Raising less money or money later doesn’t just lead to better companies, it leads to richer founders.
Contrast Zappos with Wayfair, an ecommerce company that dropships furniture.
The company was profitable from the first month and, despite many VC offers, they grew the business without outside capital until they had over $500M in sales.
Some might view the company as solid, stable, and a little bit boring, but the founders were laughing all the way to their IPO on the NYSE in 2014.
Among numerous remarkable attributes about the company is the financial success of the founders.
While the industry dynamics likely play a role, I believe it’s the company’s capital strategies that made the difference.