FuckUp Nights Seattle Speakers: Bryan Copley

Bryan Copley - CityBldr
Bryan Copley – CityBldr

Bryan Copley lost $5 million dollars. That’s right folks, Bryan shared this amazing story with us back in November 2016. As you can read in his speaker bio on our blog, Bryan foundedĀ CityBldr, a disruptive real estate company in Seattle.

As many other aspiring entrepreneurs, Bryan decided to launch his idea while downscaling his lifestyle so he could bootstrap his company.

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Bryan started meeting with several VCs. The process was confusing, messy, and of course very complicated. It was especially interesting, as Bryan tells it, how VCs will more easily invest in your startup only if there are other investors lined up as well. Sort of like a chicken-and-the-egg situation.

So, as VCs became interested in CityBldr, they slowly walked away from the idea, except one VC that was offering to invest $5M in Bryan’s company. You would think this was a great opportunity, and indeed it was. The investor called Bryan and gave him the great news. He was also curious about knowing who else was interested and how much they were offering. This was the pivotal point for Bryan. He had two options:

  1. Tell the truth: there was no other investor. This, of course, posed a major risk: losing this VCs investment
  2. Lie and get the investment

Guess what Bryan’s decision was?

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