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Tipalti (B): Down to the Wire

Published 06 Apr 2020
Reference 6570
Region North America
Summary

In 2017, Chen Amit and Oren Zeev, co-founders of Tipalti, an end-to-end payment processing start-up, are about to close its Series C investment round when they receive a warning about one of the new investors slated to fund over half the round. If they choose not to proceed with the round the company’s future will be put at risk, but having a problematic investor on board could be even more risky. The case follows the evolution of Tipalti from the outset, offering a unique insider perspective on the relationship between its CEO (Amit) and Zeev, a venture capitalist and the leading ‘seed’ investor.

Teaching objectives

This case allows students to follow the development of an early-stage venture capital-backed start-up as it scales up over multiple rounds of funding, and to analyze the evolving relationship between the co-founders, one of whom is the CEO, the other the lead investor since the seed round. The latter’s unique approach—as a solo VC—and the close relationship between the co-founders serve as the backdrop to the decision about the Series C funding round. The case can be used in MBA and executive education courses on entrepreneurship and venture capital.

Keywords
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Venture capital
  • Fintech
  • Payment processing
  • Start-up
  • Scaling
  • Digital
  • Q22020