An in-depth look into startup financing with David Weiss of Pershing Ventures

In this episode of A Founder's Life, we will be talking to David Weiss who is the President of Pershing Ventures.  As an expert in Startup Financing, David will talk about the different ways startups can fund their company, the importance of debt in a startup and also shaping a culture and identity of a company.

Episode Transcript

Victor  00:09

I am pleased to interview David Weiss of Pershing ventures. David is a strong-willed and principled investor with an interesting background in credit and debt at banks like Citibank and HSBC, which has given him a unique perspective on how founders and startups should capitalise themselves and finance growth. David has been an advisor and friend to our company and we're pleased to have him come on the show to share his insights. 

Hi, everyone, this is Victor Lang from A Founder's Life. Welcome to the show. I'm really pleased to have David Weiss on today. David Weiss is the founder and president of Pershing ventures. Pershing has invested or provided financing in over 20 companies in the last year in seven countries across Asia, the US and Europe. David, welcome to the show.


David Weiss  01:03

Thanks for having me today. Victor.


Victor  01:06

I'd love to hear a little bit about yourself and your company's founding, you know, what's your story?


David Weiss  01:11

Pershing ventures was incorporated in the United States in the middle of 2021 to essentially meet a unmet, unsatisfied demand from a number of early stage businesses that sought to obtain financing, but were either outside the requirements of the typical banking system or found what they could actually borrow was limited to specific formats or types such as venture financing, venture equity financing.


Victor  01:45

Got it. Thank you. Thank you. And so far, you've been providing financing or investing in companies across Asia, I know the number of companies in Hong Kong that you've helped and Vietnam, Germany, Australia. You know, one of the biggest problems when entrepreneurs start businesses is in financing and getting funding, you know, how do you assess an investor? How do you assess an investment? And what do you look for in an entrepreneur?


David Weiss  02:15

Those are, those are great questions, Victor. Like everyone else who invests or provides financing, we definitely have qualitative and quantitative criteria. But I think the scope of this question I choose to respond to with qualitative criteria, or guidelines. So when we're looking at providing financing, whether it's equity or debt for early stage businesses, we're first and foremost looking at the founder, the founders team and the board that supports him or her. We're looking for folks that are not first time founders, we're looking for individuals or teams that have done this, at least once in the past, we see persistence as a major success driver. We're looking for folks that come from specific industries, or have a specific expertise within an industry within their career. And we're looking to leverage that as an entrepreneur. we're ultimately trying to find founders that are reliable, that we can count on that we can trust to grow the business together with, we just don't see ourselves as simple capital providers, we see ourselves as capital providers who want to get their hands dirty and engage in the operations. And that takes a two-way relationship of trust and willingness.  

Victor  03:47

When you're looking at founders to work with and to provide assistance. You know, what are the ways that you get down and dirty to help them out? You know, I know that money is probably the thing that founders want the most. But what do you find founders need from investors beyond money?


David Weiss  04:05

Of course, I don't want to downplay the importance of capital. But I find all the things that can be provided capital is the one that's most capable of being commoditised. And the one thing that many parties can provide without any kind of differentiation. So when we find a partner that we can work with we do like to get our hands dirty. And we do that by first and foremost in spending a significant amount of time understanding the industry, the sector, and the particular geography that the company is actually participating in, whether it's United States, whether it's Europe, whether it's with Asia, so we can assess ourselves very fundamentally, where we can be adding value, you know, is it with respect to their capital structure or their overall financing activities? Is it strategic introductions? Is it business development? Is it new market penetration? You know, where are the gaps? If you went back and you did a very fundamental kind of SWOT analysis, what are the areas or places that we could have the highest impact in their business, and then we look to see what resources we have as a firm. And if we can deploy those resources to resolve some of those openings,


Victor  05:29

I know that you were in the past high powered bankers at Citibank and HSBC. I mean, I mean, you are very well known for helping companies of all sizes raise capital right now you're working with venture companies, and startups and SMEs. But what were the lessons that you were able to bring from the big corporate bank into the startup world that makes you exceptional in this regard?


David Weiss  05:59

Well, that's that's a, that's a very, very flattering way to put the question. So big, thank you for that. I'd say the point that I learned, even though the borrowers are all quite different in terms of size and operational footprint, etc, is that they largely all suffer from similar types of challenges in the market, whether it's not just a need for capital, it's usually a need for capital in a way that makes sense for their business. And the reality is that many capital providers have institutionalised the way that they give capital. And that comes along with certain formalities or consistencies across transactions, whether it's format, documentation tener, how they price it, how they bring in other participants where they will participate or not participate with respect to jurisdictions. And as you know, a lot of businesses in the year 2022 are global businesses, particularly e-commerce setups or platforms, you know, so these are challenges that show up for the biggest of companies and the smallest of companies when they're looking to get financing. And I think really, what differentiates what what we are doing to the larger players who have become a bit more commoditised is that we start from what the client needs, in terms of their fundraising, their financing activities, or, you know, advice type, you know, advisory type situations, and then we see how we can provide that without any deference to saying, well, this is the format that it should be because we've been doing this type of financing for the last 20 years, and this is the document and we don't want to change it, or we only do this kind of setup in this particular country because this is how we do things, and this is how our staff have been trained. We're very flexible. And we start with what the client needs. And can we provide a solution based on that. And I think, at the end of the day, the problems that we're solving are very similar to the kind of companies that I dealt with, when I was at Citibank or HSBC. It's just that we're now operating on a much smaller level, a much more personalised level. And we have a very different type of toolkit to apply to solve the problem.


Victor  08:24

Speaking of the toolkit, you know, I'd love to know about what are the different ways a startup or an SME can capitalise themselves? You know, can you go through the different forms of financing or investments? And what kinds of investment are more appropriate for different kinds of companies?


David Weiss  08:43

Yes, thank you for asking that. And I think it kind of goes back to my last question. At the last question you asked, and perhaps even why purchasing ventures was started in the first place. You know, there are very clear buckets of financing or strategies to financing for early stage companies, right, and SMEs, you know, they range from, you know, what everyone reads about and gets excited about what is, you know, venture equity, essentially, right, raising our equity capital from friends, family, angels, accelerators, venture capital firms, venture capital funds, corporate venture capitalists, etc, which is what is available to private, early stage company that could be in the form of, you know, ordinary issuance combinations. It could be some type of conversion, convertible note, preference note. Safe notes have become very popular right now. There's lots of resources online where you can see what all of these different types of structures look like, how they're documented, etc. A lot of standardisation has taken place in the market. When we kind of think about how much of the early stage market is financed via those means it's quite significant when we meet clients, you know, that's usually the first point that they like to raise is, you know, can we raise equity? Would you like to invest in equity? And the answer is sure, I'd like to take a look, let's explore that that might be something worthwhile, but it might not always be the best format. And I don't mean that, just from my perspective, it could also be from the actual clients perspective. You know, for example, has there been a discussion around the appropriateness of venture debt, you know, and oftentimes, it's the case that they even haven't even had the conversation, they don't even know that it is a possibility, they don't know where to look, they don't know who does it, they don't know how it works. In certain geographies, people might be more sensitive to the idea of debt compared to equity. But, you know, from my perspective, just from a kind of a black and white numbers perspective, if you're a company that has a significant amount of assets, that may be meaningful in terms of raising fundraising as a form of collateral, or if you're an asset, like company, but you have a high growth rate, like let's say, an E-commerce or platform or a SaaS company, you may be able to monetise your revenue or your projected revenue, okay to enter into some type of a financing structure. And it might make more sense to raise venture debt, as opposed to giving up equity in your company. So it's another tool that needs to be looked at. And that's something that we pride ourselves on is the ability to oscillate between equity conversations and debt conversations and really think about what's the best treat for both sides?


Victor  11:50

Now why would a company want to take venture debt as opposed to equity investment from an investor? You know, we always hear about these companies raising big rounds. And it sounds super exciting, right? So and so raise that whatever valuation, but you know, is that always the best choice for founders? Like what are the benefits of venture debt?


David Weiss  12:13

To answer your question in reverse order, no, venture debt is not always the best. Just like venture equity is not always the best, it really is very situation specific. Why venture debt could be appropriate in many cases, and probably many more cases than as initially thought, is that it's a non diluted form of financing. So when you're issuing equity, it's pretty much forever. Okay. And there's definitely some benefits to that  if you're looking to raise capital for a project that doesn't have an immediately observable return, or cash flow, or it's hard to measure in terms of contribution to the business's financials. Something like R&D, for example, or opening your business in a new geography. You know, these things take a long time to monetise, those may be things which are more suited to raising long term equity capital, because there's no recurring obligation from the point in which you take the money to repay somebody, or there's no pressure to say this has to happen within nine months, right? Whereas, you're looking at debt, it's non-dilutive, the founders are not having to give up more of their equity. They can fundraise very tactically for their business, if they have a project, which they think is immediately a creative it could be, you know, we believe spending x amount of dollars on the following social media ads generates, you know, the following amounts of sales revenue, you know, that is something which you can immediately observe and identify as being relevant. So if you can figure out what is the rate of growth from that activity, then you can see how much incrementally or marginally how much more beneficial it is to raise debt at a cost to generate X of sales would be right. So that's probably one of the biggest reasons why you do this. It's non dilutive. And it can be tactically deployed quite quickly and then repaid back if repaid back relatively quickly. If what you are intending the money to be used for, does indeed generate the outcomes that you had anticipated and quite often, a lot of the activities that founders want to raise capital for whether it's social media marketing, hiring, a sales, marketing, business development staff, investment in E-commerce platforms, or online technology. You know, these are all activities which, if planned and strategize and executed correctly are revenue creative and can be used to repay debt quite quickly. At which point your revenue numbers will go up, your forecasted revenues will go up, depending on the type of industry, you're in your A&R or M&R should go up quite meaningfully, which would then in turn also have an impact on your valuation, all the while, you haven't actually given up your equity. So what you're holding is also worth quite a bit more. So fundamentally, this is one of the reasons why it's make sense to look at a debt solution as well as equity. And by the way, Victor, the two things can be combined, it's not choose A or choose B, you know, if you're a founder, saying I'd like to raise a million US dollars, and I'm going to use it for the following things, is quite often the case that they raise a million dollars successfully, and then the money is sitting in the bank account, you know, you start on gen one with a million, and then you look at the account in June, and it's $750,000, I would, I would suggest that part of that million dollars, doesn't need to actually be raised, or maybe can be raised through debt. And part of it could be raised through equity later on. And from the founders' perspective, if they've taken debt to push back part of the equity fundraising round, that later on amount of money can be raised at a higher valuation, which benefits the company, and it benefits existing shareholders.


Victor  16:30

Makes a lot of sense. You know, just shifting gears a little bit to the perspective of the entrepreneur, bearing in mind that as the founder of your investment company, you are a founder and entrepreneur yourself, you know, what are some of the skills and qualities that you feel a good entrepreneur should have?


David Weiss  16:54

I think the two things that really stand out to me are, you know, resilience and adaptability. I think, particularly for founders that are, you know, in their second startup or their third startup or come from careers where they were successful. This can actually, or maybe counter intuitively be harder than one might think. If you're used to doing something very well, for a long period of time, it's very difficult to wake up every day and start to not do very well, every day, right, or to fail or have lots of miniature failures without seeing a lot of successes. But as a founder or an entrepreneur, I think you need to be comfortable making a lot of little mistakes, hopefully, they're not terminal mistakes. You know, they're ones where you get knocked down and you can get back up. And then the adaptability component comes in, because you have to be able to self-reflect and identify why those failures took place. And you know, whether it's what you're doing, whether it's some kind of external factor, whether it's something you can control or not control, and then adapt to what you're doing. Adapt your approach, adapt your business, adapt the product offering, to hopefully avoid such a failure in the future, or make sure that if there is a failure, it's of a lower consequence. And coming in to work and doing this day in and day out is difficult. For a lot of reasons, right? But I think if you really want to be an entrepreneur, if you want to found a business, the ability to adapt, and having a high level of resiliency is important.


Victor  19:01

Sort of on the same coin, but on the other side, you know, what advice would you give to someone who's trying to become an entrepreneur or trying to start a company?  

David Weiss  19:11

I would say, and I imagine there's got to be many, many different suggestions or ways to respond to this question. So I only try to maybe say a few that were particularly meaningful for me and particularly meaningful for what I mean, founders and entrepreneurs who are asking for capital, is to get into this for the right reasons. You know, it's become, it's become very cool to be an entrepreneur. It's become very cool to be a founder. There's movies about it. There's big success stories, there's magazine write ups, there's online interviews, and it's kind of exciting, you know, to go out to lunch or dinner with your friends and everyone you know, from a banker, I'm a lawyer, I'm a doctor, I'm a sound engineer. You know, I'm a commissioned artist, and then set off, I'm a founder, it's got, it's got a little bit of a cool feeling to it, right? But I think, unfortunately, that kind of aura that surrounds it has become a reason in and of itself for many people to try to become entrepreneurs rather than saying, having identified some type of a problem in the marketplace, or in the world, and believing that you have the capabilities to potentially resolve that problem, which I think is really the kind of the genesis of why entrepreneurs exist. So if you don't have that kind of authenticity, if you're doing it just for doing it, or for some other reason, I think you'll struggle because people around you can see that. They can see your commitment, how authentic you are, and are you in this for the long term or not? And then also, going back to some of the things I said about adaptability and resilience, you know, if you're not really in it for the right reasons, you know, the likelihood that you stay in the game until you're successful, I think also is much more.


Victor  21:27

That's great advice. In terms of the companies that you're looking at, and the founders that are approaching you, what kind of sectors have you found are the most promising? You know, there's a lot of talk about web 3 and Metaverse, and this and that, right. In your perspective, what do you think is the highest potential growth trajectory as a sector for people to start pursuing businesses?  

David Weiss  21:58

That's a very good question. And one that I think about very often, particularly as I myself, am a generalist, and purchasing fent Ventures is a firm of generalists. Which means that, you know, we're not looking at a particular industry or sector. We're not. We're not suggesting that we're experts in one in any one particular area, and then looking to participate in that area and having staff that can contribute to investments in that one particular space. Maybe that's something that develops in the firm's history later. But as of right now, we're generalists, and we do deep dives on things that we like, and we try to get comfortable with them, which has some of its own benefits in style. So we're quite open minded in terms of industries and sectors. What I would say, though, on this topic, is there are a number of areas that I've found quite interesting. My colleagues are found quite interesting. And it has led us to spend more time and resources on those particular types of businesses. And I'll highlight some of those, although it's not meant to be, you know, an exhaustive list. So for example, maritime transportation, generally, logistics, these are real parts of the economy, which you can touch, taste, smell here. And in many ways haven't been changed or disrupted for lack of a better word for quite a long time. And there could be massive benefits from efficiencies, driven through adoption of technology or change processes, etc. So we've been very excited to look at a lot of companies within that space, whether it's on the equity, or the debt side, we still find the whole FMCG space quite relevant. It interacts with people's everyday lives. Particularly the intersection between FMCG and web 3, and how consumers are interacting with different brands. In the web 3 space is something that we like to focus on and think will continue to have a meaningful place in the future. And we're spending a lot of our time and resources trying to better understand that intersection and how we can be relevant.  

Victor  24:34

Interesting, interesting. One, one thing that's super important is company culture. You know, it's a translation of a person's personal values, vision, expectations into a functioning business and this stuff takes time and effort and experience, right? How important is a company's culture from your perspective as an investor? And secondly, how do you exhibit your own values in your own company to build its culture?


David Weiss  25:08

That's a very important question. And I guess we're, we're all trying to learn how to do this better. And that's evidence, you know, in 2022, by some of the biggest and most successful companies in the world, struggling to figure out how to adapt to COVID-19 lifestyle, right, and how to balance things like work from home versus, you know, being back in person. Right? And I know, you know, culture and values is much wider than that specific topic, but in some ways that issue is very representative of cultural differences within how businesses are run, you know. Are businesses looking at themselves more on kind of this command, central planning type, organisational setup? You know, or are they viewing, you know, people as resources, themselves to be a knowledge based company. And, you know, focusing more on where those resources I, the staff of the company can make the biggest contributions and how will make those biggest contributions irrespective of where they sit. So it's kind of this issue is, I think, the intersection of the old style of doing things and the new style of doing things, which is quite relevant. To answer your question, simply, I don't believe in imposing a company's culture on others. I think the kind of business we're in is very varied. There's lots of different types of companies we invest in, there's lots of different types of borrowers, they're in different geographies, different personal backgrounds, cultures, religious affiliations, aspirations, different ways of doing business. And I don't think there's any one way of knowing how to interact with all of those different types of groups and sentiments, etc. particularly by trying to formulate a specific company's mission statement and value to somehow suggest how any of those things should be done. What I do believe in is working with the best people I can possibly work with. That doesn't mean that they're the smartest, it doesn't mean that they have the best academic qualifications. You know, being the best could mean a lot of different things. Right? What I'm looking for is exceptional people who can add value to clients that can effectively work very well in a team, have very different and divergent views yet, take others views and synthesise them into workable solutions for all of our clients and for personal ventures itself. And I think if you bring together those types of characteristics of people into a setting, and you let them work the way that they want to work, and define how their working culture should look like with everybody else, that you will have a very successful outcome. Of course, that works probably on a smaller scale business, like, you know, Pershing Ventures is in reality, I don't know, maybe that doesn't work for a Fortune 100 company. I'd like to be able to find out one day, but, you know, that's where we are right now. Right? I believe in giving people a lot of freedom to make the choices that they think are the best for themselves and for the firm and believing that things will ultimately work out because of that.


Victor  29:03

Thanks for that. That makes a lot of sense. I mean, it's great that you have that perspective when it comes to building a company. But just jumping back to the finances in the financing, kind of topic a little bit. How does a company prepare themselves to fundraise or to get financing? What are the things they should do? Whether with the books whether to prepare themselves for DD? How should they get ready to meet with…?


David Weiss  29:33

That's a wonderful question. And one that I think is not a big enough focus for either founders, a management team or those tasked with raising capital within the firm when it comes to the company. I think there is an idea among some people that having good ideas is enough to raise money and I think that may be possible in some cases. But there's a lot of people with a lot of good ideas, some that have even demonstrated some market success, I don't think it's enough to go and raise capital. And likewise, there are a lot of businesses that may have a good idea, but may also have very charismatic and convincing salespeople or fundraisers within their business. And I think they do, if they just rely on the good idea that our salesmanship will possibly not be successful. Because there's another key ingredient there, which is preparation. And without being well prepared, and having a clear and defined presentable business, I think it's very hard in the world we're living in today to raise capital. It's very competitive. There are a lot of venture firms, older and newer, there's alternative providers of capital, there are just different ways of raising capital. And there's a lot of different alternative data and sources that are out there to be evaluated. And you have to know who your audience is, not everyone looks for the same qualities or qualifications. Not everyone wants things presented to them in the same way. And there are different pain points for different investors. And without preparing oneself, for those conversations, and making materials that are reflective of this, the audience that you're pitching to, no matter how good your idea is, or no matter how charismatic, your pitch team is, I think you'll struggle. So that preparation component is really critical. There are a lot of very good resources out there that can help you prepare, you know, I can say, when we have a client that we've invested in, let's say, we've provided some kind of capital to right financing capital to one common theme amongst them is sometimes they'll say, “can we borrow from you as kind of a bridge to Series A?” and “can you help us get prepared for that series?” And that's a scenario that we like, because we believe we're good at that preparation stage. Right. And I think, you know, a very critical example of that is, you know, the partnership with gini, right, and using the gini software suite, including, you know, the gini CFO growth package, the gini predict package, all of which is on https://www.gini.co/ . You know, enables a borrower or potential fundraising candidate to do a health check as to where they stand. They can take their QuickBooks, they can take their zero, which I hope is up to date, perfect, stop, please do it quickly. Because that's a basic requirement, right of raising third party money is having updated books and records, they can take that they can, they can tie it into the gini software package. And they can put it into a presentable format of an income statement, a cash flow statement, and a balance sheet. And then use advanced analytics to create projections that make sense, ones that are defensible to someone like myself, who's going to sit there and ask you questions around how your balance sheet works. And it's not enough, you know, to say, I have to go and ask my accountants because I want to know what I'm asking the question. I don't need the exact answer. But I need a rough answer, I need to know that the owner of the business understands what's going on financially. So they can use tools like this to help them prepare. And it's not just creating an output, here are my financial statements, that is a very rudimentary way of satisfying an investor response. It needs to be done, but it's only one component. More critically, it can be a way to highlight strengths, or identify weaknesses, you know, going back to the basic thing that I mentioned at the beginning of the call, which is the SWOT analysis, which is something most of us all learned in business school right? Or an introduction to strategy, and but it holds water, what are the strengths of the company? Can we see that through the company's financials? Can we see that through the company's projections? Is that something that the industry is applying a more favourable valuation to could be right? And how does that fit into the story that we're trying to tell to investors? Which strengths do different investors care about? Right? You know, if you're a SaaS company, you know, what's your recurring revenue? If you're more of a bricks and mortar type business, or a retail business with a kind of a blended footprint, online and offline. How's your free cash flow from operations? Look, you know, how effectively are you running the business? Are those things that we can highlight as strengths? And likewise, we don't want to just know the strengths, we want to know the weaknesses. So if we looked at that kind of analysis coming out of the gini software package, we can say, you know, what, your particular sector companies that are achieving the highest evaluations, i.e. what we would call a top quartile of valuation,multiple, have the following characteristics. Now, sure, your ARR might be 1 million, and the guys in the top quartile are 95. Right? I mean, there are some limitations to the comparison, but you can look and say, Okay, so moving away from absolute figures, are the things that you're missing, that these other top quartile players have in their business that you don't, if we can identify those early enough, we can put in a plan to resolve it. Right? Before you do your fundraising. So if you've come to me for bridge financing before your Series A, and you're expecting your series A to be in nine months, maybe some of those deficiencies we can address in a nine month period. So when you go to the Series A, you can have a better prepared presentation to match what is A. a business with an exceptional product or service, and B. a business that benefits from having a charismatic, and highly communicative founder, salesperson or capital raising team. So then you'll really have the full package.


Victor  37:16

That's great advice. Mental health is one of the largest problems in our not just startup, but in our whole world today. You know, it's especially prevalent among founders, right? They face constant stress, how important is mental health to you personally? And how should founders take care of themselves to ensure that they can maintain the productivity that they need to keep this steam going?


David Weiss  37:44

It's critical. When people talk about key man or key woman risk, they usually have an exaggerated example. Right? Like what if there are some unfortunate, you know, accidents. But, you know, that's a tail risk. That type of key man, key woman events, the bigger and more likely key man key woman risk is taking place on a day to day basis, which is around, you know, burnout exhaustion. And what happens when a founder or a management team is making operational decisions, strategic decisions on a day to day basis, but they are in for whatever reason, making decisions are less than 100% capacity. They're too tired, they're too stressed. They have, you know, family issues. The list goes on. Right? And how does one avoid and deal with that? And there is, you know, I think there is a sense amongst, amongst founders that somehow, there's sometimes feels like there is a desire to make the journey more difficult. And there's a desire to highlight to people the difficulty of the journey as if it's kind of part of an origin story. And for sure, many origin stories have difficult beginnings or compelling circumstances which make the ultimate success of the character much more extraordinary. But, you know, the path to success is always going to have a lot of challenges and difficulties to overcome. And I don't think it's ever worth having those types of problems if they can be avoided. And to kind of make that a bit more practical, you know, I can, I can just tell you a couple of things I tried to do to keep myself kind of, on target on path, right? Because I recognize even for myself, you know, there's a, there's a point where tiredness leads to bad decision making mistakes, maybe acting too hastily, or with poor judgement. And it can have an impact on relationships, friendships, business decisions, long term health of the company, reputation, etc. So, you know, it's really important to find ways to, I think, firstly, prioritise what it is that you're doing in your business. You know, I'm sure there's lots of people with different prioritisation strategies, I actually just keep one really big list. And you know, I look at that list. And let's be honest, it almost never goes down, it probably constantly has 100 things on it. But what I do on that list is to say, these are the things that are critical, they have to happen today, these are the things that are really important to the business, but can possibly be done tomorrow. These are the things that are important for the business, but, you know, can be prioritised after the first two characterizations. And that's not to say they're not important. But that's just to recognize that not everything can be done at the same time. Not everything can be done immediately. And everything is about trade-offs. So we need to get done what needs to get done right now. And make sure that we're limiting, you know, the downside for the business and not getting those things done immediately, that maybe are getting pushed back on the list a little bit. And some people might say a little bit, you can't deprioritize certain things, it's like, that's life, there's 24 hours a day. And, you know, founders cannot work for all of those 24 hours, and by the way, not deprioritizing something, and forcing yourself to get it done and burning yourself out, you know, three o'clock in the morning working on that thing that really could have been done at 8:30, the next morning, or 9am the next morning, is probably going to lead you to make other bad decisions, because you're going to be mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, having completed that activity that really could have been done at another time. So I think prioritization of activities, your time and efforts are pretty important in terms of setting the foundation to not kind of hurting yourself, right, and the business. And I'd say, related to that, you know, particular topic, is asking for help, you know, it's very hard for founders and entrepreneurs to let other people do things, for lots of different reasons. But you know, you're building a business, and you've hired smart people who are competent, that you trust, you need to enable them to do their job, you need to let them do their job. Right? And if you have things on your list, as a founder that other people could be doing, you honestly, should usually let them do it. And focus your attention on the things that you as a founder should be doing. And likewise, you know, sometimes you're going to have to pick up the slack someone might have left. And that means that that work might come on to you. And as a founder, that's your responsibility, then to pick it up until someone else can do it. But when times are good, and you have the resources, you should use them. And that will contribute to helping you not get into the types of bonds that that you mentioned earlier.


Victor  43:42

Really good advice. Thank you for that. Last question I have for you, if you had to start all over again, you know, your banking career, your investment company, if you had to change one thing, add or subtract, what would it be?


David Weiss  43:58

You know, I'm not someone that looks back and thinks about, oh, I should have done that differently. I think you know, life has many, many different potential paths and outcomes and you know, you close one door others open, you open one door, others close. So I look back on the past and the decisions I made and how I made them and whether they were the right decision or the wrong decision solely for the purpose of reflecting on what I want to do today and what I think I want to do tomorrow. So to be honest, I wouldn't say that I would look to change or do something differently. I'm very focused on today and tomorrow and learning lessons that are good or bad from things done yesterday and applying them to the future, without kind of taking a view as to whether or not I should have done any of them differently or not.


Victor  45:07

I'm really glad to have had you on the show. David Weiss, founder and president of Pershing ventures. Thanks again. 

It was a pleasure interviewing David Weiss of Pershing ventures. One of the top insights I gathered from the interview was just how many options founders now have to capitalise themselves. Founders who are growing can get non dilutive financing to fund growth. It's often cheaper than selling a part of your company to investors. You miss out on the prestige of a funding announcement. But in the long run, you'll learn more of your company.

Cash Flow Forecasting Xero
Ray Wyand, CEO of gini
Why I write content :

It’s time for me to shamelessly ask for your support. Our company is dedicated to the idea that finance should be simple, easy and fair for everyone.

To deliver that, we’ve built a financial tool that helps small businesses to save time, optimise cash flow, and access growth capital. We’ve priced it at $40USD a month to make it accessible for everyone - but I’d appreciate your help getting the word out in your company.

  • For founders we can give  real time insight into the financial health of your company and help them to access growth capital
  • For in house finance teams, we can get you promoted by helping you to automate your most manual processes and helping you  create reports your managers will love
  • For investors, we can help you underwrite better, faster & fairer whilst also helping your portfolio automate their reporting in real time
  • For accountants & book-keepers, we can increase your margins through automation and value added services that help your clients to grow

If you know any of these people - please email me at ray@gini.co

If you are one of these people -

Request a demo →
Download full report here


Contact us
An in-depth look into startup financing with David Weiss of Pershing Ventures
Date published

Connecting to Xero


New templates, trending metrics content and tips from entrepreneurs to help you fundraise and grow.
Request access

By clicking submit, you consent to allow gini to store and process the personal information submitted above to provide you the content requested.

Latest posts