How to grow your company from $0 to $200K MRR and raise $14M in less than a year

A story of a non-tech founder who is building one of the fastest growing startups.

Ana Bibikova

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20 years ago Paul Yacoubian started as a public accountant. A founder with no tech background, in 2020 in the middle of lockdown, he launched a service that got 2K users in 48 hours and kept growing like crazy every single month. Here is what made Copy.ai one of the fastest-growing startups in 2021 and allowed the team to raise series A in less than a year.

An accountant from Memphis

When Paul Yacoubian started his career journey in mid-2000, he probably did not think “startups”. And honestly, it’s not what you usually think of, while working as a finance expert: first, as accountant, then as a Financial Officer in old-fashioned well-established industries like medicine and public affairs in Memphis, Tennessee. Perhaps, Paul felt that something was missing in this organised and well-managed industry he was proud to be a part of. Anyway, his creative vibe did not let him sit still: he started with teaching advanced Excel courses, then switched to designing a valuation database that eventually allowed him to generate over $500,000 in recurring property tax savings for a client. Finally, he probably decided that moving to the heart of Silicon Valley and becoming a part of this amazing creative startup culture might help him with actualisation better than anything else. But how do you become a part of a startup culture if you’re not a tech founder and don’t have access to fancy venture capitalists? The answer is obvious — join not the receiving part, but the giving part. Meaning, join the fund. Getting a job as a partner in ESO Fund became Paul’s entrance ticket to the startup industry.

Getting early access

That’s where he met Chris Lu — another fund’s employee. Chris, who has his background in tech development and finance as well, became a great partner, co-investor and a co-founder for Paul. ESO fund was in the heart of the startup industry: it was offering cash in exchange for options for VC-backed startup employees. Therefore, Paul and Chris had access to the best startup founders and early hires and established strong…

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