We are glad to announce that Colossyan, our portfolio company, focused on synthetic media creation for corporate L&D purposes, successfully closed a $5M Series A investment led by Emerge Education and LAUNCHub Ventures.
On the occasion of the round, Zsolt Weiszbart, DayOne partner - responsible for our early investment in Colossyan’s previous round - interviewed the CEO, Dominik Kovács.
Zsolt: First of all, congrats on the round. You went through a lot of hardship, both personal and professional, during the last 6 months. What have you learned about yourself and leading a company in the process?
Dominik: It was indeed a very challenging time. Maybe the most impactful realisation was just how much responsibility you have as a founder. When you are running a company, each and every one of your decisions will affect your customers, investors and most importantly your team, who are heavily relied upon the company’s success. As a founder, one must abandon the first-person view and put the company at the centre, even if it requires sacrifice.
Zsolt: In early summer, when we initially discussed raising a new round, we both had different expectations. Do you think this round was catalyzed by the Generative AI hype or was it simply the timing of Colossyan performing a significant MoM growth? With regard to this, what advice would you give to a founder at your stage in terms of fundraising in the current environment?
Dominik: It was probably both. When we first started to fundraise in the summer, the timing wasn’t perfect in terms of the market as most investors, stopped or became overly cautious about expanding their portfolio, and we had just started to convert our initial traction and generate some revenue. When you are a pre-revenue startup, your pitchdeck and model can handle most projections, but as soon as you start to have paying customers, the investors will be bound to analyse and dissect the model based on your initial traction. What helped us, really, is that we over-delivered on our plans in part thanks to the generative AI hype, but at the same time, as we focused on our own niche - the corporate L&D market - we matched and quickly passed Synthesia, our closest competitor in terms of features, allowing us to steal some of their customers early on. This gave some validation to the international investors and helped to kickstart this larger round. Well, with regard to fundraising, I’d state the obvious but very important fact: timing is important. If you already have some traction, start the fundraising process when you have a high certainty of gaining momentum soon.
Zsolt: We are glad to be joined by Launchub, Emerge Education and the new angels on this journey. We're curious to hear about your vision and plans for growth. Can you give us a sneak peek into what Colossyan has in store for the next 18-24 months?
Dominik: Thank you it is an excellent cap table indeed. Regarding our next year or so, we plan to significantly - though at a controlled pace - grow our engineering and AI research team and build up a considerable customer success team, which in my opinion, is unfairly overlooked even at many scaled-up startups. We have already started to build out our operations in the UK, which is strategically important for us, and Colossyan would also plan to open a hub in the US in the near future. So we have a lot of plans for the future, and naturally we want to maintain or even expand our current 10%+ growth rate.