We had to prove that Front could take over team email
We designed Front to be a collaborative inbox that would make team email more collaborative, more integrated, more transparent, and smarter. We saw too many problems with team email, and we designed Front to be the solution. We saw the potential for it to completely take over the space of traditional email for entire teams and entire companies.
To raise a Series A, we had to show we had the means to bring our product to a bigger market. This large market is already entrenched in a traditional workflow. To back up our claims that we would disrupt and take over the market, we'd have to have numbers that showed early customer validation and a good growth machine.
But at Front, we didn't have the viral month-over-month growth that could have indicated a quick and widespread market domination. Our MRR growth numbers were good, but they weren't exponential.
Exceptionally low churn is another good indicator of growth, but we didn't have that either. Front had a pretty standard monthly user churn of around 3%. It's not unusual for startups to face churn problems early on, but we still couldn't call our user churn an indicator of great growth potential.
We had to take a different approach. Even though we didn't have viral growth or crazy-low user churn, we had numbers that indicated that our product was engaging and could actually take over team email.