Find out why Pilseon joined and his vision for Quota Lab
Today’s episode is with one of the co-founders of QuotaBook, Pilseon Jun. Let’s jump right into it.
Pilseon (P): Hi! I am Pilseon Jeon, QuotaBook’s co-founder and currently leading VC-side sales. VCs have the need to check every update on their portfolio firms at a glance, which is something that QuotaBook can help with. I also handle customer service to support users who just joined QuotaBook and help them familiarize with the product.
Before, I worked as an accountant and then ran a co-working space startup with some of my friends. I exited this business and moved on to become a Venture Capitalist myself. This was when I met our CEO Andy and.. here I am!
P: While I was in university I passed the CPA exam and naturally worked at an accounting firm, planning to pursue my career as an accountant without much consideration. I wasn’t interested in anything else but one day it hit me- I was missing out on other opportunities. I ended up joining a finance club where one of the founding members happened to be working in the startup field. It was an eye-opener to a new world I didn’t know that existed.
In fact, I always believed it’s the businesses that change the world, not the government or institutions. So, I felt I would enjoy working in this dynamic field where all these innovative companies keep emerging. I then thought I could utilize my experiences as an accountant to support entrepreneurs, so I started preparing for a VC position.
P: I realized I wasn’t quite ready to be a VC straight out of university. You could start off as a junior associate in a VC firm but then it might be difficult to really understand how entrepreneurs work. So, I became an entrepreneur myself as a pre-step.
P: I knew nothing about starting one so the first year was really tough. We spent the entire government support and subsidy before even launching our service. Our team was discussing the next steps when we got an idea from our freezing office. Back then, there weren’t many government-supported office spaces available for early startups or founders. Globally there were some co-working spaces rising, so we quickly prepared for a similar business. (Read more about it here)
We had our big ambition to help entrepreneurs but at first it didn’t really work out. For a while I tried to build a customer base by sending outbound emails and attending every startup event I could find to pitch our business. People then finally began to notice (Laughter). The first branch started to get more traction and we expanded to second and third branches near Gangnam. Eventually, the business was acquired and is still up and running.
Based on this experience, I took part in several sessions held by the Korean VC Association to become a VC. Finally after a few months of internship, I became a VC associate.
P: It all started from meeting Andy. We are actually from the same high school but we didn’t know each other that well. I once went to a VC gathering and came across Andy and we started to grab lunch together from now and then. One day during one of those lunches, he told me that he’d just quit his job and offered to start the company together.
P: I knew about Carta (US-based equity management unicorn) and thought someday something similar would rise in Korea and grow as big. I simply thought that Korea’s private equity market will continue to grow and that all this should be digitized eventually. If so, I knew QuotaBook could be that rising company with our domain knowledge and technology.
Another important reason why I decided to join was that I could access the broad network doing business at QuotaBook, building the startup ecosystem and its infrastructures.
P: You naturally become narrow-sighted when you are busy nailing down week in and week out. It’s when I stand back that I realize something has paid off. For example, both the number of users and the fund AUM managed on Quota Lab have increased quite a lot. Also, customer support is sometimes very hectic but so I realize that users are actively using our service.
One of the difficult moments is when I come across dissatisfied users, though I know that no service can satisfy all of its users. I pay close attention to their comments and consider how I can serve them better. I think this is just a process of making a better service after all.
P: ‘StyleShare’ always comes to mind. It’s one of the businesses that I keep in touch with. They had strong needs for shareholder and equity management so the selling part was smooth. However, considering its size and stage, StyleShare had a lot of documents and stakeholders involved so I remember the onboarding process (streamlining scattered equity data on QuotaBook and helping users get to know the product) was pretty tough. We revamped the entire data and neatly laid it out on the platform. I remember they were very satisfied and thankfully still actively using Quot and providing us great feedback.
P: Within VC firms, there are many stakeholders involved such as managers and associates, along with decision makers like partners. It’s really hard to satisfy every one, so it’s important to pin down the who and what components: who needs QuotaBook the most and what exactly are they looking for. I focus on adjusting my sales tactics based on their needs.
Also, for a SasS business, selling the product is not the end. You have to retain users through customer success and support. I try to figure out what bothers our users the most and deal with them.
P: I believe we are headed in the right direction, building the financial infrastructure for private equity. Early on, the concept of managing private equity through SaaS didn’t even exist among the startups. People used to be comfortable using spreadsheets or sharing around files but a lot has changed during the past couple of years. The fact that more people are depending on SaaS tools to simplify equity management is a big change.
Now I just hope that someday founders will naturally create QuotaBook accounts when starting their business for equity management.
P: I want to work with people I can trust and also be one myself. It’s not easy to define ‘trust’ in a simple phrase but I would say people who are honest and who I can count on with work.
P: QuotaBook is very quick and efficient. I can see a strong sense of flexibility and responsibility in place. Normally, companies have policies for office hours and annual leaves, but we don’t. Yet surprisingly, people get things done and show great performance so I’d say there is a perfect balance of flexibility and responsibility.
P: My final goal here is to globalize QuotaBook. Although our major users are local investors and companies in Korea now, I want it to be a service used everywhere else as well. We are working hard on sales in Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Australia, and other regions for globalization.
There are still so much to do. We have to onboard many more great team members, not to mention the effort I need to put in as well. Eventually I think our service, company and myself will grow altogether.
P: We started off with a team of three to four people and suddenly I realized we really scaled a lot. Recently, we moved into a bigger office and I can feel the synergy being created. I am thankful that I can be a part of building the financial infrastructure with this great team. Looking forward to breaking through and building something meaningful together.
Make equity simple with QuotaBook - QuotaBook is a SaaS-based equity management solution for both Startups and Venture Capital funds. Startups and VCs can sync crucial equity-related data such as cap tables, employee stock options as well as investor updates on our platform so that every stakeholder can communicate through a single source of truth. QuotaBook is the No. 1 equity management software for startups in Korea, trusted by 2000+ startups & VCs and backed by more than 20 VC funds.