Start on your own or bring in a co-founder? 4 Factors to Consider – TechCrunch

Every journey into entrepreneurship unique. I find the startup world fascinating because the urge to tackle a problem or need – you’ve often struggled with yourself – is very tempting to resist.

Dealing with this problem on your own as a solo founder can be daunting, but it can also be liberating. Alternatively, setting up a company with co-founders can be productive and yet it may have its own challenges.

When I started DocSend, I never had to think about whether or not I wanted a co-founder, because I knew I wanted to create a company with two specific people that I personally loved and respected professionally. But for many entrepreneurs, asking whether you can take on this challenge on your own or want a co-founder by your side is not an easy one. Understand why.

Being single can give you more control and freedom to lead the company the way you see fit. It also means that you are solely responsible for promoting risks, managing board meetings, assigning a team, and making key decisions.

While the individual founder can bring in CEOs and managers to help with this work and these decisions, co-founders can balance the leadership team. They can bring in different areas of expertise, their own professional networks, and share responsibility.

While the data shows that individual founders are raising more funding, a comprehensive approach to understanding your gaps and how to fill them is imperative.

If you’re starting a business or currently running your own startup, here are four things to consider when hiring a founder (or not).


Every entrepreneur should objectively evaluate his skills and determine if his abilities are good enough to run the business on his own. If you are not technical and are in the process of starting a technology company, you may need to find a co-founder to bridge that gap, or at least a strong engineer to lead product development.

Even if you are technical and can start coding from day one, you need to think about other key business areas and decide if hiring a co-founder with expertise in those areas will allow you to get a viable product, attract market and revenue faster.

I reached out to my network to see how they felt about the decision. I recently spoke with Aneto Okonkwo, co-founder and CEO of Chatdesk, about why he decided to bring in so many co-founders, and he said the different areas of expertise are a big driver.

“I thought about the different functions needed to make Chatdesk work. As we combine both technical and personal human support, it was important to create three functions: technology, operations, and sales. I knew that if everyone could own a territory, it would ensure that we fulfilled our mission.”

The number of founders on your team may also affect your fundraising success. Our analysis found that Individual founders have had the biggest fundraising successFirms with four or more founders secured an average of 42 investor meetings and raised an average of $3.22 million, compared to companies with four or more founders, which secured an average of 30 meetings and raised an average of $1.7 million.

While the data shows that individual founders are raising more funding, a comprehensive approach to understanding your gaps and how to fill them is imperative.

Founding employee vs. co-founder