240 Days to Raise
The Raise Podcast
Ep 3: Lessons from Yoxly's bridge round
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Ep 3: Lessons from Yoxly's bridge round

Danae’s Fundraising Journey

With almost a decade of experience as a Medical Doctor, Danae and her co-Founder, Judson, launched Yoxly just over four years ago to tackle some of the stigmas surrounding sexual health and wellbeing. What started as an at-home STI testing kit company, has turned into educational content and a community of over 1 million people who trust and depend on Danae and her teams sexual health advice.

  • The problem: sexual health care is really fragmented and still entrenched with stigma and shame. Leading people across the globe to not fully understand the ins and outs of their sexual wellbeing and suffer from sexual health issues that have been diagnosed later rather than sooner.

  • The solution: Yoxly understands that sexual health is about more than just the absence of a disease. It’s the physical, emotional and psychological safety that enables people to better understand their sexual needs. Not only has Yoxly created an at-home STI testing kit that can test for x different STIs, they have also launched an educational content series that helps people better understand their sexual needs, without judgement.

After building a significant community and waitlist for their app in 2023, Danae and her team went on to raise a £400k bridge round toward the end of last year, which we’re discussing on this episode of The Raise.

In this episode, we cover:

  • [00:00] About Yoxly.

  • [01:10] Tell us a bit about you and why you started Yoxly.

  • [05:35] How did you transition from Danae the Doctor to the Founder?

  • [10:18] How did Yoxly kick-start the fundraising process?

  • [18:45] How did you and the team decide who to approach and how much you would raise?

  • [23:25] What are some of the things you looked out for in investors to assess whether they were the right fit?

  • [28:04] What challenges did you and your team face and how did you over come them?

  • [32:11] How did you balance fundraising with managing Yoxly as a business?

  • [35:13] How did the gaining 1 million social media followers and waitlist subscribers help with investor conversations?

  • [38:41] If you could go back and do it all again, what would you do differently?

  • [40:50] Is there anything else that first-time founder should know about fundraising?

Some takeaways:

For Founders raising 💰
  1. Make sure you have clearly defined why your product is different to anything on the market, how much money you actually need and what you will achieve with that money and how it will get you closer to the next raise.

  2. Once you’re confident in your deck, make sure you’re going after the right investors. Approach people/funds that are in the right sector, the right stage and have checks of the right size. If you already have investors on your cap table, look for people you can get warm intros to.

  3. An investor mis-match is more costly than it’s worth. Finding people who are a good fit, understand and appreciate the bigger mission and vision, will have a huge impact on the time and energy that you spend manging that relationship. You want people who are energising, not draining.

For aspiring founders 🤩
  1. Listen to investor feedback, especially if you’re getting the same advice over and over again. Common tweak to be made with your deck? Change it. Do they require more traction? Focus on that. Whatever it is that you’re hearing repeatedly, take the time to do the work and change it.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, Overcast, and YouTube.

Where to find Danae Maragouthakis:

LinkedIn | Yoxly website | Yoxly TikTok

Where to find Jade Buffong:

LinkedIn | Newsletter

Lightning-round answers:

Were there any tools you relied on heavily for your fundraising? (e.g. a CRM, pitch deck creator etc)

  • We were pretty old school when it comes to fundraising! We made a list in Google sheets, and used LinkedIn, Crunchbase, and online articles for investor research.

What Founders should we be keeping an eye on?

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240 Days to Raise
The Raise Podcast
A podcast that sheds light on the fundraising efforts of pre-seed and seed stage Founders.
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Jade Buffong-Phillips