Tom Fiorita of Point Pickup On How To Raise Funding

Greenwich-based delivery service Point Pickup connects individuals who needs items delivered with partners who can do just that. So if you’re a busy parent who forgot to send your daughter’s cleats to practice, or you’re a realtor who needs documents dropped off at a client’s home, Point Pickup can save you the trip. Here’s how CEO Tom Fiorita found the funding to launch. Plus, his five-year growth plan.

How did you secure funding?

In raising money, the first round, the angel one, includes people who may have expertise in business but really are just people who believe in you. The second round, the Series A, is more strategic, with institutional grade investors. For the angel round, I looked to friends—people who knew me really well and understood my moral and ethical compass. I sent out an email that included a PowerPoint pitch, a letter explaining my idea and a plan to build the business. In my second round, it’s more institutional, so I hired a boutique investment bank. I’m using Crossroads Venture Group and taking it a little wider. After Series A you can’t go back to angel investing and you have to be strategic about how you complete this process. If you give up 60 percent of your company in the angel round, investors aren’t interested in the series A. We raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in the first round and the second round will be in the multi-millions.

Anything you would change if you could turn back the clock in terms of funding?

After we launched I found out about certain state programs in Connecticut that I didn’t know existed. We’re a tax credit angel approved business. Anyone who invests in our business gets a tax credit off their investment. There are a lot of organizations in the state that want to help entrepreneurs, like Crossroads Venture Group and Connecticut Innovations. There’s also something called Gust that you can use to find angel investors.

What was the most challenging part of launching?

The leap into a venture with absolutely no certainty and the risk that you may fail. This is the number one reason why most people talk about ideas and never do anything about it.  It’s not so much the business risk but it’s the personal life risk. That’s usually the biggest factor. If you’re too white-knuckled on everything, your investors will see that.

What’s next for Point Pickup?

We are currently operating in three markets and will continue implementing our model and processes across the U.S. We are looking to operate in more than 200 hundred markets in the U.S., and 10 countries globally in five years. The model was built on an affluent suburban market and there is probably no better market than this in the country. I was born and raised in Greenwich and am a current resident. I’m a big believer in bringing technology companies to this area.