We don't believe in warm intros.
Instead, we built founders a custom application filled with resources and (we think) thought-provoking questions.
We respect your time, so you can apply at your own pace.
Think of the application as a pitch email and async, remote intro call, combined. Rest assured, we read every single one.
You'll get right down to business with our General Partner, Tyler.
If we think we're a fit for your company, we'll schedule a call. You can check your status anytime, or even submit an update!
As a general rule we invest in companies after they have launched and have some paying customers, though within that we can invest quite early. Find more details about what we invest in here.
We invest using a financing structure that we created called the Shared Earnings Agreement. This allow us to back founders who want to build sustainable profit-focused businesses without the pressure of having to continually raise capital or sell. We win when you win, on your terms.
We bring more than just a check and have a big focus on Mentorship & Community. Learn more about our approach to mentorship here.
We primarily invest on a rolling basis using a financing structure that we created called the Shared Earnings Agreement (“SEAL”) that allows us to back founders who want to build sustainable profit-focused businesses without the pressure of having to continually raise capital or sell.
Short for Shared Earnings Agreement, a SEAL is a financing structure created by us to invest into calm companies to create a win-win situation all round. It is not debt, doesn’t have a fixed repayment schedule, and doesn’t require a personal guarantee. Investors make an upfront capital investment and then are entitled to receive Shared Earnings which is a percentage of Founder Earnings (a mix of founder salaries, dividends and retained earnings). Shared Earning payments only kick in once founders are able to pay themselves at least the amount agreed before hand (we call this the Founder Earnings Threshold) — we want you to thrive not just survive! To understand more about SEALS, check this out.
Nope. But an easy mistake to make. Revenue-based debt products are repaid as a percent of top-line revenue. By using Founder Earnings plus a threshold, a SEAL is much closer to a profit-share. Investors expect a growth period after the investment before any Shared Earnings begin to be paid.
Currently, we are able to invest in the US, Canada, most of the EU, Australia and New Zealand. Probably a few other places. Apply for funding and we'll try and figure it out.
If you would like to start a US-based entity, our portfolio company FirstBase is the easiest way to launch a US LLC or C-Corp. Use the code “earnest” for $20 off.
Yep. You can apply for funding here.
We love bootstrapped companies! You've launched, have some paying customers, and some feedback. We don't invest in idea stage, pre-product companies — that is not our realm of expertise. We invest in MVPs, not proof of concepts. Loads more on this here.
We invest between $75k – $250k and can lead rounds of $500k-$1m.
We have a preference for C-Corps and believe they are frequently the best option for founders as well, but LLCs are not a dealbreaker for us. We've invested in a number of non-US businesses and are happy to continue doing so. There is a little bit extra diligence and legal work required but it is truly just a little and not a big deal.
If you would like to launch a US C-Corp our portfolio company FirstBase is the easiest way to do that. Use the code “earnest” for $20 off.
An application! Our custom application tool that lets you apply to us for funding at a pace that works for you. Check it out.
That is not our vibe. Our terms have something called a Founder's Earnings Threshold which is explained more here, but the gist of it is that founders have full control over their salary. It is actually a minimum earnings floor. The opposite of a cap.
Our center of gravity is B2B software-as-a-service (SaaS). Recurring revenue, high margin, software businesses are our bread and butter and represent the bulk of our investments.
Some things we are particularly interested in right now are:
Read more about what we invest in.
You can check out all of our investments here.
After nearly 4 years of investing a breakneck pace, we’re taking a pause this quarter to focus, refine our strategy, and prepare for bigger things next year. At this point we are not reviewing new investment opportunities until 1 Jan 2023.
Our application process remains open, and you’re welcome to start or complete that at any time this quarter, but we can’t promise will review it until after the quarter is over.
We know this means we may miss some great investment opportunities, but being calm is about prioritizing and investing our time and resources into our long-term goals so we can keep supporting calm companies for decades to come.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.