ego in the investment world and they can basically ruin a company, right? We’ve seen this happen. And so being thoughtful, being constructive, being disciplined, all those things matter.
But working well with your team and your board, you’re all in this together and you don’t need egomaniacs in the room. And I’ll tell you, Volition really has that attitude and it comes through. And it’s not true in the industry across the board. Not at all. I’d say, if anything, it’s more the other way. I’m excited because Volition will help us with the later stages that we’re moving towards, and there are choices we have to make. And they’ve been through that with their portfolio companies. And so getting exposed to the other CEOs and the decisions that they’ve made is really, really valuable, and the network they have is unbelievable. Every VC will tell you, every investment firm, that they have a great network, and they do. They have relationships, but the volition relationships are really solid and really helpful.