How long have you been a Founder for?
What's your backstory. How did you come to create Furrow and be where you're at today?
The start of the pandemic really highlighted the brokenness of our food system. Supermarket shelves were empty but at the same time, farmers had tons of food rotting in fields. I looked at those two contrasting images and realised something needed to be done. Furrow aims to build a more sustainable food system where anyone can buy direct from any farm, with farmers selling direct to consumers on our marketplace.
What has been the highlight of your Founder career so far?
There’s been a few: our first week of the pilot when the food arrived from the 6 farms we started with. As I was driving around London delivering to friends, it was great to know that the basic logistics of sending food via national courier to us before delivering the last mile would work. Most recently, it was getting a text from a customer on Christmas Day thanking us for supplying such great food.
What has been the lowlight?
Our pre-seed round took ages to close and the business, fundraise and myself languished as a result. Being a solo founder I was dedicating half my time to fundraising and the other half to running the business. As a result, both suffered and it nearly became a death spiral on the raise as I wasn’t showing the growth investors needed to see.
How did you come across Landscape?
Twitter - probably from Joe shitposting.
Biggest challenge right now/thing you need help on:
Launch and spreading the word. We’ve just come out of our pilot and renamed and relaunched as Furrow. We had a small group of customers who we ran the pilot with and now we need to find channels to acquire more.
What's the biggest mistake you’ve made so far and what did you learn from it?
How I positioned the business during our fundraising. Although we were in pilot, I positioned Furrow as a launched business to try and show ‘look at how much we’ve hustled to get a business up and running on a bootstrapped budget’. Instead, investors saw our flat growth due to no marketing budget and asked ‘why aren’t you growing?’. I also didn’t position our growth story properly - showing the headline metrics that were more stagnant, rather than others that were growing and showed early indications of flywheels.
What piece of advice would you give to other people in similar position as to you?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Twitter, the Landscape community, mentors and hundreds of other resources have propelled Furrow forward. You just need to ask and listen
What is the most frustrating thing you find about the startup fundraising ecosystem?
Having spent some time in the US, there are lots of frustrations with the UK ecosystem. They just dream and think bigger there, as well as act more quickly with bigger sums of money. We’ve got a great group of investors on board at Furrow but others we spoke to during the raise were more focused on minimising downside rather than maximising upside.
What you would like to see change in the startup fundraising ecosystem within the next 5 years?
More founders/early employees becoming investors. We’re the ones who get the challenges of running a business and understand the potential upside that exists. There’s an ongoing movement of existing founders and early employees writing small angel cheques. I’d love to see that continue and for more of us to move into full-time investing on exit where we can write bigger cheques.