Why did not we want an investor or any subsidy?

by: Michal Szymanski

MDB was built without any external funding. To be exact without:

  • Investors
  • Government / UE subsidies
  • Loans
  • Money from family / friends

Our only capital was our own savings for which we bought time.

By "buying time" I mean possibility of resigning from regular work and from others projects that brought us income, and possibility of focusing on company's development without the need to pay ourselves salary.

For the first 12 months there was only two of us working on our project. Initially it was after hours work but some months later transformed into a full-time job, totally devoted to MDB.

We hired our first employee after one year.

Why did not we apply for any subsidies? Would it have been easier then? Would we have achieved more If we have had extra funds?

The following points should shed light on these questions.

  • Searching for investors / co-funding is a time-consuming task. We preferred to devote this time to work on the project.
  • We wanted to have a full control over our company, without making any compromises with investors or officials. MDB was supposed to realize our vision, not vision of strange gentlemen in expensive suits.
  • Money has never been our main motivation, therefore we have never been convinced by the argument that it is better to have 10% in a one billion dollar business than 50% in a one million. Disposal of shares at that stage was out of the question.
  • We wanted to do most thing ourselves to understand deeply all processes, from technology to marketing, sales and accounting.
  • The situation was dynamic. The goals of the project or product functionality were able to change day-to-day, depending on the clients' need. Adding the employees to this chaos, in our opinion, would only make the situation worse
  • The company soon began to generate large profits, many times exceeded costs. Frankly speaking, we did not know how to invest our own money. So what for would we need someone else' capital?

Did we make a right decision?

  • The company bring almost PLN 200 000 net profit per month with turnover of PLN 300 000
  • Me and my partner have a 50 % stake in the company each
  • We have no loans nor obligations to investor and officials
  • Thanks to the generated profit we bought a new office in great location in Warsaw

At the moment I am writing these word (25 IV 2018) we have our new office arranged.

Small update - it's ready!

Did we achieve more with an investor?

I do not know. Nevertheless, I do not regret made decisions and I'm satisfied with present situation.

Are we considering investors / subsidies in the future?

In the future - it is likely. However, if someday we come to the negotiation table, we will negotiate from totally different position than we would have started it at the beginning of out path.

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Michal Szymanski

Co-founder of MDBootstrap and BrandFlow. Entrepreneur, web developer, UI / UX designer, marketer. Dancer and nerd at the same time.

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