„Team is everything - the people you are working with are the failure or success of the
We are happy to host Kevin Petrovic, founder of FlightCar at this year’s IdeaLab! conference. Kevin just explained the history of his first company FlightCar and shared the mistakes he made and gave helpful advices concerning on what to avoid when founding a company.
Even though he is only 21 years old he has been into startups since age 13. Together with a friend of him, both still being in high school, they developed the idea of FlightCar after being inspired by airbnb and several car sharing services.
Instead of going to college he took a gap year to establish his company and successfully applied for a mentoring program at Ohio based venture capital fund Brandery. Shortly after that he moved to the bay area where he was able to raise 300k seed capital - all of that at age 18.
His business quickly grew at San Francisco airport and thanks to a recommendation he was able to get into the renowned Y Combinator acceleration program. After a small stagnation in the beginning, which he solved by renting out 30 cars to his friends and writing „fake reviews“ networking effects took over and he was able to expand to two more locations in less than 6 months. He then was able to raise another 5.6m$ and expand his business to 17 locations in the US, which he says was a crucial mistake. His marketing team wasn’t able to scale that fast and the company was burning money at a very high rate.
It was then saved by a series B round bringing in 22m$, which helped to fund advertising and expand even more, so that again networking effects would take over.
In July 2015, just three years after being founded Kevin and his Co-Founder sold the company to Mercedes Benz North America after having raised a total capital of 40m$ and being valued at multiple times this amount.
Kevin now studies at MIT and has founded another company dedicated to rent out storage room for import/export traders.
At his speech he gave several advices to the audience on what to avoid while founding and he says that scaling too fast is one this things. He also adds that raising too much venture capital might put too much pressure from the investors side on you and he advices everyone to test their products over and over again.
„You cannot test enough! - Only by changing the color and font on our website we were able to see a change in our conversion rate.“