Hear how Cambly found profit after failing to raise a Series A on TBEN Live


TBEN Live is back! I’m excited to bring this event series back for its third season. We have been fully booked for months and I am excited to host the upcoming guests. Join us for our first episode featuring 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 as we enter 2023, there is a new urgency behind this mission. TBEN Live started in the turbulent days of 2021 and now, in early 2023, the startup world is facing new challenges. It’s harder to raise money, 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 formerly Greylock. They’re the perfect guests to kick off TCL’s third season!

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Cambly seems like a sure bet at the moment, but as you’ll hear from Sameer, getting to this point has been a struggle. After failing to establish a Series A, the company had to change models overnight. When VC after VC said no, Cambly had to find a way to turn a profit to keep the doors open. Since then, the company has raised a $20 million Series A and a $60 million Series B, but only because the company took the hard steps to turn a profit earlier than expected.

Cambly’s Series B fundraiser was completely different from 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 share why Cambly was a perfect fit for the company – and you’ll hear from Sameer why Benchmark was also ideal for Cambly.

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Register here

Questions I want to ask

  • How did the company’s mindset change after the failure of a Series A, and how did the founders keep the team focused and on track?
  • What steps should founders take in 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 its scaling strategy?
  • There are tons of language learning marketplaces and services out there, so which Cambly stats led Benchmark to lead a Series B?
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And I want you to ask questions too!

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

Get feedback on your pitch during the show?

Pitch training is back! Sign up to present your company through this form. We select 3 companies to pitch during the show, including 1 wild card company that will be selected from our Hopin audience during the episode.


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