Serial Entrepreneur Raises $21M To Give Newest Venture A Running Start

Viably's Founder and CEO Doron Gordon, who previously founded Samanage and led it to a $350M acquisition by SolarWinds in 2019.

A Cary-based startup that operates as a “Mint for the small business” has raised $21 million in funding. 

Viably, the all-in-one financial management and banking app for small businesses founded by serial entrepreneur Doron Gordon, announced the seed round today, which included investments from Viola Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Angular Ventures and Durham-based Bull City Venture Partners.

Gordon said this funding will be used to solidify Viably’s customer fit after the platform launches in the next few weeks. More than 10,000 businesses are already on Viably’s waitlist.

“It’s all about getting into product-market fit,” Gordon said. “We’re launching our product, and launching is the easy part. Right after that, you start optimizing and testing and refining and perfecting the entire machine.”

Gordon previously founded and exited Samanage, which was acquired by SolarWinds in 2019 for $350 million. And so far, the Viably team is nearly all past Samanage employees, a fact Gordon is particularly proud of as a CEO.

“I’m an old school guy, and I like to work with people that I have a tremendous amount of respect for,” Gordon said. “So that’s one reason why 90 percent of the company are actually also Samanage employees, which is a huge accomplishment.”

Working with trustworthy people Gordon has already established a relationship with was also part of his fundraising strategy, as both Viola Ventures and Salesforce Ventures had backed Samanage previously.

And locally, Gordon had been looking for a way to work with Jason Caplain of Bull City Ventures for a while, he said.

“This investment in Viably is a vote of confidence in the team we know well and the vision that Viably is creating,” said Omry Ben David, General Partner with Viola Ventures, in a statement. “Now more than ever, underserved SMBs need a super app for financial visibility and flexibility.”

It was actually during Gordon’s time at Samanage that the spark for Viably was ignited. He learned there was a large disconnect between the way small business leaders and entrepreneurs were viewing and managing their businesses and the way lenders were viewing them.

After talking with customers, he found out the number one challenge for small businesses is access to capital, and this is usually because of a gap between the data set and systems that these small businesses use versus the requirements that banks and lenders have.

Viably was Gordon’s solution to provide a greater understanding of each small business’s financials while incorporating insights for ways to improve their financial operations and prepare them for credit applications at big banks.

Officially founded last summer, Viably already has 30 employees and is eager to be a part of the Triangle tech community. In fact, Viably’s Chief People Officer Karen Clark appeared on our Tech Culture Club podcast in May.

Viably has also launched a grant program for customers based in North Carolina. Each month Viably will randomly select a North Carolina business to receive a $2,500 grant package with free consulting and networking with the Viably team.

“We love the ecosystem, and we’re proud to be part of the ecosystem,” Gordon said. “We think that you need to be as close as possible to the target market that you’re servicing because that’s the best way to get to know them and get to know the challenges.”

Gordon believes the timing is ideal right now to start a venture. After all, Samanage was founded in 2008, around the time of the Great Recession, and it gave them the right DNA and focus from the start, he said.

From that experience, Gordon’s developed a very simple motto that will likely guide him in his new endeavor: never give up.

“It’s not going to be easy, but if you have conviction in your vision, you should absolutely never give up,” Gordon said. “The journey is so difficult, and you can go through that roller coaster of emotions six times a day. But you always have to focus on the long-term vision and never give up.”

About Suzanne Blake 335 Articles
Suzanne profiles startups and innovation for GrepBeat. Before working at GrepBeat, Suzanne attended UNC Chapel Hill, obtaining a degree in journalism and political science. Previously, she wrote for CNBC, QSR Magazine, FSR Magazine and The Daily Tar Heel.