TechCrunch Live: How Deel raised $629 million without a pitch deck | Summary and Q&A

April 20, 2022
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TechCrunch Live: How Deel raised $629 million without a pitch deck

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In this video, Alex Burgesse, the founder of Deel, discusses the timeline of Deel's founding and fundraising, why they consider themselves a startup even after achieving significant success, and their approach to scaling and hiring. Aniche Ad imeo, a board member of Deel, also shares insights on their initial meeting and how they navigate conflicts. They also provide advice for founders and discuss the importance of storytelling and data in fundraising.

Questions & Answers

Q: When was Deel founded and what was their fundraising journey like?

Deel was started in early 2019 and went through a program before finding their fit. They launched their program in 2019 and raised their Series A in 2020, followed by Series B in September 2020, Series C in April 2021, and Series D in October 2021. They raised about 600 million in less than 18 months and are currently taking a break from fundraising.

Q: Are they planning to go public?

While Deel has reached 100 million in annual recurring revenue, they still consider themselves a startup. They emphasize that they are growing fast and have a lot to build. Going public is not a priority at this stage, as they are focused on building and providing an excellent customer experience.

Q: Why does Deel still consider themselves a startup?

Deel considers themselves a startup due to their rapid growth, organizational changes, and the pace at which they are building and acquiring customers. They believe that being a startup means constantly evolving, gaining momentum, and avoiding becoming overly corporate.

Q: How did Aniche Adimeo, the Series A lead, foresee the growth and potential of Deel?

Aniche had a feeling of inevitability when meeting Alex, the founder of Deel. He sensed the momentum and urgency that Alex had, and that feeling stayed with him. He viewed Alex as a founder who would make things happen, regardless of his involvement. Aniche felt confident in supporting Alex's vision and decision-making.

Q: What was their first meeting like and how did it lead to their partnership?

Alex and Aniche had a brief meeting where they discussed more about the product rather than the business. It was an introduction facilitated by Ryan Hoover. They didn't talk much about the business model but focused on the feeling that Alex was determined to achieve success. They later reconnected and decided to work together.

Q: What flags do investors look for to predict a company's explosive growth?

Investors look for a combination of intuition and getting to know the founders over time. They rely on intuition to some extent, but building trust takes time. The investors need to see that the company has the potential to scale and that the team is capable. It's important to have both data and a compelling story that demonstrates the company's growth trajectory.

Q: Why did Deel choose not to use a pitch deck during fundraising?

Deel didn't have a traditional pitch deck because they focused on burning capital efficiently. They strategically used their funding and maintained momentum, which made them attractive to investors. Instead of relying on a pitch deck, they built a strong team and focused on execution.

Q: How did Aniche Adimeo pitch Deel to Alex Burgesse?

Aniche put together a pitch deck to convey why he believed Alex and Deel were the right fit for their firm. The deck showcased their expertise, knowledge of the market, and how they could add value to Deel. Aniche emphasized the importance of having a sharpened perspective and demonstrating genuine interest in the company.

Q: How do Alex Burgesse and Aniche Adimeo handle conflicts as founder and board member?

Aniche defers to Alex's decisions and always provides him with honest feedback. They prioritize trust and understanding that mistakes can happen when a company is moving at a fast pace. Aniche trusts Alex's judgment and supports him in executing what he believes is the right path for Deel's growth.

Q: How does Deel keep everyone aligned internally?

Deel focuses on constant communication and open dialogue among the team members. They hold regular meetings and share updates, ensuring that everyone understands the company's goals and objectives. Aniche mentions that experience-sharing and alignment have improved since they established a credit tightening team and brought in more talent.

Q: How does Deel approach hiring and scaling their team?

Deel has learned to adapt their hiring strategy based on their growth stage. Initially, they focused on hiring specialists who could contribute to specific areas. As they grew, they realized the importance of having a mix of experts and generalists. They prioritize hiring individuals who align with their vision and can contribute to their fast-paced and evolving environment.


Deel's journey showcases the importance of resilience, momentum, and trust in the startup ecosystem. Their success in fundraising and growth can be attributed to their focus on burning capital efficiently, building a strong team, and maintaining a compelling story backed by data. Communication and alignment within the team are crucial, along with the ability to adapt the hiring strategy according to the company's growth stage. Overall, founders should focus on execution, building trust, and finding investors who are genuinely interested in their vision.

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