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Hear how Cambly found profits after failing to raise a Series A on TechCrunch Live • TechCrunch


TechCrunch Live is back! I’m thrilled to bring this event series back for its third season. We’re booked for months, and I’m delighted to host the upcoming guests. Join us for our first episode with Benchmark and Cambly taking place on February 1, 2023 at 11:30am PT / 2:30pm ET. 

TCL’s mission is still to help founders build better venture-backed businesses. But going into 2023, there’s new urgency behind this mission. TechCrunch Live started in the heady days of 2021, and now in early 2023, the startup world is experiencing new challenges. It’s harder to fundraise, sales cycles are much longer, and investors (and their LPs) have different expectations.

Our first guests are Sameer Shariff, CEO and co-founder of Cambly, and Sarah Tavel, a long-time investor at Benchmark and previously Greylock. They’re the perfect guests to kick off the third season of TCL!

Cambly looks like a sure bet right now, but as you’ll hear from Sameer, it was a struggle to get to this point. After failing to raise a Series A, the company had to change its model overnight. When VC after VC said no, Cambly had to find a way to make a profit to keep the doors open. Since then, the company went on to raise a $20 million Series A and a $60 million Series B, but only because the company took the hard steps to seek profitability earlier than expected.

Cambly’s Series B fundraise went wildly different from its Series A, and I hope you can join the live event to hear the lessons Sameer learned from both rounds. Sarah Tavel led Benchmark’s investment and can speak to what made Cambly a perfect fit for the firm — and you’ll hear from Sameer on why Benchmark was an ideal fit for Cambly too.

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Questions I want to ask

  • How did the company’s mindset change following the failure to raise a Series A, and how did the founders keep the team focused and on target?
  • What steps should founders take when seeking profitable growth before raising venture capital?
  • Cambly is a unique marketplace — how did the company initially acquire customers, and when did the company outgrow and replace the strategy for scale?
  • There are countless language learning marketplaces and services, so what Cambly metrics led Benchmark to lead a Series B?

And I want you to ask questions too!

Join the live event on Hopin, and ask questions in the chat. I’ll do my best to ask them when possible. Can’t make the live event, but can listen to the replay/podcast? Tweet at me, and I’ll be sure to ask your questions.

Want to get feedback on your pitch during the show?

Pitch Practice is back! Apply to present your company using this form. We’ll select 3 companies to pitch during the show, including 1 wildcard company that will be selected from our Hopin audience during the episode.


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James Thomas
James Thomas
Hello, I am James Thomas blogger and content creator who specializes in personal finance and investing at Business Advise. I have been writing for over 5 years and have built a large following of readers who value practical advice and actionable tips. I'm committed to helping people take control of their financial futures and achieve their goals.

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