Each time I arrive at the office, I see the slogan. Hic sunt leones. Here be lions. A Latin phrase that we have at Rockaway on the wall right by the entrance; on old maps, it was used to designate unexplored territory… .
Productboard – a startup that develops a tool for product managers – is experiencing a period of rapid growth. It is anticipated that it could be another Czech unicorn, i.e. a company with a valuation in excess of one billion dollars. And Jakub Havrlant was its very first investor with his Rockaway group. Productboard’s CEO, Hubert Palán told the CzechCrunch Podcast about the company’s origins and also talked about the start-up ecosystem, fundraising, rapid growth and access to offers for investors.
According to Hubert Palán, the first investment round is often a matter of coincidences rather than the targeted selection of an investor, as was the case with Productboard’s origins, which brought the company together with Rockaway by chance. “Jakub Havrlant had a plan to expand his investment fund to America and he was looking for someone to help him break through there. He was introduced to me, since I’d lived in San Francisco for a longer time. I told him that I was setting up a start-up here and didn’t have time for such things. That sparked his interest and it appealed to him to such a degree that he was the first to invest in it,” said Palán.
“It is important to choose the right investor. We are a Czech-American company and we have a large team here in Prague. So, I was pleased to find an investor that understands the environment we come from and how the company operates. That was our intention, to find a balance so that we could have both Czech and American investors, specifically because of our company’s background and structure,” Palán added.
You can listen to the CzechCrunch Podcast with Hubert Palán (Productboard) and Richard Valtr (Mews) directly in this article, on SoundCloud and on all of the major platforms including Spotify and Apple Podcasts. You can also find it under the name “CzechCrunch Podcast” in all podcast applications in iOS and Android.
Photo: Nguyen Duy McLavin/CzechCrunch