The Twenty Minute VC hosted Front's CEO and Cofounder Mathilde Collin this week. In this episode, Host Harry Stebbings and Mathilde discuss her philosophy on discipline, advice for fundraising and investor relationships, guidelines for healthy team communication, and more.
1. Building Front
How did Mathilde go from product manager in Paris to raising more than $70 million as CEO and cofounder of Front? Where is Front headed in the next few years?
"I wanted to create a place where I would be happy to come to work every day, and hopefully others would be happy to come to work every day, too." – Mathilde Collin
2. Discipline over vision
Mathilde says, "I would choose discipline over some grand vision any day of the week." What does discipline really mean to Mathilde, and what makes it so important in early stages? As an investor, how can you tell if a founder has discipline?
"There are soft signals you can look for that show discipline. Having someone answer the question you asked — and no more than that — is helpful for knowing if someone is a disciplined person." – Mathilde Collin
How does Mathilde manage communications with investors, her team, and direct reports?
- Investor Updates: What is Mathilde's biggest advice to founders when it comes to investor updates? What should they include, and how often should you send them? What mistakes do founders often make, and how can you ask for help in your updates?
- Revenue Updates: Why are team revenue updates important to Mathilde? What are the benefits of this transparency? Is it possible to be too transparent? What's included in the report and who does it go to?
- Direct Reports: Why does Mathilde have her calendar public for her team? As a leader, how often should you communicate with direct reports?
"At 10 am every Monday morning, I send them an email explaining what my priorities are. Usually their priorities are somewhat correlated to mine, and this gives them more guidance on where to focus their time." – Mathilde Collin
What approach does Mathilde take to fundraising at Front today? When do you know it's time to raise, and how transparent should founders be when they are not raising? When she is not raising, how does Mathilde think about building relationships with investors?
"When you go to raise, the number one thing is to be in a good state of mind. Because that's hard to fake." – Mathilde Collin