Landing Autio $500k From Introductions On Seedscout
This is What Happens When You Stick Around Seedscout
Woody Sears has gone through, what I think is, the most ideal journey that any Seedscout customer could go on. He got in early, stayed around through different models, and benefitted massively eventually. Many founders join for a month or two, and then leave if they don’t get checks. Here’s an example of what “being around”the Seedscout ecosystem can do.
This case study doesn’t start with Autio though. It starts with Hearhere, the company name before their rebrand. I scouted Hearhere two and a half years ago on Product Hunt, and I thought the idea was fun. The one liner back then was “stories about the people, places and history near you.” Essentially, they provide location based stories while on road trips. What was truly unique is that one of the cofounders was Kevin Costner! Yes, THAT one. I thought it was all interesting, so I reached out to the CEO, Woody Sears, to see if I could have him on my podcast, Forward Thinking Founders. Soon after, I got a reply. He was in!
Little did I know what would come from this interaction. We did the podcast (that you can listen to here), and we stayed in touch after. He joined my founder community, Forward Thinking City, soon after the podcast. I spread the word about Hearhere. He came to virtual events I hosted. We kept in touch somewhat frequently. What I appreciated about Woody is that he always took an interest in new iterations of what became Seedscout.
It took me a lot of time to figure out what Seedscout was going to end up being, but after a few more conversations with Woody, I decided I had an interest in helping him with his raise. He sent me his forwardable intro email in November of 2021 and I got to work.
At this point, we had some automation in place so lots of investors starting viewing his info. Early intros to Woody include the following:
Hearhere was always an interesting opportunity, which drove a lot of interest, but consumer route is a hard sell for investors. But the intros did indeed flow, including one to Eric Ries, who started making some introduction requests to his own network as well. Long story short, through all the back and forth emails and intro requests, we started to get some feedback back from Woody that looked something like the following…
These were just the beginning. Candidly, Woody has been in the Seedscout ecosystem for so long, it’s hard to track all the wins. He has tried many different products we built, paid low prices, paid higher prices, and just went with it as we figured everything out. Although I don’t have every funding email to prove how much in total we got for him over the years, it’s always better to hear the story from the horses mouth…
You read that right, he can attribute more than $500k of funding that came from intros in the Seedscout ecosystem. Best of all, he didn’t need to give up any equity for that, especially not 7%.
Since we’ve known each other, Hearhere did a rebrand to Autio (great name). Woody pitched on Shark Tank. And they raised a total of $10.7M with a fresh round of capital. Seedscout has grown a lot too in this time as well. It went from community, to manual intros, to a full blown self serve introduction facilitation platform. We’ve seen each other’s brands grow up. This is one the most impactful things about what we do.
Sure, the money we help get founders is great. And the companies that come from that could change the world. But at the end of the day, this is a people game. I value the people I meet. I value the relationships that grow. As Naval Ravikant says, I like playing long term games with long term people.
I hope to be in Woody’s sphere for decades to come just like he is welcome in mine. I treasure the relationship we have, even if remote and somewhat distant, and hope that it’s just the early innings for the stuff we’ll get into together. Looking forward to see where Autio ends up.
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Amazing success story and true testament of your dedication to supporting founders and building your platform!