Trailer Episode

Modernizing The Capital Raising Process With DealMaker’s Mat Goldstein

Raising capital can be a tedious process, even after investors have agreed to commit capital. 

This realization was the catalyst for experienced Bay Street lawyers Mat Goldstein and Rebecca Kacaba launching DealMaker—a digital transaction management platform that provides a seamless, headache-free investor experience. Since the platform’s inception in 2018, companies of all sizes have used DealMaker to launch and market their offerings to investors across the globe.

In this episode of The Modern CFO, Mat talks with host Andrew Seski about the future of digital capital formation and what sets DealMaker apart from other cloud-based platforms offering capital raising solutions.

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Please note that the transcript is AI-generated and may contain errors. The content in the podcast is not intended as investment advice, and is meant for informational and entertainment purposes only.

[00:00:00] Andrew Seski: Hello everyone and welcome back to The Modern CFO Podcast. As always, I'm your host, Andrew Seski. Today, we're joined by Mat Goldstein, co-founder of DealMaker. Mat, thanks so much for being here. 

[00:00:20] Mat Goldstein: I'm delighted to be here. Thanks, Andrew. 

[00:00:22] Andrew Seski: So before we kick off, let's talk about DealMaker and what it is. What does it mean to turn a simple capital raise into e-commerce?

[00:00:30] Mat Goldstein: Yeah. DealMaker, first and foremost, is a technology company. Our platform is used by issuers. You know, think, when I say "issuers," think "founders." You know, companies who are raising capital, who are looking to solve an age problem of how to engage with prospective investors and turn them into a source of capital. Using our software, an entrepreneur can start an online store and run a full e-commerce campaign, identify leads, create a relationship with a community, engage with that community to turn it into a source of capital, and rely on the analytics, payment processing, and full set of functionalities you'd expect in a Shopify store. You can leverage that for a capital raise campaign. So that's what we mean by turning raising capital into e-commerce. It means using the internet as your medium of sale and using the tools of e-commerce to identify an audience, engage with it, and turn that into a source of capital. 

[00:01:38] Andrew Seski: So let's talk about how you identified the need for DealMaker and what actually catalyzed the entrepreneurial spirit in yourself to go start something new. You were a lawyer in your previous life. So now, are there no efficiencies when it comes to the legal frameworks of startups? Because I'm sure between all of the different types of offerings, whether you're doing Reg CF, Reg A, Reg A+, and having all of these actually change a bit probably over the last 10 to 20 years between the US and Canada, did you notice any major inefficiencies that catalyzed your, you know, desire to go try to solve some with technology?

[00:02:16] Mat Goldstein: Well, Andrew, that's what we lawyers would call a leading question. You're right. So look, you know, Rebecca and I started this company back in, you know, back when we were still practicing law early kind of 2017. We did our beta in 2017. We started planning the company earlier in 2016. We were both partners at an international law firm. And in our daily practice, we dealt with technology companies and we came to understand that kind of lean startup mentality of how to solve a problem using technology by build-measure-learn. And we, you know, one day, we sat down with a whiteboard and we mapped out what the steps were in a capital markets transaction. 

[00:02:58] And when I say "capital markets transaction," I really just mean a company selling shares, right? And it's crazy. I mean, you have to identify, there are eligibility requirements when you're selling chairs in the exempt markets. I can get into all that. It's like, you know, you've got public companies who are listed on stock exchanges. They have a whole infrastructure to raise capital, and it's automated, and it's built on, you know, brokerage houses where you go into your Robinhood account and you press "buy" or "sell." And, you know, technology takes over. The private markets have nothing like that. Just nothing. If you and your co-founders were raising capital, which, you know, you've done so you can talk about, then you're in the exempt markets. You're not a public company. You don't have access to that infrastructure. So you need a lawyer to draft a subscription agreement. The investors have to be eligible to buy exempt market securities, which means they need to be accredited in some way or the offering needs to be qualified in a different way. They'll need to fill in the certificate, they'll need to send in the money, the money they send in has to match the order on the form. And there's a whole nine depth, you know, kabuki dance to get to a closing, which just costs everybody time, money, and headaches. 

[00:04:15] And so, we looked at that and said, "Well, isn't raising capital really just sales?" Right? And that's something you and I have chatted about before. Isn't it just sales? How is it different? You're identifying somebody who, you know, likes what you have. You've got an ideal profile in mind and you wanna eliminate any friction in between them liking what you have and, you know, you making the transaction. And so, there's a playbook for this. It's called the internet. And if you think back to the early days of e-commerce, you had shoe stores who would go to like Accenture and custom-build a website to sell shoes online. And along came Shopify and said, "You don't have to do that anymore. We built a platform. You can license an online store and it has everything you need to run a campaign on the internet and you have to find the buyers." That's the Shopify model. And that's our model as well. 

[00:05:20] And at the end of the day, there's just some stuff you can't outsource or automate. If you are a founder, it's you that people are investing in. You have to be front and center of your store. But we built a technology platform that puts the issuer front and center, puts the founder front and center, and going out to raise capital then becomes an exercise in, you know, e-commerce, right? Identifying the prospects, engaging with them in a way that, you know, speaks with them, that they connect with, using analytics to see who's likely to close, right? All of the tools of the modern kind of sales funnel management — the CRM, the prospecting, the elimination of friction in getting an order form signed, elimination of friction in taking payments online using credit card — we built all of that. 

[00:06:10] And over time, it became, you know, something that, I think it's true whenever you introduce innovation into a market, there's a dynamic, right? The market response, the innovation, and it unlocked people's minds. So in the very early days, right, there were, you know, people who were raising capital from friends and family and from kind of pre-IPO rounds and following the same steps that traditional capital raising would follow. But over time, as people came to really understand, you know, you mentioned Reg A and Reg CF, these are major innovations in US Securities Law that open up the ability of founders to raise capital online, and to take payment by credit card, and to market to the public at large, and to run ads on the sides of buses if they want, right, or to run, you know, ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, right? To identify where audiences are online, it used to be you'd go and pitch in like a hotel lobby or a restaurant, right? And now, you've got the internet at your fingertips to identify your community, to build that community, and to engage with people in a way that makes it more likely for you to find them and for them to find you. And that's the story of DealMaker. 

[00:07:34] Andrew Seski: That's awesome. Thanks so much for sharing that. There might be some other leading questions here, but we have a really sophisticated audience of CFOs, so I kind of want to get into maybe a philosophical conversation before hitting some of the major trends of why I think it's really important to have these fundraising conversations today and in this environment. 

[00:07:51] One of the things that I keep a really close eye on has been the accreditation standard, here in the US anyway. And I've listened to the conversations. They're public conversations that the SEC has, and they take comments and notes from the outside. And I have to say I'm relatively unimpressed by some of the ideas, you know? It's "Go get an MBA," "Go get a JD," you know, maybe pass a test or. So I'm really curious to see what ends up happening because there's a huge push of people who are highly sophisticated who I feel should likely, you know, start to break down the barriers of accreditation. 

[00:08:24] But one of the critiques, and I'm sure you've heard this in earlier days of DealMaker likely, but what would you respond to, you know, in the earlier days, maybe less so now, all that was democratized was the risk of earlier stage investments as opposed to some of the higher quality opportunities, and that those who were trying to be innovative in their fundraise may have been excluded from institutional dollars. I don't think that's the case as we stand today. I think those looking for innovative raises have maybe a unique product that's more consumer-oriented. But kind of curious on your take of that critique because I think it's something in the back of some CFOs' minds and the idea if they want to open up a raise to more people, it might be more onerous to manage, you know, a messier cap table. Does technology solve for some of that? And how are you thinking about that from your vantage point maybe in the last five years?

[00:09:17] Mat Goldstein: Yeah. So I think there's a lot there. I mean, look. Let's start with the traditional capital market, right? I don't think it's a secret, and I don't think I'm casting aspersions to say the traditional capital market functions very conservatively. There's quite a select group, you know, who consistently get funded by VC and institutional capital, and that group has certain attributes that don't include, you know, the public at large. Like you can read the stats yourself, but 2% of VC funding go to, you know, the nontraditional founders, the founders that don't meet, you know, traditional demographic criteria. So I don't think that's a secret. I think the way the capital markets have functioned for a long time has been very exclusive. 

[00:09:59] And, you know, over the last five years in particular, and if you go back to 2012, you have the JOBS Act, which was an Act of US Congress designed to say like, can we open up the capital markets to, on one side, you know, non-accredited investors who wanna participate and, on the other side, founders who are blocked from accessing capital in traditional ways? And, you know, they're gonna go out and create jobs. They're gonna go out and bring innovation into the economy. Can we not let those two sides of a marketplace find each other by removing some of the barriers? And over time, I mean, 2012 is the signing of the JOBS Act, but the, you know, the Reg CF rules and the Reg A rules, which, for people who don't know, like when we say "equity crowdfunding," we're talking about a bundle of regulations. And just without going too deep into the weeds, the bundle of regulations are designed to open up the sale of private market securities to non-accredited investors; to make a purchase and to open up the marketing of some of these securities to the public at large. In the traditional capital markets, you can't go around marketing to the public at large, and you can't go around making sale of exempt market securities to, you know, basically non-accredited investors. 

[00:11:25] And so, the world we've moved into is a world where US Congress has signaled, let's open things up for founders to access capital and let's open things up for, you know, ordinary people — people like me and you, you know, who have, you know, normal jobs and aren't hedge fund managers. Can they invest and make, you know, make a contribution to companies who are growing and get in on some of the real success stories? So, you know, you've seen the energy in WallStreetBets and in Reddit and, you know, GameStop was a great example. But these are signals, right, that there's an opportunity to open up this market for capital, for a public that's hungry for it and for founders who have been blocked in the traditional capital markets.

[00:12:13] Andrew Seski: Alright. So you teed it up. So let's talk rise of retail. So one of my favorite quotes that one of the co-founders of Nth Round always says is that to be a successful entrepreneur who raises outside capital, you need either people who are irrationally in love with you or your product. However, in the last, I don't know, 10, 15 years, you and your products have almost avatars in, you know, the digital world, where people can feel connected to you through social media for decades, where they feel like they're a part of your journey and love your product and can engage with you and your product, your services in a really, really modern way. And that irrational love can take place in different areas. 

[00:12:54] So I want to talk about, you know, some of the industries where we think this is probably gonna take place and grow the fastest. And then, I think it'd be really fun to talk about essentially where the marketplace will start to develop. Will it create, you know, a piece of venture? I mean, it's really interesting to see public and private markets converge at the top end, right? You see Tiger Global coming down in free IPO venture. You see private equity coming into Series A, which is, you know, everyone is mixing and merging fundraising rounds. It'll be really interesting to see if there's a critical mass that takes place in this small, medium-sized business that has equity crowdfunding because I think a big piece of this will end up being not just the raise itself, but also liquidity at the end of these journeys. So I think to hit that piece of liquidity and real returns, you know, the secondary markets might become more robust or that trickle-down will continue into these businesses as people look to, you know, alternative capital. And I think the alternative markets are a really promising place. I think people are, they get nervous with the volatility of our geopolitical scenarios. And, you know, maybe if they all had daily price graphs, people would be nervous about the private markets too. But traditionally, I think people are looking to be more well-diversified. 

[00:14:12] So I know that's a lot to throw at you. But I think maybe just kicking off with, you know, the overarching trends of people being able to find and establish a relationship with you and your services online is a trend that's not going away and becoming more prevalent than ever. So I would love to kind of hear your thoughts there and talk about some of the marketplaces you think are consolidating, growing the fastest. 

[00:14:33] Mat Goldstein: You know, I agree with you on kind of the, some of the major considerations that you outline. Like those are major considerations on how this market is evolving. But yeah, let's start with the first part. You know, you talk about irrational love. I would bring it back to the insight we started with, which is, you know, raising capital is just sales, you know? Andrew, wouldn't you agree for any sales, any successful business development, you have to create an emotional connection? Somebody's gonna give you money. You know, there has to be a lot of respect for the ask. You are asking someone to give you money. People, you know, earn their money and you are asking for them to entrust it to you, whether you're selling them a Tesla or you're selling them shares. I think, you know, go back to Guy Kawasaki, right? Delighting the customer. How is that any different in the sale of securities? Like the sale of securities is just sales. So creating an emotional connection is the foundation of a successful sale, in my opinion, right? And that's true if you're selling a Tesla, and it's true if you are selling security. 

[00:15:42] So, you know, we've learned over the past 10 years, certainly in the past, you know, two and something years of the pandemic in a more accelerated way, that you can still create emotional connections without being in person. I think that's not a controversial thing to say, right? I think, you know, the internet has opened our eyes to how people can find one another online. Like you can think of so many parallels. Dating, right? So building an emotional connection using the internet, building an emotional connection using Web3, building an emotional connection using text message, right? The technology, you know, I said earlier, the technology opens up and unlocks imagination, right? That's kind of one of the main things I mean. You can use technology to create a full community, and that community can engage with each other, right? They can engage with you and your product. They can, you know. And if we, and if now we now move the analogy over to securities, you turn that community towards the source of capital and think of kind of a full cycle and maybe at the end of that active community building, that community is trading amongst itself. So we can get kind of more granular on what that looks like, but I certainly believe that raising capital follows the same principles of sales. Building an emotional connection is fundamental. 

[00:17:14] And, you know, there's a lot of ways to do that. You know, great content can get the conversation started. Like the first thing you need to do is get attention, you know? Send a signal that cuts through the noise. And so, your ads have to resonate, you know, your video has to resonate. You have to create a signal. You have to pierce the noise and get attention. And then once you have that, again, you have to respect your ask. You're asking people for their time. You're asking people for their attention. You have to treat that with respect, and you have to feed it. You have to engage with it. You have to give them something that creates value for them, right? You have to give them information that's valuable for them. You can't just, you know, "We're so great." Like you can, but good luck with that. When you start to treat raising capital as a form of sales and use the internet and digital technologies to really, you know, leverage what sales have, right, in drip campaigns, in content creation, in marketing materials, in video, in embedding, you know, embedding kind of native ads. Like we can deep into the weeds. But you can, you know, what you do is you send a signal and it's like waving a flag and, you know, your friends see it. The people who identify with what you have to say, they find you. And so, it's that two-way dialogue that the internet unlocks or should I just say digital technology 'cause, you know, we might talk about Web3, we might talk about mobile, but, you know, digital technology unlocks that ability to create that emotional connection. And then once you're building a community, there's a lot you can do with it. And it's, you know, mutual. 

[00:18:47] Andrew Seski: One of the kind of unspoken things that there's so many conversations about how Instagram and TikTok or YouTube can be really damaging. One of the things that really inspires me about this next generation of entrepreneurs is their ability to create content, to create followings, to communicate really effectively about what they're doing. And building in public, I think, establishes so much more trust. And I think that that constant flow of content kind of creates a really unique opportunity for this next generation of entrepreneurs to be really successful, you know, crowdfunders and raise capital independently of some of the major institutions.

[00:19:24] So I want to talk a little bit about how DealMaker differentiates itself in terms of, well, we've talked about kind of the investor relationship with founders, but let's talk about the marketplace. And there are some marketplaces out there, some are really diverse, some have crypto offerings, some have, you know, very just narrow windows. And it's always tricky to me to come across some of these platforms that, you know, promise help with fundraising. But I want to differentiate DealMaker a little bit about automating what can't be automated. And I would love that we spent the first part of this conversation being very realistic about the relationship you have to have with investors to be successful in fundraising. So I would love to hear about how you started DealMaker and how you basically differentiated yourself knowing all of this going in. 

[00:20:12] Mat Goldstein: It's very simple. I mean, our core principle is self-belief. You have to believe in yourself. These are your investors, right? That's our message to the market. If you are gonna go out and raise capital, that is your brand, that is your story, that is your value prop. Those are your investors. And so, we put the founder or the issuer front and center. You can go on DealMaker.tech, you won't see anything to buy. Nobody can scroll and look for offerings. All offerings are, you know, what DealMaker's doing is it's powering the, you know, you call it a white-labelled store. It's powering the offering for the, we did the Green Bay Packers common stock offering. I don't think you and I ever talked about that, but that was —

[00:20:49] Andrew Seski: No, I didn't know that. 

[00:20:51] Mat Goldstein: Yeah. Green Bay Packers sells shares to the publics periodically. And, you know, when they started doing it, people had to mail subscription agreements.

[00:20:58] Andrew Seski: Oh my gosh, I remember that. My old firm had some of those shares in their office hanging up. 

[00:21:04] Mat Goldstein: Yeah, exactly. And, you know, they had to mail it in, and they had to send a check, and then they would like come back in the mail and, you know, hopefully they filled in the offering doc right, and maybe they read it, maybe they didn't. But it's a very good kind of paradigm to see how technology drives the industry forward. When November 2021, the Green Bay Packers did their common stock offering on our platform, right, you go on, you buy from your mobile phone, you're buying direct from the Green Bay Packers. It's their brand. It's their store, you know? We power the whole thing, but it isn't like that's in a marketplace where people are scrolling, looking for something to buy. It's a direct relationship between that issuer, that brand, and its community. 

[00:21:45] And that really kind of, you know, takes us back to how and why we started this company. We wanted to eliminate friction for, I mean, when we were lawyers, it was for our clients, right? And, you know, what are the kind of hallmarks of the Google information age? Transparency and collaboration, right? Why was the capital markets in a place where, you know, the issuer raising capital had no real visibility, right, no transparency into where people were in a funnel, where people's minds were at. Have people engaged with the content? Have they read it? Have they clicked on it? Without the internet and without digital technology, you can't get into the heads of prospects. You have to just kind of wait. Like people will send in a subscription agreement or they won't. They'll send in money or they won't. You'll never know in real time kind of where the deal is at. You might have to call your lawyer and say like, has money come in? Has it not? And so, from where we were sitting, you know, both Rebecca and I kind of took a look at this and said, "Well, what if we bring transparency and collaboration into the capital markets using technology?" And as capital markets lawyers, Rebecca and I had deep subject matter expertise. We know the rules. We know them across, you know, a number of global jurisdictions, the major centers of capital formation — the US, Canada, UK, Australia. In our practice, we always thought globally and we always thought, you know, from a scalability perspective. And so, you know, we took that subject matter expertise and we built a software based on transparency and collaboration that powers an issuer's capital raise using technology. And from there, it's become, you know, the market leader in large, global, online capital formation. We're very proud of the fact that basically all of the largest online exempt market private placements have been done powered by our technology, right? Green Bay Packers included. Green Bay Packers hasn't even been the largest. 

[00:23:50] So it comes back to, you know, how technology can introduce a new way of thinking and how innovation can unlock imagination. And, you know, you can use the internet to turn a community into a source of capital. And every quarter we see more and more kind of more developed brands, right, with communities who spend so much money building a community for their product. They've got newsletters. They've got Instagram. They've got ads continually going out. They can turn that community into a source of capital. And I think, you know, we're in the early, early days of kind of mainstream America just kind of waking up to that realization. You don't have to treat a capital raise and a product marketing campaign as two totally different things. You can do both at the same time.

[00:24:38] Andrew Seski: That's a great point. I love that point. I normally have people, you know, hit the back 30 seconds button a few times when I really love a point, and that would be a great one to go back to. I think that's a really important concept. 

[00:24:51] I wanna be sort of purposely inflammatory here and talk about whether or not you think the death of Silicon Valley is kind of arriving right now. And I wanna get you to kind of, I wanna talk about like the physical location. I think founders who are nearby each other can really benefit from communities. But those communities, I mean, I look at Andreessen and I see them say, you know, "Our headquarters is wherever. We're a completely distributed team now." That's just one example. But I think about kind of the nature of venture in general. I mean, I think some people would argue, I don't know, the silicon and semiconductor industry started at TI in Texas, not in Silicon Valley anyway so it's been a marketing scheme this whole time or something kind of wild like that.

[00:25:34] But I'm curious to think about, or how you think about whether or not these trends are going to basically disrupt not just the access to capital and who the key participants are, but whether or not we're headed into a purely distributed network that will kind of not rejoin each other. Do you think that this distribution of capital and participants is now just forever going to be globalized? I mean, I see that in the crypto community. That seems to be a really big kind of positive sentiment that they're pushing. But I do wonder if the need for a physical Silicon Valley or to be, you know, next to Stanford's campus, if that's gonna be as relevant in the next 10 years mostly because in the last 10 years, we've seen what VCs can do really well in scaling companies, but we haven't really participated with this technology available in really downmarkets. So we're going to see what happens when the tides kind of fall out and discuss, you know, what is the best way for different businesses to be funded, you know? There are different incentives that come with different investment types. And I think you could easily argue that there are certain companies with major venture dollars that are scaling for growth's sake as opposed to growing profitable businesses. And I think that's sort of become aspirational to a lot of young entrepreneurs. You know, if you're going to Y Combinator, if you're getting knighted by the VCs, there is some pride behind that. And I think it'd be really interesting to see what basically happens, in your opinion, on how can you create similar environments that are distributed maybe even with better terms. And just really curious to hear what you think about that.

[00:27:16] Mat Goldstein: Yeah. So look. The first thing I would say is the VC and institutional capital corner of the capital markets is actually pretty small, especially for young founders. They come out of Stanford or they come out of, you know, come out of technical schools or they don't go to university or, you know. And they think, "Okay, getting funded means I have to do 'X'." And the profile of those founders and the profile of those companies end up looking a certain way, right? And it's a tiny corner of the capital markets as a whole, right? US capital formation is in the teeth, right? It's trillions of dollars of capital formation. And the 99 companies that Andreessen, you know, looks at and doesn't invest in versus the one it does, those 99 companies still go out and raise.

[00:28:06] Andrew Seski: Right.

[00:28:07] Mat Goldstein: Right? They may raise from their own communities. They may raise from, you know, the scratching and clawing of the founders whose hustle and determination to chase every lead, you know, eventually gets them to where they're going, where they may raise through investment banking or they may raise through, you know, programs. But I think the area of the capital markets that the VCs reside, I don't think we need to think about it like, in order to open up capital for more founders, we've gotta take some out of this space. There's huge amounts of capital formation in the US that's untapped, and I think that's the primary area of growth for, you know, founders who are being a little bit more creative about how they raise, founders who are going to build their own communities and raise that way. 

[00:28:52] And I think, you know, if you want to talk about some of the terms that founders are able to set when they build their own community, 99 times out of a hundred, better terms than they would get from, you know, someone heavily negotiating to take a board seat or to take liquidation differences. It's a different type of capital formation, right? It's focused on people who, you know, feel emotionally connected, who understand the story, who wanna be owners. I think Green Bay Packers is a great example. People wanna be owners, right? It's not necessarily because they have a return on capital thesis that they're pursuing. A lot of them do. I'm not talking about Green Bay. But I just mean that sentiment of, you know, I wanna be a part owner of something that I care about 'cause I have an emotional connection to it. And, you know, I'm happy to participate on terms that, you know, a whole bunch of people are participating. 

[00:29:48] And one of our major success stories on the platform brought in 3,000 shareholders, right? They ran a series of campaigns over 18 months, but they brought in, you know, one of them brought in 10,000 shareholders. So even though average purchase amount might be 3,000 bucks, might be 5,000 bucks, might be 1,500 bucks, it depends on the campaign and depends on what they're trying to do. But there's so much opportunity in the broader capital markets to identify people who get a story and who wanna feel emotionally connected to a company. It's, you know, is not necessarily, "Do I go VC or do I go here?" It's, you know, sometimes, it's both. Sometimes, you have venture-backed companies that are turning to the crowd because, you know, they have a growth trajectory that meets a VC thesis. And the validation of having VC backing plus the validation of having a widespread audience that wanna be owners, it works together really nicely.

[00:30:44] Andrew Seski: That's a really good point, too. I think that often the way I even posited it was you've got one or the other. I think having a mix of types of investors can be really helpful along the journey of an entrepreneurial path for sure. I think actually starting with a good crowd is a ton of validation. So, I mean, and it's a loyalty metric. I think that will become more important as groups scale. You know, it's one thing to have active users, it's another if they're putting money into the firm itself. So I think it's a huge, huge, very powerful metric.

[00:31:11] Mat Goldstein: That's really interesting, right? There are these kind of, you know, sacred laws that VCs follow. They look at, you know, like active user count. That wasn't an accident that you said that. That's been a sacred law for a long time. You're looking at traction by measuring something, right? Isn't another way to measure traction by, you know, kind of conversion of community into a source of capital, right? How many people believe so much in your product that they're willing to put money in, right? 

[00:31:39] Andrew Seski: Yeah, talk about a sticky measurement, right? Yeah, it's interesting. 

[00:31:42] Mat Goldstein: I think so.

[00:31:43] Andrew Seski: Mat, what a cool conversation to have about what the future metrics that we're gonna look at are gonna, you know, are gonna be. Well, I'm curious what's going on when you think about investor education. I feel like the crowds have become, so we talked about this a little bit with the rise of retail, in the public markets being able to use some momentum to kind of battle with the hedge funds during the pandemic that maybe there was a lot of people inside with maybe too much free time. However, I do think the education is far more widely available than it ever has been. And I'm curious because you've had so much time working with founders from, I mean from the legal standpoint, but partially in education, I think a big piece of your role then was probably in discussing and educating on different offering types and, you know, what you were able to recommend that they do. And I'm kind of curious as the faces and knowledge has, I mean, everything has changed quite a bit, if you're seeing more sophisticated people come to your platform basically, you know, year over year as the education and information becomes more democratized, too. 

[00:32:47] Mat Goldstein: Yeah, absolutely. And then I think in many respects, you know, if you follow the literature on diffusion of innovation, right, and crossing the chasm, the literature shows a pretty consistent trend of, you know, innovation kind of starting in the out-there regions, the penumbra, right, and migrating into the mainstream. And it's just a question of time, and seeing success stories and, you know, word of mouth, and a mindset shift, right? When you introduce something new, it does take some time, and there's a whole art and science of change management. Education's a big piece of it. You know, we do webinars, we've got a lot of public-facing knowledge on our knowledge hub. 

[00:33:26] But honestly, the best, the most impactful evangelists for the space are those founders who have successfully created communities online and turned those into a source of capital. And there's a multiplier effect because, you know, if one of those issuers does bring in 3,000 or 5,000 or 10,000 shareholders, you know, that's a whole community of people who might tell their friends about this experience they had if it was a positive experience. And then, you know, you're basically building momentum one success study or one case study at a time. And what we see coming on the platform today versus, you know, the kind of business origination in the early days, totally different profile. I mean, we've got New York Stock Exchange-listed companies raising capital on the platform. That wouldn't have happened in 2012, so. 

[00:34:17] You gotta remember five years ago, the space was zero. Zero. Maybe six years ago. Early 2016, online capital formation rounded to zero, right? And so, you know, on our platform alone, we've done, I think it's 1.6 billion, right, which for us is a lot. But for the US capital markets, that's still physically very, very small. So we're in, you know, Rebecca likes to say we're in the second inning, to use a baseball analogy. We're in the early, early days. And, you know, education and success will fertilize the ecosystem further. And you get that snowball picking up momentum the longer it goes and the more, you know, success stories hit the market.

[00:35:01] Andrew Seski: Yeah. I think the listeners should all take a moment and check out DealMaker's website just from a educational standpoint because I think that in the next, I mean, no one can predict exactly what's gonna happen, but I think markets are being shaken up quite a bit. So whether you're exploring venture debt or trying to avoid a venture down round or whatever your situation may be, I think right now is a really, really great time to double down on investor communications, to double down on, you know, innovative ways to continue to grow and to kind of showcase that you've got strength in your community. I think it's a great place to get started and a really rich resource I saw your Investor FAQ and your Issuer FAQ. I think it's a really important place to go just to educate yourself on what some people are doing to continue to grow their firms. 

[00:35:49] Mat, I want to talk a little bit about you for a second 'cause we have cruised through a ton of topics we could spend a few hours on. One thing I ask every podcast guest is, is there something that you feel is underestimated in the world today? And it doesn't have to be about DealMaker. It doesn't have to be about finance at all or fundraising. Just curious because of the breadth of CFOs we have on the show and their vantage points being so unique. Just something that they feel underestimated in the world typically is something we should all be thinking about but maybe don't have the specific viewpoint.

[00:36:21] Mat Goldstein: I've already kind of alluded to it or I said it a little bit earlier. But for me, philosophically, the notion of self-belief is really, really important. And, you know, as a founder of this company and really, you know, my co-founder Rebecca is, I attribute enormous, I have enormous respect for how she's unlocked, you know, my own self-belief. And but, you know, there's a consistency in our philosophy around self-belief, you know, our message to the market around self-belief, you know, something we see underdeveloped in the world is self-belief. But, you know, raising capital is hard. Starting a company is hard. And the more people who believe in themselves, right, to create that emotional connection, to find a way to success, to, you know, raise their own capital, to start their own online store, we see that as having very, very positive multiplier effects on the economy, on innovation, and just on, you know, communities. Like people who are empowered to believe in themselves and who, you know, feel supported in going out to, you know, do something themselves, raise their own capital, you know, find their own investors. I'm not saying you shouldn't rely on intermediaries or, you know, look for people to help you along the way. Of course, that's part of it. But fundamentally, believing in yourself and being supported in going out to, you know, to raise capital and to start a company and to grow a company is something that we really, really would love to impart to the world as our, you know, major contribution.

[00:38:01] Andrew Seski: Right. So I think one way, correct me if I'm wrong, but one way to think about fundraising is that every dollar is a vote of confidence, and that vote of confidence can continue to empower that self-belief. And DealMaker's underpinning some of that process to make that more of a reality for more people.

[00:38:18] Mat Goldstein: Yeah, well put. 

[00:38:19] Andrew Seski: Awesome. Well, I love the fact that we got to cover so much today. I know we're already stretched for time, so I don't wanna keep you too long. But how can people learn more about DealMaker? How can they get in touch with you? And, you know, what is the best way to interact if even if just an educational standpoint as a resource?

[00:38:38] Mat Goldstein: You've hit all the notes. We do our best. We do webinars. We have content available on our site DealMaker.tech. There is an intake process there, too, for people who are interested in learning more about raising capital. And we do put out consistent information about the space through our newsletter. So DealMaker.tech is the place to start. And I really appreciate the conversation. I think it was a great conversation and I'm glad to have been here. 

[00:39:02] Andrew Seski: Thanks, Mat. I'm excited to circle back in a number of years as this space continues to develop, and that episode's gonna be more fun as we're able to reflect back today. But thank you so much for joining The Modern CFO, and I'm looking forward to speaking again soon. 

[00:39:15] Mat Goldstein: Thank you. Have a great day.

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