Building a unicorn digital pharmacy

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Matt Gamache-Asselin (pictured left) and Jamie Karraker,
Co-founders, Alto Pharmacy

Who’s Matt?

Matt Gamache-Asselin is one of the scrappiest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. Five years ago, he was a junior engineer at Facebook, dreaming about startups. Today, he’s the founder of Alto, a digital pharmacy startup that serves tens of thousands of patients and has raised $350M in investment funding. I’ve watched him struggle, survive, and thrive on his journey, and am lucky to consider him a close personal friend.

My notes:

I met Matt & Jamie in 2015 when they were engineers at Facebook. They wanted to start a co, but wanted the assurance of raising $ before quitting their day jobs. I asked them how anyone would believe in the founders if they didn’t believe in themselves. …

You will work with Robin and Justin on all investments. This is the opportunity to see the entire process of investing, from sourcing to diligence to winning the deal. You will learn how to become a great investor from founders who have been investing here for a decade in some of the fastest growing companies.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Assist in all areas of the investment process, including sourcing, diligence, modeling and research, and closing.
  • Ideate and vet areas to build new startups in
  • Manage back office vendors for fund operations


  • Finance experience (experience in venture is great, but not required)
  • Strong work ethic
  • Strong analytical and written communication skillset

Interested? Get in touch with us and start a conversation.

You will work with us on mocking up ideas for new startups. We have a lot of them, and they span the gamut from new consumer apps to healthcare. You should enjoy learning about new ideas and new industries.

Primary responsibilities:

  • Be the first designer for half a dozen startups. You get to come up with the first concepts on visual identity, user experience and workflows, and be part of the process on deciding if these ideas should come to life.


  • Experience working at an early stage startup
  • Experience with all the parts of the design process, including visual design, user experience, rapid prototyping, and branding
  • Experience designing both web and mobile apps

Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us.

Our real passion at Goat is starting companies. We have spent our whole careers in startups, and survived every part of the startup journey, from four founders crammed in a two bedroom apartment that doubled as our office to billion dollar exits. We know that startups are a very painful but very accelerated learning process.

We are recruiting cofounders to start companies with us as CEO (and other cofounding positions).

What we bring:

  • Presence. We will only build a handful of startups and will put the work in to do with together with you
  • Experience. We have built companies that have product market fit and seen companies that have product market fit. We have a mental model based on years of experience on what to focus on and what to ignore to get to the next level. …

Like everyone else in Silicon Valley, we are stoked to announce our own new fund: Goat Capital.

Goat Capital is a fund that Robin Chan and I will use to do what we do best: incubate and invest in early stage startups.

We have been early investors in Twitter, Xiaomi, Bird, Uber, Square, Ginkgo Bioworks,, Cruise, Razorpay, Xendit, Equipment Share, Wave, Teachable, Semantic Machines, Rippling, Built Robotics and many other great companies.

We have also started our own startups. Most failed. A few were quite successful. We know what it is like at every part of the founding journey.

We called our fund Goat because we believe the goat is a hardy animal that exemplifies the qualities of good founders. …

Learn from these issues and you may be in better shape at your own startup

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Photo: Simon Winnall/Getty Images

After seeing startups from the inside and out, from seed rounds to billion-dollar companies, from board meetings and CEO dinners to coaching sessions and leadership retreats — I see three mistakes get made at companies time and time again:

  1. Underestimating the importance of narrative when fundraising (and expecting a good product and/or solution to speak for itself).
  2. Spreading solutions too thin, and serving many customers poorly instead of a select group very well.
  3. Neglecting to reevaluate and reorganize talent for the startup’s current needs.

Mistake 1: Underestimating the importance of narrative when fundraising

I firmly believe that investors invest in (and employees join, and journalists write about) compelling stories, and your pitch deck is really just a vehicle for telling the story you want to tell. …

I decided to write this guide because I have been pretty happy recently. I would go as far as to say that I am the happiest I’ve ever been (in a sustained way) in my adult life, and completely independent of my external circumstances. This is how I’ve done it.


In our society today it is easy to get caught on the hedonic treadmill: the belief that happiness is just around the corner if one can only achieve the next milestone, or experience the next life experience. This is a trap. …

Jon O’Connell, head of the venture financing group at Atrium, explains how there’s never been a better time for raising startup capital, but that this also makes things increasingly complex for founders. I hope you enjoy his nine key takeaways from helping clients fundraise.

Venture financing is always evolving, and 2017–18 has been no different.

A company’s future — and the stake of the founders — can be made or squandered during this crucial period.

Given our unique insight into the startup fundraising environment, we wanted to distill and share our learnings for current and aspiring founders. High-level summary:

  • It’s getting easier to raise money at higher…

We’re excited to share insights from many influential startup leaders on the Atrium blog. For this article on startup investing, we’re excited to have an especially outstanding contributor: Ashton Kutcher. Ashton shares his philosophy and general criteria around startup investing — including what he looks for in founders. Enjoy!

A lot of people ask me how I choose to invest in startups.

Stage? Revenue metrics? Sector?

I’m not proactively funding at different stages. I’m proactively funding brilliant people trying to solve hard problems.

Focusing on this simple goal of identifying and enabling amazing entrepreneurs to create a better tomorrow is the crux of my investment strategy. …

Here at Atrium, we learned something interesting by running Atrium Scale, a bootcamp for raising Series A funding from VCs: many applicants aren’t ready for a Series A.

They haven’t figured out things like customer acquisition costs, unit economics, and other checkboxes that make a Series A viable. But they still want guidance on general fundraising, meeting investors, and calculating valuations.

They’re often in a good position to raise a seed round.

I’ve raised half a dozen seed rounds in my career as an entrepreneur, and I’ve invested in over 75 companies as an angel.

I’ve personally helped over 100 companies raise their seed rounds while I was a partner at Y Combinator. …


Justin Kan

Be kind to yourself. If you won’t, who will?

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