Barbaros Özbugutu
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Tips on Funding

This article is written by Clinton James, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Sometimes funding might be the trickiest part of a business, it can prove difficult and even get complicated. Below are some of the things to consider once you choose to get funding as presented at Startup Turkey by Barbaros Ozbugutu Co-founder & CEO of Itzico. He talks about funding as he leads by example by how Itzico, an online payment company, in mid-January 2018 announced a $30 Million round from Europe’s Vostok Emerging Finance fund and his interesting journey.

Plan yourself, strategize your goals properly, because once you get the funding, you will have to walk the talk for your investors, and this is where things get complicated if you can’t deliver!

Born and raised in Germany, he began working for First Data Corporation. Claysteel, president of the international company, was the first point of contact when they developed the idea to move to Turkey and find a payment company there. He invited Barbara as a visitor to Vienna and offered him ideas with only six presentations. This really motivated Claysteel and demanded another two-week session to invite friends. Barbaros has committed and earned a commitment of $ 1 million. The investment served market access, background, and experience.

Business angels are good but you have to choose the right kind of investors. Make your pre-work thorough, have advisors every step of the way, but most importantly don’t save money on the lawyers, you need the best expert advice in your business matters from them. There is also need to understand the details involved from the lawyers because once you get basics wrong, you might end up loosing your ship to someone else, hence be vigilant!

Before leaving for Turkey, Barbaros was in Germany, where he worked for a payment company and founded Itzico. They passed their first round; an angel round, then the first VC round in Turkey with 212-Company, then a second VC round both with IFC and Endeavor Catalyst, and the fourth and final round with Vostok Emerging Finance. From this cycle, Barbaros said he had seen many things, studied at every level and experienced a number of surprises.

As you look for investors, anticipate someone who is interested in your business, who understand the dynamics of your business or of the system, if possible, let them have a good business track record of their undertaking of a business somewhere, maybe a Billion-dollar company in their portfolio.

Key noesis is probably that you have to take it early, when there is good news, build a beneficial story about your business and your potential investors will be interested in your work. Just as they founded the company in 2013, almost four years later, they managed 10,000 dealers and around 200,000 sellers in the payment service market. The team expanded from 80 to 280 and processed more than 1.5 billion Turkish dirham transactions. Never give up, do a good initial investigation for your investors. Moreover, sincere recognition of key people can bring good news to your hunt.

─ June 16, 2020