Israeli startup Walnut announced the expansion of its Seed funding round, going from $2.5 million up to $6 million over a two month period. The added capital was raised from one of Silicon Valley’s most prominent families, who are known for funding Seed rounds in popular tech giants and Unicorns.
Disconnecting salespeople from back-end teams
Walnut’s platform enables tech companies’ sales reps to disconnect from back-end teams in order to create sales demos on Walnut’s cloud. The salesperson can independently create, without any coding experience, a customized demo for a certain customer, including building templates and thus improving the whole sales chain. “We essentially disconnect the front-end from the back-end and that way remove the salesperson dependence on development teams. Then almost every element of the demo can be adapted to different customers of various sizes,” explains Walnut CEO and founder Yoav Vilner in a conversation with Geektime. “The demo itself combines only the parts of the whole product that are crucial for the customer,” Vilner adds.
The $3.5 million expansion to the Seed round was raised from Ron and Topher Conway’s SV Angel and A. Capital. Despite Israeli Unicorn Gong.io also operating in the same field, Walnut believes that there is more than enough room for both to exist, and even potentially surpass the fellow Israeli founded counterpart.
Ron Conway is part of Silicon Valley’s Super Angels, and he is even referred to as the “Godfather of Silicon Valley”. SV Angel predominantly invests in Seed rounds, and among its portfolio companies, one can find leading market giants like Doordash, Casper, Coinbase, Dropbox, Twitch, Twilio, Slack, Airbnb, and many others. If two Conways weren’t enough, then joining them is also Ronny Conway, one of the first partners of legendary VC fund Andreessen-Horowitz, and today heads A. Capital, which is comprised of former a16z partners.
The first part of the Seed round, totaling $2.5 million, was led by Gigi Levy-Weiss and NFX, with participation from Wix CEO and four-time Super Bowl champ, the “Comeback Kid” himself Joe Montana, in addition to other private investors.
Why suddenly raise over twice the original sum?
Vilner: “The initial fundraise and product launch ignited an effect that I hadn’t really seen before, definitely in the B2B sector, where during the first few weeks we received hundreds of subscriptions added to our waiting list. About 1000 relevant companies contacted us, and some of them including Adobe signed up. In addition, around 40 leading VCs contacted us and we decided to go with A. Capital and SV Angel - with our initial investor Gigi Levy-Weiss advising us the whole way.”
Gigi Levy-Weiss, who as mentioned led the first financing round, added: “Following the successful launch and POC of Walnut’s solution, we came to the conclusion that rapid growth was the way to go.” Levy-Weiss further added: “In addition to NFX, the new and excellent investors will help Walnut revolutionize their industry.”
Walnut was founded in 2020, post COVID-19 outbreak, by Yoav Vilner and CTO Danni Friedland. Vilner was part of the founding team of L1ght and Ranky, while Friedland was co-founder of eBay acquired Gifts Project, and Walkme acquired Jaco. The company is looking to use the newly raised funds to add 6 more employees to its crew of 14, working out of its Tel Aviv offices.