Domm Holland, co-founder and CEO of e-commerce startup Fast, appears to be living a founder’s dream.His big idea came from a small moment in his real life. Holland watched as his wife’s grandmother tried to order groceries, but she had forgotten her password and wasn’t able to complete the transaction. “I just remember thinking it was preposterous,” Holland said. “It defied belief that some arbitrary string of text was a blocker to commerce.” So he built a prototype of a passwordless authentication system where users would fill out their information once and would never need to do so again. Within 24 hours, tens of thousands of people had used it.
Shoppers weren’t the only ones on board with this idea. In less than two years, Holland has raised $124 million in three rounds of fundraising, bringing on partners like Index Ventures and Stripe. Although the success of Fast’s one-click checkout product has been speedy, it hasn’t been effortless. For one thing, Holland is Australian, which means he started out as a Silicon Valley outsider. When he arrived in the U.S. in the summer of 2019, he had exactly one Bay Area contact in his phone. He built his network from the ground up, a strategic process he credits to one thing: hard work. On an episode of the “How I Raised It” podcast, Holland talks about how he built his network, why it’s important — not just for fundraising but for building the entire business — and how to avoid the mistakes he sees new founders make.
<div class="article-block block--pullout block--left"> <blockquote> Nothing beats building human networks. That’s the way that you’re going to get this done in terms of fundraising. </blockquote> </div>