Startup MGZN

The yoga investor

Once upon a time, a friend invited me to a yoga class. Two months later, our company received a wire transfer from an investor. Those 2 events are completely correlated.

As a tech startup CEO, a great chunk of my job is networking. Whether during events, in the elevator, while in a queue at Starbucks, or even in a yoga class. The doors this opens are countless and priceless.

As I try to maintain a somewhat human-like work-life balance, I decided to go to a yoga class a friend has invited me to. It was an interesting experience as I stretched and moved parts of my body I never felt before. As I left, I spoke to the instructor and told her I’d like to come again. She included me in the class confirmation email where I would reply to confirm my attendance.

One of the emails that were copied on the confirmation email was name[at]rocketmail.com and that caught my attention. First of all, it was a 4 letter name, and then it was bloody RocketMail email!

RocketMail was one of first major email companies established in 1997 and acquired by Yahoo! in 1998. After the acquisition, nobody was able to register their email with RocketMail anymore. [Yahoo! opened that option in 2008 closed it again soon after]

Anyway, I had a feeling this guy was a techie. As I was leaving my 3rd class, I had a quick chat with him. Let’s call him Mike.

  • Hey. You’re Mike, right?
  • “Hi there, yeah”
  • You must be into tech
  • “Erm.. I am actually, how do you know?”
  • It’s just that your email is a RocketMail
  • “Haha, yeah! I’ve had that for ages..”

We continued our chat and introduced ourselves. I was in the process of launching Malaeb at the time, so I naturally spoke about that and it caught his interest. He asked to see our Beta release that we were launching soon. I showed it to him and explained that we were closing a pre-seed investment round, to which he responded: “Are you still looking for investors, or are you sorted?”

He showed interest in investing and asked me to keep him posted. We exchanged contact info and took off. That whole chat took less than 5 minutes. Turns out Mike was a high-level executive in a regional bank and was interested to become an angel investor.

Mike ended up investing a small amount in Malaeb, and helped refer us to investors who put in more than 10x in our later round than what he had invested.

Lesson: always network, always hustle, and maintain a somewhat human-like work-life balance.
Find your Yoga Investor 👊

Ahmed Al-Rawi

Ahmed is a contributor, technology enthusiast, and Co-founder of Malaeb. You should follow him on Twitter @ahmedtherawi