Luscheyne Mellon is the founder of Veromo, an affordable self-serve business formation platform helping new business owners start their business in the right way, in a fraction of the time.
Luscheyne told SheHacksNews Veromo streamlines and automates most of the setup process of starting a business for sole traders, partnerships and companies.
“This means you get to the market in minutes. Veromo doesn’t just process your fee and vanish though – whether you’re a first time sole trader or a seasoned company owner, you can count on us for ongoing advice, help and support because we recognise that entrepreneurship can sometimes be a lonely journey,” Luscheyne said.
The inspiration behind Veromo was the common frustration Luscheyne experienced when setting up her first business. While the world had become more connected, the process for starting a business was still fragmented.
“Co-founder Andy Giles was a commercial litigator and I had nearly 15 years under my belt in digital and brand development. And despite our collective experience and our extensive network of contacts, it still felt like it took an eternity to get everything completed.”
“We wondered about all the people who were new to all of this and how long it took them to set up? Was there a life raft? “
“The answer to the last question was ‘partly’. But with all the buzz about ‘digital disruption’, not one outfit offered a one-stop fully integrated solution. We then realised there was a big gap in the market and we needed to solve it.”
Starting Veromo became a great beta test for the product, inspiring a life raft of ideas for new apps and tools – from NameFinder and OnceForm to Adminimiser.
First up, decisions needed to be made about the type of business structure, the business model, financial forecasts, investment strategy and various operational processes.
“We knew we needed to grow a sustainable and profitable business, but the real clincher for us was when it came to compiling our financial model and determining a pre-money valuation. I came to realise that valuations really are a black art, not a science and the same can be said for financial forecasts or models.”
“The magic really happened when we were co-creating under one roof and our velocity certainly improved.”
“There are a plethora of valuation models that you can use but for a first time founder it was challenging to get our head around which one to use. As a tech startup, another set of challenges revolved around building a rock solid team and finding technical talent. We tried outsourcing to try to contain our costs, but soon recognised that it was far too hard to work remotely with any of the teams, due to the complexity of what we were trying to achieve. The magic really happened when we were co-creating under one roof and our velocity certainly improved.”
Luscheyne would like to see more women taking the entrepreneurial leap.
“Women face significant challenges particularly when it comes to raising capital. Of the 50 or so pitches I have made whilst trying to raise money for Veromo, I met with two women who worked in a VC fund and they were gatekeepers not decision makers. You’ll need to develop a tough skin pretty quickly, as it’s a very male dominated space and at times it can be a predatory jungle. I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the support and guidance from a raft of progressive male advisors from Sydney to San Francisco, who’ve gone the extra mile to help me on my startup journey.”
“I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the support and guidance from a raft of progressive male advisors from Sydney to San Francisco, who’ve gone the extra mile to help me on my startup journey.”
“There are several fantastic initiatives and projects encouraging women to take part in startups. Accelerators, mentoring, education programmes and networking events serve a much needed gap in creating a more enterprising and inclusive culture. I would like to see more pre startup advice and counselling and startup bootcamps provided at local council level.
There are big plans ahead for Veromo, which is focused on servicing small businesses with dreams.
“But to do that, we have to stay grounded to our small business roots. And we have to dream big too. We differ from other platforms because we’re investing in the tools, the resources and the advice that will give every new business a better chance of success,” Luscheyne said.
“There are a number of future products in the pipeline that have been designed to complement and enhance the wider Veromo product offering. We’re currently growing our channel partnership network and looking at building out a vibrant community and ecosystem to better support our customers needs. Business registrations are just the beginning for Veromo. Our utopia is to provide a fully integrated, one-stop digital solution for SMEs to launch a business from anywhere in the world.”
Luscheyne also has some great advice for women in startups:
- Get a handle on your cap table and startup dilution.
The choices you make about the way you structure ownership, classes of shares and control can have significant implications for you downstream. Make sure you fully understand both the economics and management of your cap table, so you can navigate the journey from ideation through to exit.
- Do your homework on your investors.
Are they a founder/entrepreneur oriented or skewed towards their investor groups. Take a close look at their deal flow, as it speaks volumes about their orientation. Speak to a random selection of founders they’ve invested in, not just the ones they put forward.
- Launch and learn.
It’s so easy to get caught in the trap of over engineering your product but there’s no point perfecting something that people don’t want. Launch and learn!
- Tune into your intuition.
We are hardwired for intuition. So no more second guessing yourself, create the space to listen to your intuition.
- Stop and take your own pulse.
Don’t forget the very reason you started up. Taking your own pulse on your ‘why’ is something you must not neglect but you need to make the time and space for this.
- Birds of a feather flock together.
Get used to the fact that you’ll probably be the only women in the room when trying to raise capital. Whilst there is a dearth of women in tech, you’ll find that there are even fewer in investment decision-making positions.