Ali Tarafdar

Ex-Wall St. Banker Ali Tarafdar Leverages Raises.com to Launch Inaugural Fund ‘Zero To $500M AUM’

No matter how much you systematize, there is always a need to put relationships at the forefront. Ali Tarafdar of Labruta Capital walks through how he leveraged Raises.com to set up and speed up his inaugural fund.

Here’s what we cover:

– Who Labruta Capital is, what is the nature of the company?

-Where Labruta were before they decided to join Raises.com?

-Were there questions you had any challenges you were facing before you began?

-How Labruta Capital found out about Raises.com -How Labruta Capital prepared their inaugural fund (to launch to $500m AUM) -The biggest lessons Labruta Capital and team learned through the Raises.com process

-Advice Labruta Capital has for Raises.com members Natu Myers & the team at Raises.com

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Transcript

(Being Edited)

Natu Myers: So, Ali, you know, we see that you join Raises.com, you lead Labruta capital with your associates here. And could you tell us a bit about the British capital and the problem that the Labruta capital is working on solving?

Ali Tarafdar: Absolutely. Yeah, so before joining Raises.com As Labruta Capital capital at the infrastructure that we have is what we’re what we are is a special situation fund. By definition, the purpose of a special situation fund is to, you know, look into businesses that are undergoing challenges and try to help them get turned around strategically in many different areas, you know, either taking out their debt, introducing strategic relationships, or perhaps even putting together a resolution for creditors to be able to either a, you know, restructure the debt or move forward with a growing concern. You know, however, we can settle those matters. But that’s what our our objective is. That’s what we

Natu Myers: Do. Got it. So, yes, I mean, you know, at the inception here, were you where was the period where you had, you know, right when you joined Raises.com

Ali Tarafdar: So right before? Well, let’s let’s say that we started our fund when we joined Raises.com. You know, the objective was to identify individuals and team members or potential strategic partners to start an inauguration fund of some sort. Right. So the reason as to why is because Labruta Capital and the strategic team, we have the experience that we have in the past and how we’ve done business always was a case by case, even though we have successfully completed over 18 hundred deals as a team. I think the important component that we’ve learned along the way is we never looked at the bigger picture and the sheer demand for our services and what we do and our need after the pandemic. Obviously during the pandemic, we see an explosive growth in our business model, albeit it’s still unfamiliar territory for a lot of individuals and banks and even business owners. We needed to start a fund. We needed a reliable team to work with that, understand what we’re looking for and understand pretty much the landscape of capital raising, the understanding the landscape of the capital markets, what we need to do, identify key strategic investors who we can work with, people who are already on, you know, boots on the ground. So that’s where we’re at, you know, raises dotcom as soon as we started. That’s what we’re looking for.

Natu Myers: Got it. Yeah. So eventually, how did you find out about at the time it was propolis capital. Now we rebranded to raise the dot com. So how did you find out about us and what was your motivation to join us in our members?

Ali Tarafdar: Good question. So how did I find out about you guys? I joined a lot of Facebook groups on LinkedIn. You know, I’m I’m very active on LinkedIn. I watch a few individuals post their stuff. I read about articles. Obviously, I look at industry professionals, what they’re doing, mostly to network and grow our existing network of professionals to be able to work strategically with them based on the business model we have. And I came across your ad and I also saw you do a series of videos, very educational, very informative. I knew from that moment that you have a deep knowledge base about capital raising and investment banks. You understood the markets and what we’re looking to get done. You understand appetite’s, which is important, right? So I look for individuals who understand the game of capital matchmaking, essentially. Right. It’s not necessarily a capital raising or go to an ATM machine and put money for the matchmaking. Yeah. So to me, this is critical. You know, it’s the matchmaking means understanding relationships. And so this year aspect of your knowledge base intrigued me and got me more curious. You know, obviously, I saw you in a series of Facebook groups as well as individuals and organizations there and decided to give you a shot for a few weeks and then decided, you know what, this is something interesting.

Ali Tarafdar: Self serve. Investment banking was a term I’ve never heard of before. I know that typically, you know, traditional you hire an investment bank, you know, pay five hundred thousand one hundred fifty thousand minimal. You know, you have them retain and hopefully work with a flawed system to get you in front of as many investors as possible. And like I said, treat it like an ATM machine, you know, but, you know, coming across your information, your knowledge base and, of course, your platform for self-serving investment banking, I was more and more curious as to how could this be completely different from the traditional means out there, whether methods or the common practices of investment banking. So to me, this was just to chase more knowledge and understanding of the actual self-service model. But also, given who you are and, you know, your your individual aspect of knowledge and the things that you’ve done to stay and the thought leadership perspective to me that was very intriguing. Dragged me to obviously your firm. And this is how I got interested in joined propolis.

Natu Myers: Oh, understood. Yeah. So so on that note, Ali, so when you joined ARISS dot com, you were at a point you and Labruta Capital were at a point where you had the first associates in the firm together and you got some of the initial marketing materials put together as well, and also got some understanding of what are some of the buyside mandates in the market. So, you know, you achieve this, I think, in a matter of a couple of months and a half since we started working together. So. So what helps you achieve this in that time frame? And what are some insights that you could share?

Ali Tarafdar: Absolutely. So I think what happened was the minute I jumped onto the platform, you know, the. A structure of how you guys designed it and, you know, the way to navigate the entire platform was very well articulated. It was very simple. It wasn’t complex. You know, sometimes you go into a I guess, a platform like pictures, dot com, and no disrespect to any other platforms out there, by the way. Yeah. You just overly complex. It’s not very simple. And I think even for complex investment bankers like ourselves and the individuals out there who understand Wall Street and the mentality of investment banking, you know, coming from that background myself, I think we’re always looking for simplicity. Simplicity helps because it’s speed and streamlines everything you’re trying to do. But also if you can not only simplify but also help navigate, you know, so that’s very critical. So the minute I stepped in and this is why the time that time horizon and how we got set up real quick, it was because of the sheer simplicity that was there. The education was extremely easy. It was it was an extremely complex. Obviously, some of the vernaculars and terminologies were pre-existing. I already knew some of that.

Ali Tarafdar: But what I really liked is the layout. The you know, the step by step process was well explained and what steps to do next and the organizational the materials that were, you know, kind of complementing the platform, having you guys are your own engine behind how to do things, how to stay organized, and how to make sure that you can streamline that process and being able to explain it in a very clear manner. Once again, like I said, if I can beat this horse, did you know I would say simplicity, no matter how much you pay, if you don’t have simplicity, you’re basically already having a huge uphill battle like, you know. And I think your platform really, you know, if I can say in one word, it’s simple, it’s clear, it’s transparent. In addition to that, it’s it’s thorough. You know, there’s nothing missing that I can see that is of issue that we like like coming out of that platform. We have the confidence to say, you know what, we can do this. You know, we can do this in a very aggressive way. Obviously, it requires to deploy specific resources. We all know that that’s the thing. But no. And I got to give it to you guys.

Ali Tarafdar: It’s really well done. You know, it’s very well done. And I think this is a demand that one of those things I would say, if you guys are in business, raises dotcom, really takes it to the next level in terms of simplifying capital raising. Should it be something that, you know, this is a big misconception that it’s not part of a business plan? That’s that’s wrong. Capital raising should be a part of business plan. Like marketing is like sales is. You always need to grow your business. You always need capital. If you don’t have strategic financial partners to take you to the next level, what do you really have? You know, are you going to go back to your savings and stuff like that? Obviously not. You’re building infrastructure. So capital raising should be a part and a component of your business plan. So for us, Laburnum Capital will always need money because of the sheer amount of businesses we’re doing. You know, so knowing the platform and understanding it, navigating it and understanding it in a very simplistic way really helped us take it to the next level and speed up like everything we’re trying to do.

Natu Myers: Got it. All right. So, Ali, you know, on that note, what would you say are some of the most transformational experiences or biggest lessons learned by the British capital? You were at your other associates throughout the recent dotcom process.

Ali Tarafdar: That’s a great question. So I would say there’s multiple exploration phases that we’ve been through that we came out with a clear resolution and understanding. One of the biggest ones is understanding the pieces to the capital raising. You know, obviously as investment banks, we hire them. We don’t see what happens behind the scenes because obviously there’s a whole lot of moving pieces. Yeah, this is where it all gets lost. Yeah. To me, it’s understanding the actual architecture. Right now. A lot of people think capital raising is about making phone calls or being the next Jordan Belfort. That’s hey, you got to go and fetch the biggest investors possibly. You’ve got to pick up your phone and call the numbers possible. And the reality is, yeah, that’s that’s a good moving. That’s a realization or it’s a lot of large numbers. But capital matchmaking is about a lot of large numbers in terms of how much relationships you can establish an initial period of time. Right. It’s it’s the value that it’s the drive behind what you’re doing. The second piece that really gave me the clarity is if I were to go back to the architecture, it’s understanding what needs to be designed as a foundation. A lot of people ignore that. You know, what you guys helped us with was the clarity on, for example, we’re working on multiple different versions of deck. Yeah. Just simply because we have so many different moving pieces ourselves. Oh, yeah. So, you know, we did like a couple of decks with you guys. The team, you know, your team really gave us the clarity, you know, articulated putting together the infrastructure and the core of the foundation on how you emphasize more on the leg work of your architecture. You know, what do you guys are what your team does.

Ali Tarafdar: And, you know, obviously there’s a lot of IP there, but the way you helped us design the deck, the way you give us feedback and, you know, not only have we tried to exercise the market feedback into this component, we’re actually using and leveraging that to go and reach out to investors. But we got some pretty good feedback from that, you know, nice. So that gave us certainty that, you know, the model that you guys have and obviously the expertise that your team has and the way you guys operate was up and beyond. We can anything we can ask for, you know, it’s very, very severely undervalued to be respectful, you know, but that’s another. Extreme level of component that we have, appreciate it and the outcome that we’ve achieved, you know, foundation, the core, the infrastructure, the architecture, all that is probably 99 percent of the thing that needs to be done in the forefront, which a lot of people would have ignored and just let it be until the feedback comes. Then they fix it. But then it’s too late. You’re too far gone, you know, with investors, you know, and there’s communities in our circles we talk to. And I come from a family office background. And, my God, you know, do we talk like, you know? So I do appreciate that. You know, it’s you guys are making sure that the it’s like almost preparing for war. You you know, you guys give all the necessary training. I can give you that much. And, you know, having the market feedback from the training you guys provided and having us set up in the right type of architecture really helped us expand, reached the strategic relationships we’re looking for and obviously continues to grow as we speak today.

Natu Myers: So, Ali, so seeing, you know, you’ve achieved this now. What advice would you give your members currently using raises .com so that they can reach their full potential?

Ali Tarafdar: Very good question. And, you know, here’s the thing at the beginning. Even we come from a perspective where we know even myself I’m guilty of that or like I step into a platform or like maybe I don’t want to look through this video because it’s not relevant to me. Or maybe I can skip this specific model or explanation or a piece of architecture that I can just let go, because I think I already know more than what is available there. And the first piece of advice I would say is not skip a beat. It doesn’t matter how basic things are. Don’t ever skip a beat. The minute you skip a beat. What happens is now you don’t know where you went wrong. Like I said, you’re too far gone down with investors. Even you can have the perfect architecture, but the one hole in your wall, it would wreck you and it’ll definitely destroy your ability to raise the capital. So do every single thing that you’re taught in the platform. Make sure you review the material over and over again. You obviously understand the architecture of the framework, but more than that, like you have a community which is amazing about raises dotcom. You guys are actively participating.

Ali Tarafdar: You have your you know, your groups and the chats and the different models and communication channels you have. I think the most important part there is, you know, the second piece to it is participate, ask the questions, you know, get the feedback and support. Email was there. And quite frankly, you guys are the most responsive support email I’ve seen thus far. Some of the investment banks I’ve emailed six months later, they’re responding. So to me, that’s important, right? Communication is very important. It shows the seriousness and, you know, the level of standard and what you guys set as a standard for yourselves, which is extremely powerful. So participate, you know, in other piece I would say is take the feedback like don’t just ignore it or, you know, feedback is given. Understand, go deeper if you have to ask more questions. You know, like, for example, there are certain feedbacks you guys gave us. We we integrated it and we adjusted it and we’ve modified that, you know, and it really helped and helped because, a, it streamlined it for us. You have an existing team. You got to learn how to leverage that. And this is what I would say.

Natu Myers: Got it. Yeah. Some good advice there. Thank you. So, Ali, thanks for the advice for the current people in the portal. So then what is the Labruta capital, the next step and what are your next aspirations as you go on?

Ali Tarafdar: That’s amazing. Yeah, so that’s that’s a very thought provoking question, if I may, but that’s definitely deep. So I’d say the next steps for us is, you know, we’ve established a very strategic partnership for two reasons. We work well together and we see the value in what we’re doing as a uniform group because, you know, raises dotcom. It’s a it’s a universal platform to help raise liquidity. Obviously, that’s the first. But number two, the murder capital. Is it infrastructure? It deals with a multitude of different businesses and the industries. Right. So every single one of those businesses we touch, one point or the other will require additional liquidity. Yeah. So because we are a hybrid between a business ourselves and a hybrid between, I guess in a sense, a spin off of a facilitator of some sort, we do require additional liquidity. So our goal is to integrate further relationship, expand on what we already have going on, you know, obviously originate transactions. And when I say that, it’s simply me and say, look, we are a resources Labruta Capital to help you guys avoid bankruptcy and a business. You know, obviously we talked about the feds before our conversation and, you know, the money printing and how long they’re going to go about that and the concern for inflation.

Ali Tarafdar: Yes. So I think, you know, as we are growing concern there, as we start to expand our business model ourselves, you know, as we start to, you know, look to help other organizations continue working with raises dotcom, you know, boost the ceiling, you know, increase the platform engagement and just make sure that, you know, we’re uniform in our approach, that we’re not changing for whatever reasons. And I think the other side to it is help investors get the best out of our way. You know, like we discussed the you know, the inauguration fund as we work together on here has a specific purpose, its impact, you know, and it’s a fixed income model. Yeah. It’s not that attractive. But would you rather that than to break your head and trying to figure out how to go about. Navigating the treacherous waters of covid and travel business alive, you know, would much rather give you a working, pre-existing, lucrative functional model that you can back with certainty because you’re preserved instead of trying to figure it all out. And I think raises dotcom and us working together really facilitates that because that really creates a meaningful dialogue between investors, you and I as partners, and, of course, the businesses that we’ll be serving to get them out of this situation.

Natu Myers: Oh, yeah. Hey, well, mission driven is, you know, shows that it’s more than just what is just going to whim. You know, you have you have some steppingstones in place to help people here. So then the last question is, you know, how can people reach out a little bit of capital? And, you know, for a variety of reasons, how can they get in touch to learn more?

Ali Tarafdar: So that’s a good question. So, you know, you have two ways, obviously not to here in the US where partners that’s the obvious first question and answer. But the other thing is, if you guys want to learn more about us, LabrutaCapital.com, just to figure out what we do, look at our team. You know, the background is very extensive. We’re also we have a board of advisers that’s very, very intelligent. You know, they’re they’re mission driven like us. We are completely aligned in sync. And of course, you can reach us on our website. You know, once you’re there, contact us. If you have a specific business that is going through a very financial, you know, situation, obviously, nobody wants to talk about or admit that they’re in distress. But we were here to help. We probably should be the first people you called before you make that call to a bankruptcy practitioner. But, you know, that’s why I’m glad that we have two channels. We have just learned that to here, you can always reach out to him, will be more than happy to help. And of course, you can always visit LabrutaCapital.com to learn more about what we do. And we definitely look forward to hearing from you.

Natu Myers: All right. Fantastic. No, it is good having you today, Ali.

Ali Tarafdar: Thank you. Not to thank you.

Natu Myers: Cheers.