If you’ve got big Fortune 500 customers then there is no need for VC. For many startups, obtaining VC money is a milestone and marketing trick for more success and go market, but if you already have big names lined up for you in the market, it makes perfect sense to skip the VC stage.
Alistair Crane is 25-years-old and co-founder of startup Grapple Mobile, which builds custom mobile apps for big companies. He’s living proof that startups don’t need VC money.
Crane’s and True’s determination to build their company on a shoestring worked. Grapple supports itself and has been able to invest $9 million in growing the business. Since the company opened its doors in January 2010, Grapple grew from three guys to about 85 employees in three countries: the U.K. (London), Canada (Toronto) and the U.S. (New York).
Its customers include McDonald’s, Proctor & Gamble, Adidas, IBM, Pfizer, Microsoft’s Xbox unit, Hertz and T-Mobile. Grapple Mobile builds them custom mobile apps for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, or Windows Phone 7— any device their customers use. For instance, Windows Phone 7 is gaining popularity with teenage girls, Crane says. That means it might not be a big deal for IBM, but would be for McDonald’s.