Now that we are five years old, it’s a good time to look back on the journey that led us here and highlight the people and organisations that have made a dent in our universe. We are forever grateful for each and every one of you and sincerely feel that every client and partner has helped us to shape Dealum into who we are today!
The story of Dealum dates back to 2010 when Rein Lemberpuu and Rain Kivisik started investing in startups and listened to many pitches from startup founders to make their investment decisions. They soon found out that the dataset provided by founders was rather hectic and different for each startup, which meant it was difficult to compare opportunities - an important aspect of being able to build a good investment strategy and execute on it.
To solve this, Rein and Rain created a simple checklist of topics to cover with founders and also to use as a basis for giving startups feedback afterwards so that they could learn what and how investors are thinking.
Years later, Rein and Rain were among the most active angel investors in the Baltics and took part in the Slush pitching syndicate. Handling the evaluation of 2000 startups in Excel was a nightmare both for Slush and for investors. But worry not - technology came to the rescue! A special pitching competition management tool was created for Slush that helped to match and evaluate 2000 startups with 50 jury members in just a couple of weeks.
This tool was the first brick in the foundation of Dealum.
- Super early adopters joined during product beta - EstBAN and Startup Committee, along with some VC-s such as Trind Ventures who are all using Dealum to this day
After the successful collaboration with Slush (which continued until 2019), Dealum started getting the attention and onboarded its first customers. It was still a long way to go to the best-in-class angel group management tool, but for the early adopters, our platform already looked better than the competing solutions.
- Startup Includer OÜ was founded on April 10
- Dealum product was released to the public
- Early adopters joined the platform: Startup Estonia, Nordic Angel Program (joint project by Nordic BANs), LitBAN (Lithuania)
Dealum started to gather momentum and onboarded more customers across Europe - Spain, Slovenia and Nordic countries. By the end of the year, the very first client from the other side of the Atlantic joined the platform. While the application and funnel management module was being shaped based on the feedback from early adopters, new modules and functionality was also added.
- Global Super Angels Club (Spain), Startup Wise Guys (Estonia), DanBAN (Denmark) and Business Angels of Slovenia (Slovenia, obviously) were also among the first customers
- The first customer outside Europe joined in September - Valhalla Angels (Canada)
- A portfolio was released to track the investments on the group level
After two years of building the company, the now-former-CEO Mihkel decided to pursue his dreams in another field. The current CEO Seren joined the team and has been leading the company ever since, growing the customer base and making sure that everything runs smoothly.
Dealum found more partners and customers all over the world. We formed an official partnership with EBAN who had been supporting the platform concept from the early stages and we also signed the first customer on the US market.
- Current CEO Seren joined the team in August
- EBAN and Dealum announced an official partnership
- First US customer - InvestU: An ASU+Thunderbird Investor Network
- Events feature was released alongside multi-criteria voting and company reporting
Any growing company needs more people to handle the growth - this year we welcomed new team and family members (both figuratively and literally speaking!). Dealum achieved a global reach with the first groups joining from Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
- The Funding Round feature was released allowing cross-group deal sharing
- The team expanded with a dedicated sales manager and additional customer success manager
- A partnership with Business Angels Europe was announced
- Dealum joined UKBAA (UK Business Angels Association) as a member
- We welcomed Angel Hub from Mexico, Viktoria BAN from Kenya, and Athaal Angels from Saudi Arabia on the platform
- CEO Seren personally welcomed a baby daughter and was off duty much of the year
Some of you might still call the platform Startup Includer in your head as opposed to Dealum, but change takes time, we don’t mind. Rebranding was a massive undertaking but the new name suits us better and we feel empowered to conquer the world! While adjusting to the new name, Dealum also made many new functionality releases to make the platform stand out.
- Rebranded to Dealum in June
- Signed significant umbrella deals with Keiretsu Forum and Angel Investors Ontario
- Released deal room dashboard, Stripe integration, Identity API and Linkedin login
- Processed 231 feature requests from existing customers with 28% being instantly implemented and a further 23% added to the roadmap
This year has started off big as France Angels chose Dealum as their official investment process management platform. This is the first nationwide adoption of Dealum, onboarding 64 angel investor groups to the platform.
We are soon going to visit the US for the ACA Summit in May and are excited to create many new connections on the US market!
- In April, we have 120+ investor groups using the platform together with 12k individual angels and 35k startup profiles
- Dealum has a presence all over the world and in addition to European and North American customers is also used by groups from Mexico, Saudi Arabia, India, Kazakhstan, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, and Australia
- Close to €80M has been indicated on the platform within the last 12 months
A lot has been done in five years! It has been a fascinating journey full of learning, growth, and great people. We are full of gratitude and can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring us!